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Assessment Of An Innovative Master's Program

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ET Graduate Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.242.1 - 7.242.9



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Paper Authors

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Niaz Latif

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Michael Dyrenfurth

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Session 1307

Assessment of an Innovative Masters Program

Niaz Latif, Michael Dyrenfurth School of Technology, Purdue University

Context Purdue University houses one of the nation’s largest Schools of Technology. Over 5000 students are served by more than 180 full time faculty organized into eight separate departments deployed over one home site (West Lafayette) and eleven statewide locations. Notably, and rather than having individual departments each mount their own graduate program; to insure critical mass, consistency and quality; Purdue’s School of Technology opted for a single graduate administration that spans each department and statewide site. Headed by an assistant dean for graduate studies this administration, in collaboration with departmental graduate committees, operates three distinct graduate degrees: A Ph.D. program (in collaboration with the School of Education), a Master of Science in Technology, and a Weekend Masters Degree Program. This article focuses on the design, initial findings, and assessment of the latter program.

Weekend Masters Program The School of Technology’s Weekend Masters Degree program (Depew, Dunlap, & Newton, 2001) is an innovative, technology-focused, adaptation of successful executive masters programs typically offered by leading business schools. The Weekend Masters Degree Program in Technology is designed for full-time professionals. The objectives of the program are: (a) enhancement of participants’ learning skills in a continuously changing technology field, (b) enhancement of analytical and problem-solving skills in applications of technology, and (c) accentuation of professional ethics and awareness in a technological environment. Purdue’s adaptation involves offering a series of twelve courses, delivered via fourteen very intense three- day weekend sessions which are augmented with a carefully developed set of out-of-class assignments and a communication support system. Each of these weekend sessions entails 24 contact hours of meeting time. In addition, a directed project is required to demonstrate research and/or development competence. All together, the activities span a five-semester period. Considerable homework is also required between meetings and ongoing contact is facilitated via electronic communication. Electronic communication is, in fact, only part of the innovative instructional methodology incorporated into the Weekend Masters Degree program. The methodological approach, which has previously been documented (Newton, Sutton, & Dunlap, 2000), is based on highly structured, intense, and electronically supported learning activities all guided by an actively involved, physically present, faculty cohort. Extensive intra-cohort interaction is also ongoing.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Latif, N., & Dyrenfurth, M. (2002, June), Assessment Of An Innovative Master's Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10234

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