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Curriculum Diversification In Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.155.1 - 4.155.4

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John, Jr. Lipscomb

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

Session 2548

Curriculum Diversification in Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs

John W. Lipscomb, Jr.


Mechanical Engineering Technology is a very broad field of study that may include the following topics: structural design, machine design, fluid design, thermal design, manufacturing processes, engineering economics, quality control, electronics, computers, automation, and many others. Such a breath of topics is difficult to fit into a four-year curriculum and the depth of study in each is expected to vary between programs. A nationwide study of the TAC/ABET accredited Mechanical Engineering Technology programs was conducted to determine the amount of curriculum diversification, the depth of study, and the popularity of the various topics of study. The Internet was used to gather the curriculum for all of the eighteen programs that were found. The diversity of topics and the depth of study in these topics was determined. Twenty topics were identified. Some topics were very much more popular than others with several topics not available in the majority of programs. Considerable diversity existed in the number of topics and the total hours taught in various programs.


Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) is one of the broadest fields of study in Engineering Technology. Some of the topics generally associated with MET are computer-aided drawing (CAD), machine design, structural design, thermal design, fluid design, manufacturing, materials, safety, and others. After allowing for general education requirements, insufficient time is available to study all of these topics in a Bachelor of science curriculum. Consequently, compromises must be made in designing the MET curriculum. Between MET programs, considerable latitude in the curricula may exist. Additionally, TAC/ABET may have caused more topic depth and less breadth than would otherwise occur. Large MET programs may offer a wider variety of courses than smaller programs, and local industry probably influences the breath of topics offered. In order to answer some of these questions, this author became interested in defining two aspects of the MET curriculum compromise: (1) which areas of study were the most popular and (2) how much breath existed in the offering the array of topics.


Gathering data on the MET curricula nationwide would have been more difficult prior to the Internet. However, the writer found that many of the MET programs did provide their curriculum and total course offerings on the Web. Some Web sites even provided scheduling information for the next few terms. After searching for “Mechanical Engineering Technology” and sifting through the duplicates and irrelevant entries, eighteen MET sites were found that were TAC/ABET accredited. The results obtained from this sample of eighteen would probably represent other MET programs that are currently scrambling to get on the Web.

Lipscomb, J. J. (1999, June), Curriculum Diversification In Mechanical Engineering Technology Programs Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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