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Direct and Indirect Assessment of Universidad de las Américas Puebla’s Food Engineering Program Outcomes

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

International Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.437.1 - 23.437.27



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Paper Authors


Efra Altamirano

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After Efra Altamirano earned a M.B.A. with specialization in Marketing Services, she studied Social Development and Quality Education. She is currently preparing her dissertation on learning outcomes assessment. Altamirano teaches undergraduate and other levels of education.

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lourdes gazca American University in Puebla, Mexico

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Americas Puebla


Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas Puebla

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Professor Palou is the director of the Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education in the Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, using tablet PCs and associated technologies to enhance the development of 21st century expertise in engineering students, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering and technology education.

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Direct and Indirect Assessment of University ABC’s Food Engineering Program OutcomesThe Food Engineering program from University ABC is approved by the Institute of FoodTechnologists (IFT) and accredited by the Consejo de Acreditación de la Enseñanza de laIngeniería (CACEI), which is the peer-accrediting agency of the US Accreditation Board forEngineering and Technology (ABET) in Mexico. Graduates of ABC’s Food Engineeringprogram (FE) shall attain thirteen outcomes; eleven of them are similar to ABET Criterion 3 (a-k) program outcomes1; as well as specific IFT core competencies regarding major areas: foodchemistry and analysis; food safety and microbiology; food processing and engineering; appliedfood science; and success skills2. As part of assessment efforts at FE, the Food EngineeringUndergraduate Curriculum Committee designed a strategy that uses both direct and indirectassessment measures.Direct assessment was implemented through analysis of student scores and classroomobservation: 1) analysis of results (since spring 2009) obtained by students on undergraduatetheses and their defenses; 2) analysis of the capstone course Design and Development of FoodProducts and Processes (self-, peer-, instructor-, and outside evaluators-assessment results, aswell as final grades received by students); and 3) embedded assessments in several FE courses.In the case of theses and their defenses, mean scores obtained by FE students were higher than3.6 out of 4.0 points. The outcome with the highest score was for the program outcome “Anability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for food engineeringpractice”. Regarding the degree to which students utilized these outcomes in the design anddevelopment of its product as well as in their oral and written work-products at the capstonecourse, the mean scores from surveyed stakeholders were higher than the 3.0 out of 5.0 points.Indirect assessment was fulfilled through surveys and curricular mapping: 1) curricular mappinganalysis of FE outcomes and IFT competencies; and 2) design and implementation of a surveythat asked to assess with a Likert scale the perception of program outcomes in two respects:importance of the outcomes and progress made by students in achieving these outcomes. Thissurvey has been applied since 2008 to the following groups: faculty, graduating seniors, alumni,employers, as well as to students enrolled in the program at their 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and9th semester and results are discussed elsewhere3. FE curricular mapping was carried out withcollaboration of program faculty who were asked to rate for each of the courses they teach thedegree to which they are promoting FE thirteen outcomes and IFT core competencies.Responding whether they do not cover, initiate, develop, or emphasize each outcome and/or IFTcompetency in their classes. Faculty felt that the outcome that they promote and emphasize lessis “an ability to communicate effectively in English in written form”. The following areas ofimprovement have been found from IFT core competencies mapping: “understand the basicprinciples and practices of cleaning and sanitation in food processing operations”, and“understand the requirements for water utilization and waste management in food and foodprocessing”. The full paper will further report on FE plan for using assessment results to improvestudent learning through curricular modifications as well as a summary of improvements,modifications, up to date.[1] ABET. 2012. Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs Effective for Reviews During the 2012-2013 Accreditation Cycle. Engineering Accreditation Commission. ABET. Available (September 19, 2012) at: ments/Current/eac-criteria-2012-2013.pdf[2] IFT. 2012. Resource Guide for Approval and Re-Approval of Undergraduate Food Science Programs. Institute of Food Technologists. Available (September 19, 2012) at: Scientist/Approved-Undergrad- Programs/~/media/Knowledge%20Center/Learn%20Food%20Science/Become%20a%20Foo d%20Scientist/IFT_ResourceGuide_UndergradFoodSciencePrograms2012_READER.pdf[3] XXX [For blind review purposes]. 2012. Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX, June 10 – 13.

Altamirano, E., & gazca, L., & Lopez-Malo, A., & Palou, E. (2013, June), Direct and Indirect Assessment of Universidad de las Américas Puebla’s Food Engineering Program Outcomes Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19451

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