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Cqi For Mechanical Engineering Education: A Two Year Experience

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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

5.175.1 - 5.175.16



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Paper Authors

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Diana G. Somerton

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Craig W. Somerton

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

Session 2266

CQI for Mechanical Engineering Education: A Two Year Experience

Craig W. Somerton, Diana G. Somerton Michigan State University/California Manufacturing Technology Center

I. Introduction

For over two years the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University has operated in a continuous quality improvement process mode. A CQI process known as ME 2000 has been developed for the undergraduate mechanical engineering degree program at Michigan State University in response to two primary motivations:

1) changes in the accreditation requirements for engineering programs 2) development of university/industry CQI partnerships.

The focus of this paper is to share the CQI process that has been developed and the results from this process following two years of implementation.

The paper begins with describing the rationale of implementing a CQI process for undergraduate education. Details of the development of the process are provided, including identification of constituent groups, governing principles of the process, and start-up of the process. Finally, the paper looks at the assessment data gathered over the first two years of the process and the program changes that have occurred due to this data and the review processes.

II. Rationale and Motivation

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has dramatically changed the criteria under which it will accredit engineering programs. Engineering programs seek accreditation to demonstrate to the public that they are graduating individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to become engineers in a specific discipline, such as mechanical engineering. The ABET changes are to be implemented across the country during the next millennium, hence it has been dubbed Engineering Criteria (EC) 2000. Engineering Criteria 2000 requires engineering programs to have an assessment process with documented results (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology 1998). This assessment process includes setting educational program objectives and outcomes. Furthermore, these outcomes must be measured and the results used to improve the program. The overall concept of EC 2000 is to apply the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement to the development and improvement of the undergraduate program.

Another motivation for developing ME 2000 has come from industry, a customer of the products of engineering undergraduate programs. Within the last two decades increasing global competition has forced American manufacturing to adopt some form of continuous quality improvement, total quality management, reengineering, lean manufacturing, call it what you

Somerton, D. G., & Somerton, C. W. (2000, June), Cqi For Mechanical Engineering Education: A Two Year Experience Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8245

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