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Benchmarking Distance Education In Engineering Management Programs

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Engineering Management Program Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.272.1 - 14.272.8



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Paper Authors

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Ertunga Ozelkan University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Agnes Galambosi University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Agnes Galambosi earned her PhD in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of
Arizona in Tucson. She also hold two MS degrees: one in Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona in Tucson, one in Meteorology from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. She currently teaches at the Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science Department at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Her research interests include a wide range of topics from educational games in college teaching to engineering management and optimization problems and applying systems methods to climate change modelling.

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

Benchmarking Distance Education in Engineering Management Programs Abstract

Distance education is a strategic initiative that has been applied by a number of universities over the past decade. Before deploying a new distance education program, it is very important to understand the impact of such a strategic decision on the program growth. The purpose of this paper is to identify the possible impacts of distance education on both enrollment and the number of degrees granted in Engineering Management (EMGT) programs. The results of a benchmarking analysis among the top twenty EMGT programs with the highest number of degrees granted show that although programs that deploy distance education techniques might have less full-time students, a significant increase in part-time enrollment could result in an overall increase in the total enrollment and degrees granted. The paper also discusses some of the best practices used by these programs for distance education delivery techniques.



Based on Gibbons[5], the number of Master’s-degree students enrolled in engineering management programs doubled between 2003 and 2006, despite an overall decrease of 9% in engineering Master’s enrollment. In 1999, the total engineering management Master’s enrollment was about 1,767 students. In 2003, this number went further up to 2,229 and it was up to 4,625 in 2006. This trend is also supported by the continued increase in the number of programs over the past 30 years. As reported in Alvear et al. [1], about 30 engineering and technology management programs existed in 1970s, and currently this number is over 160.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[4], the need for Engineering and Natural Science Managers is projected to increase by 8% (estimated as 14,000 people) between the 2006 - 2016 time period. Based on this projection, one can expect further growth in engineering management programs over the years to come.

Given all these good news about growth, if you are an engineering management program that did not observe any of these trends in the enrollments, you might be asking yourself, what should you be doing to get on this pleasing growth wave?

The Systems Engineering and Engineering Management Program at University of North Carolina at Charlotte has been granting MS Degree in Engineering Management over ten years. Eighty percent of the MS program’s students are working professionals, whereas the rest are full-time students. It is a relatively small program with about 25-30 graduate students. Recently, distance education, specifically online learning has been considered as one of the major strategies to grow the MS program. The main question was whether


Ozelkan, E., & Galambosi, A. (2009, June), Benchmarking Distance Education In Engineering Management Programs Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5194

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