New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
This paper reports a 2+2 Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering (BSIE) online option at Lamar University (LU), first launched in fall 2014 after ABET’s vote to continue the program’s accreditation in light of this online program option. It is the first BSIE 2+2 online program in the country. Students may choose to complete their first two years’ regular fundamental courses at LU, at a community college or other university. Then they may choose to complete the last two years at LU via distance education. All online courses are delivered and managed through the Blackboard system. Some courses are currently under review by the rigorous ‘Quality Matters’ standard and as an objective, all courses will need to pass the standard requirement. Several courses have lab requirements. Some labs, such as Work Design, were converted to video-based labs; while for other labs, such as Manufacturing Processes, students come to campus for one or two long weekend labs during the program. The courses’ labs that require software such as PTC Creo and Rockwell Arena are administered interactively in real time via Adobe Connect. Students can access the professional version of the campus software via a Remote Desktop system. The senior design course is a project based class with the same structure as our face to face track. This program provides a unique pathway for completing an engineering degree that allows students who cannot attend full time due to work, location and family responsibilities to complete an engineering degree. While a significant number of students attend pre-engineering programs at community colleges, the number of students who are interested and capable of completing an online program is significantly less. A second population of students who drop out of engineering programs for work or family reasons after completing sophomore courses also has interest in this program. In addition to presenting the program design and operation, this paper discusses the potential market for the program nationwide, preliminary student performance, and the results of a faculty survey about online courses.
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