June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.273.1 - 14.273.13
Benchmarking Two Urban MET BS Programs
Since the change to outcomes based accreditation in 2000, most engineering technology programs have adapted to the change and have implemented program outcomes and the accompanying assessment and evaluation techniques. TC2K created significant change in the engineering technology world, change that still has lasting effects eight years later. While the change to outcomes based assessment has not always been welcome, adapting to the change has caused many programs to become increasingly aware of what similar programs are doing in other parts of the country or even other parts of the world. A part of all strategic planning includes comparing oneself to one’s competitors. In the educational world, we are not necessarily so concerned with competition but with improving and serving students. Hence, institutions frequently collaborate, so the term benchmarking is used for the initial comparison between programs. This paper benchmarks two urban Mechanical Engineering Technology programs and compares their background, objectives and outcomes, curriculum, and laboratories. It is hoped that this benchmark will encourage other programs to perform similar comparisons in an effort to improve and serve students.
The Mechanical Engineering Technology programs at Youngstown State University1, Youngstown, Ohio (YSU) and Purdue University Calumet2 in Hammond, IN (PUC) share many similarities. Both institutions primarily serve regional, urban populations. Both programs have a long history of ABET accreditation dating back to the 1960s. Both programs have undergone recent ABET evaluations based on TC2K Criterion3.
There are differences as well. PUC has four full time, tenured faculty all at the full professor level while YSU has two assistant professors. PUC has approximately 130 MET majors while YSU has approximately 80. Also, while both programs serve urban areas, their focus has been different. YSU has long served the automotive and steel industries as its primary constituency while PUC has served the steel industry. Both automotive and steel industries have experienced difficulties, and both MET programs are placing graduates in more diverse areas with success.
II. MET Program Objectives
As part of the outcomes based assessment process, both programs developed program objectives independently. We define program objective to be the skills students possess after graduation as they enter the workforce. Table 1 below compares both programs.
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