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Assessing Educational Performance: A Strategic Approach

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.220.1 - 9.220.14



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Paper Authors

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Ronald Bennett

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Debra Ricci

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Arnold Weimerskirch

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Assessing Educational Performance A Strategic Approach

Ronald J. Bennett PhD, Debra Ricci PhD, and Arnold Weimerskirch

School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota


The 21st century promises to be an extraordinarily challenging era. The demands of a new technology revolution, globalization, pressing social concerns and a renaissance in business ethics all call for a new kind of engineer. The 21st century engineer must possess not only technical skills but also interdisciplinary skills and a firm foundation for making ethical decisions. Engineering schools have a responsibility to develop our students’ leadership skills in order that they may improve the quality of life through science and engineering.

How will we know if we have properly prepared our students? Students and employers tend to rate graduate programs by their perceived quality, but are our current assessment methods adequate for the future? Is there one good way to evaluate and compare graduate programs? Are universities expanding their use of quantitative metrics for evaluating their programs?

A number of methods are used to evaluate engineering programs. Among them are the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, the ABET Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, and U.S. News and World Report magazine ranking of America’s Best Colleges.

This paper presents the assessment method used by the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. We use the Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence to assess our overall performance. Then we measure our performance against our mission and the program objectives and outcomes. We will discuss our experience with this assessment method and provide some comparisons with other assessment methods.

I. The University of St. Thomas School of Engineering

The University of St. Thomas (UST) for U.S. News and World Report ranking is a doctoral intensive Catholic university serving 5,429 under-graduate students and 5,937 graduate students on campuses in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Owatonna, Minnesota and in Rome. UST is Minnesota’s largest private educational institution. The University integrates liberal arts education and career preparation, emphasizing values necessary for complete human development and responsible citizenship in contemporary society. UST provides quality

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Bennett, R., & Ricci, D., & Weimerskirch, A. (2004, June), Assessing Educational Performance: A Strategic Approach Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13917

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