June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.436.1 - 26.436.10
Curriculum Innovation in Industrial Engineering: Development of a New Degree ProgramCurriculum development and innovation is critical to successful programs in engineering. At amedium-sized private university in the northeast United States, a new industrial engineering (IE)program has recently been developed and is currently being rolled out. As a new IE program, thedevelopment of this new program has been innovative as it is strategically designed to be well-balanced between engineering and other university programs, using the guidelines of NCEESfundamentals exam, as well the requirements for regional employment opportunities. Theresulting program curriculum is thus both flexible and relevant. The flexibility allows the pursuitof a variety of minor degrees, study-abroad opportunities, as well as fast track bachelor's/master'sdegree programs, where a student can receive a bachelor’s degree in IE and an MBA in less thanthe traditional 6 years. In addition, the curriculum is relevant as it allows for emphasis areas,aligned with regional employers’ needs, maximizing employability in the student’s preferredindustry. In this paper, we describe the multi-year process followed for development of the newprogram using the product development literature. In this view, educated employment-readystudents are the product, and curriculum is the process by which they are transformed intoindustrial engineers. Customer requirements are the employer needs in this model, and thetechnical attributes are the learning outcomes for the program as developed through theobjectives of individual course in the program.We also draw from the scholarly education literature as an aid in framing the process from acomprehensive sociocultural viewpoint. From this perspective, context and influences are keydrivers in the curriculum development process. Context can be viewed at the university level,and includes the mission of the university, the resources available, and the targeted size of theprogram. Influences may be internal within the program, and include expertise areas of thefaculty and related engineering and other university programs that serve as opportunity areas forcoordination. External influences certainly include accrediting bodies and licensingorganizations; in this case, both ABET and NCEES helped us define the content of our IEprogram. An important influence, especially in building the student learner population, has beenthe challenge of working in a regional environment where there is little knowledge of theindustrial engineering career path. The regional employer base also played and continues toinfluence program development, as both the IE core and the technical electives are structured tobe responsive to employer needs. In the northeast US where our university is located, the mostcommon employers are hospital networks, financial and insurance companies, along with themore traditional small and mid-size manufacturers. Additionally, several principles wereidentified and used as an aid in curriculum decisions, including a smaller core, flexible technicalelectives for multiple emphasis areas, and broad based methodology courses.In this paper, we first describe the curriculum development process using a process flowchartthat integrates the principles of product development with curriculum development. The IEcurriculum is then presented and discussed.
Meixell, M. J., & Buyurgan, N., & Kiassat, C. (2015, June), Curriculum Innovation in Industrial Engineering: Developing a New Degree Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23775
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