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Distance Learning: Recent Graduates Share Their Experiences And Recommendations

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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

4.204.1 - 4.204.7

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Paper Authors

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Marla E. Hacker

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Thomas M. West

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

Session 2322

Distance Learning: Recent Graduates Share Their Experiences and Recommendations

Marla E. Hacker, Thomas M. West

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department Oregon State University


This paper discusses a graduate level engineering distance learning program, which started transmitting courses in 1994. The program currently has a dozen graduates. The graduates recently provided their perspective of the program. The information is shared in this paper.

Basis for the Program

Manufacturing Engineering is an important and growing aspect of technical education, research, and economic development in the United States. Concerns about U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing continue to grow and the global economy continues to emphasize the contributions of value-added manufacturing operations. Some of the important elements in today’s changing economic environment are: demand for higher product quality; reduced time from concept to availability for sale; increased product output; and short product life cycles. The half-life of products has decreased to the point that 50% of product sales occur within three years of initial design. These factors have resulted in the absolute need for engineers who are prepared to initiate, design, plan for production, and control the manufacture of quality products. Economic survival in this environment requires the education of professionals who can integrate all the engineering and production functions required to manufacture a constantly changing array of new products.

II. Introduction to the Program

The Manufacturing Engineering Masters Program was established in response to industry input requesting continuing education opportunities for engineers working in manufacturing environments. Manufacturing Engineering is concerned with the application of specialized engineering and managerial knowledge applied to the development of productive systems of people and machines. Primary emphasis is on the design, operation and control of integrated systems for the production of high quality, economically competitive goods. The specific curriculum and course delivery modes were developed and established in partnership with industry through an Industry-based Technical Advisory Board (TAB). TAB had the following corporate representatives: Anderson Consulting, Boeing, Oregon Cutting Systems, Gunderson

Hacker, M. E., & West, T. M. (1999, June), Distance Learning: Recent Graduates Share Their Experiences And Recommendations Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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