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Assessment Methods For A Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

TC2K Methods and Models

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.282.1 - 12.282.27



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Paper Authors


Gregory Watkins University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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Gregory Watkins received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University, a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UNC Charlotte. He has taught in the Engineering Technology department at UNC Charlotte for the past 4.5 years. He taught in the Engineering Technologies Division at Central Piedmont Community College for 8 years and has 9 years of industrial work experience.

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Nan Byars University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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Nan Byars received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. She has been a Professor of Engineering Technology at UNC Charlotte since 1993. She taught at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo CA for eight years and has worked as a project and research engineer in industry. She became a registered professional engineer in 1981.

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Deborah Sharer University of North Carolina-Charlotte

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Deborah Sharer is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Technology Department at UNC Charlotte. She was the first woman PhD graduate from the Lee College of Engineering, with a research emphasis in microelectronic devices and solid state materials. She has served in numerous mentoring and educational roles for undergraduates, high school and middle school students.

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

Assessment Methods for a Mechanical Engineering Technology Program


The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte recently underwent reaccreditation with the Technology Accreditation Commission ABET (TAC of ABET). This was the program's first reaccreditation activity under the outcomes based criteria, known informally as TC2K.

MET programs must demonstrate fulfillment of seven general criteria plus an eighth criteria specific to the discipline. During the reaccreditation process, two criteria, Program Outcomes and Assessment and Evaluation, occupied a disproportionate amount of time and resources. Program Outcomes consists of eleven units of knowledge or skill, known colloquially as a through k. Assessment and Evaluation involves assessment measures and documentation to show that objectives and outcomes are being met.

This paper summarizes the assessment methods and continuous improvement process employed during the recent reaccreditation of the MET program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Details include specific measures designed to assess a through k skills, as well as the nuts and bolts of the continuous improvement process instituted as part of the reaccreditation activity.


Beginning in the year 2000, the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (TAC of ABET) instituted a major change to its accreditation process and criteria. Known informally as TC2K, the criteria for accreditation became outcomes based, rather than focusing on hard lists such as credit hours and course content1.

In accordance with TAC of ABET's accreditation criteria document2, engineering technology programs must satisfy seven general criteria plus an additional eighth criteria specific to the program area. Although each of the eight criteria is clearly important, there are two that often require a disproportionate effort on the part of the program's faculty to demonstrate that they have been satisfied3. They are Criterion 2 – Program Outcomes, and Criterion 3 – Assessment and Evaluation.

The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which is currently approaching 200 full time students, recently underwent TAC of ABET reaccreditation, its first under the outcomes based criteria. Although much work was done in many other areas, this paper summarizes the assessment methods and the continuous improvement process utilized to demonstrate fulfillment of ABET Criteria 2 and 3.

Watkins, G., & Byars, N., & Sharer, D. (2007, June), Assessment Methods For A Mechanical Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2661

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