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Co Op And Abet 2000: The Added Learning Dimension!

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.145.1 - 5.145.26



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Paper Authors

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Richard L Canale

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Ellen J Duwart

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Cheryl Cates

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

Session 1661

Co-op and ABET 2000: The Added Learning Dimension!

Richard Canale, Cheryl Cates, Ellen Duwart Northeastern University / University of Cincinnati / Northeastern University


Student perceptions are only one method to assess learning. However, student perceptions of learning are an important factor that the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) review teams take into consideration as they make their decisions. This paper seeks to examine student perceptions as to the impact of cooperative education in the development of the specific attributes of the engineering graduate as described in ABET 2000’s Criterion Three. Studies were conducted at the University of Cincinnati and at Northeastern University with students in mandatory and optional engineering co-op programs. In 1998, Cates surveyed all students in Materials Science and Engineering and Industrial Engineering to get their perceptions. Students were asked to rank their abilities within each of the eleven categories on a scale of Excellent to Poor. They were then asked to attribute the development of each ability on a percentage basis to xx % Classroom, yy % Co-op and zz % Other (please specify) to total 100%. A second, and more comprehensive survey, was administered by Cates to the graduating Class of 1999 for the University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering. This survey used the same format and gathered results for 10 distinct disciplines in the undergraduate program. Canale & Duwart conducted parallel studies at Northeastern University. Results from both sets of studies are consistent. They indicate that the students’ perceptions of the learning that occurred through cooperative education has a direct and significant impact on their development in the eleven ABET attributes. Within all engineering disciplines surveyed, and without special treatment, cooperative education shows itself to be a strong partner, along with traditional academic coursework and laboratories, in the development of these attributes in the engineering graduate. The authors propose that colleges who can document the results of cooperative education learning will be in a strong position to demonstrate that their students meet ABET EC 2000 criteria.

I. Introduction

As student learning outcomes become the focus within higher education, it is important that cooperative education establish its place in the development of such learning outcomes. Historically co-op professionals have been at the forefront of documenting learning. Student reports and employer evaluations have long captured important information regarding what

Canale, R. L., & Duwart, E. J., & Cates, C. (2000, June), Co Op And Abet 2000: The Added Learning Dimension! Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8242

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