June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.282.1 - 12.282.27
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. https://peer.asee.org/2661
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