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Engineering And Engineering Technology Program Assessments Dacum Style

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Engineering Technology Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.492.1 - 8.492.7



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Paper Authors

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Richard Ciocci

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

Session 1547

Engineering and Engineering Technology Program Assessments – DACUM Style

Richard Ciocci Penn State University

A DACUM (Develop-a-Curriculum) analysis is a three-phase process, which can be a key part of a program assessment effort. DACUM is a tool that provides course-related duties and tasks, which can be converted into outcomes. Phase I features a panel of off-campus personnel with expertise in the program being assessed. Phase II consists of the interaction between those experts and college’s or university’s faculty. The third phase is designed to assist program faculty in the preparation of institutional documents needed for approval of any DACUM-related changes.

Since 1998, Harrisburg Area Community College has used the DACUM analysis for more than 30 programs, both career and transfer, in a variety of disciplines. The process lends itself to the development of new programs with input from local experts as well as from national societies and agencies. The DACUM phases have also been used effectively for existing programs, where periodic assessments are required by state, association, and college mandates. The college completed DACUM analyses of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, and Electrical Engineering Technology two-year programs. There were similarities and differences between the DACUM process and results for a transfer program, Engineering, and for career programs, Engineering Technology.


DACUM was developed by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). In 1970 ACCC selected Holland College of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to deliver the first DACUM training1. Eventually, DACUM was used for developing all of the college’s academic programs.

DACUM is a curriculum development process that includes a detailed analysis by a panel of experts. The panel analyzes the duties, tasks, knowledge, skills, traits, and attitudes of workers in a specific occupation. The experts are largely those performing job functions within that occupation. Whereas supervisory and administrative personnel can provide meaningful input, most panel members should be those doing the job. It is the expert worker who knows her/his job and its requirements best, so it is the worker who can most accurately define the job function best. The occupation being analyzed can be described fully by a matrix of tasks that are performed by successful workers. The tasks are directly related to the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the occupation.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Ciocci, R. (2003, June), Engineering And Engineering Technology Program Assessments Dacum Style Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11482

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