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Cooperative Education Impact on Enhancing Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

The "Education" in Experiential Education

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.347.1 - 25.347.19



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Paper Authors


Nashwan Younis Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne

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Nash T. Younis is a professor of mechanical engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne. He has been the cooperative education coordinator of the mechanical engineering programs since 2000. He received his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Iowa State University in 1988. Younis is the recipient of the 2002 Illinois/Indiana Section of the American Society for Engineering Education Outstanding Educator Award. In addition to curriculum and assessments issues, his research interests include sensors and optical experimental stress analysis.

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Cooperative Education Impact on Enhancing Mechanical Engineering Curriculum AbstractThe engineering practice continues to evolve, but engineering education has not changed at thesame rate. The need to change engineering education has led industry and constituents toquestion the relevancy of engineering programs. According to the analyses conducted by TheAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2004, it is common for engineers to participate inor lead project management teams, which require working knowledge of procurement, financialanalysis, sales and marketing, and other non-technical matters. Thus, assessing the educationalobjectives and the courses outcomes is essential for every engineering program.Engineering programs utilize assessment methods that include both direct and indirect measures.Many articles have been written about important assessment tools such as alumni feedback,employer’s survey, constituents input, etc. It appears that there is a lot of emphasis on surveys.On the other hand, faculty assesses the outcomes in the classes they teach and are very creativein developing assessment methods. However, traditional assessment techniques are not alwaysadequate to measure student learning. There are many important questions for educators to askand answer regarding what to teach and how to teach it.This paper deals with the improvements of engineering program effectiveness. The emphasis ison enhancing the curriculum utilizing our unique co-op mechanism of interaction with industryor company. Details are presented of a non-traditional engineering program assessment tool- thecooperative education feedback and industry site visitation. The validity of this supplementaryassessment tool is discussed in regard to achieving the program outcomes. It stresses theimportance of assessing departments and programs in conjunction with assessing students. Theemphasis is on the holistic approach of the assessment in which the focus is on the status of theperformance of a group of students. The issue of what students can do with what they havelearned, which is relevant to academia, is presented in the discussion of the structure of the co-opat our university. The main co-op sections of the paper are: Students’ feedback Employer evaluation and curriculum issues Work site visitation by the co-op faculty coordinator Industry/company site visit by the co-op program director Faculty co-op coordinator end of semester assessment report Feedback to the departmental Outcomes Assessment Committee Curriculum Committee Keeping curricula up-to-date with changes in industry Closing the loopIn conclusion, engineering programs seeking accreditation are required by the AccreditationBoard for Engineering and Technology to document their continuous program improvementefforts and their outcomes. Example of using non-traditional assessment tool within engineeringeducation is highlighted in this article. The utilization of the cooperative education experience isdiscussed and discipline specific assessment information can be gleaned from this tool.

Younis, N. (2012, June), Cooperative Education Impact on Enhancing Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21105

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