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Establishing A B.S. Degree Program In Mechanical Engineering In Partnership With Industry: A Case Study

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.465.1 - 6.465.9

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Paul Wojciechowski

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

Session 1566

Establishing a B.S. Degree Program in Mechanical Engineering in Partnership with Industry: A Case Study Paul H. Wojciechowski York College of Pennsylvania


The creation of a new baccalaureate degree program in mechanical engineering at York College of Pennsylvania took place with the guidance and input provided by an industrial partnership of over 20 local and regional industrial organizations. Initial start-up contributions amounting to $400,000, along with approximately $45,000 provided annually by industry, has resulted in the establishment of state-of-the-art laboratory facilities as well as partial scholarship support for students in the program. The program had its first class of students enter in fall 1995 and currently consists of approximately 100 students majoring in mechanical engineering. The ABET evaluation visit under EC2000 occurred in September 1999 and resulted in accreditation of the program. Designing a new engineering curriculum—in concert with industrial partners— within the broad context of a private, moderately sized, comprehensive college posed many challenges. This presentation will review these challenges, the process used for establishing a new program in mechanical engineering, and the role industry has played in developing and supporting the program.

I. Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to provide a set of guidelines and suggestions for developing and maintaining partnerships between industry and academic programs in engineering. These guidelines are based on the recent experience by the author in developing a mechanical engineering program at a non-technical, comprehensive college with the cooperation of regional industrial organizations. Although the process described here was the result of a “clean slate” approach to developing and implementing a new engineering program, most if not all of the challenges that were faced can certainly apply to existing programs, particularly those facing critical issues such as declining enrollments and curriculum overhaul.

II. Historical Background

Tracing its institutional lineage to the York County Academy founded in 1787, York College of Pennsylvania is today an independent, comprehensive, predominantly undergraduate college of moderate size with nearly 4000 full-time and over 1300 part-time students. Situated in the Susquehanna Valley region of South Central Pennsylvania, the College occupies over 110 acres in suburban York County, an area rich in diversified technology and manufacturing. Over 80 degree programs are offered in arts and humanities, music, social and behavioral sciences, natural and physical sciences, foreign studies, business, education, nursing, and engineering.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Wojciechowski, P. (2001, June), Establishing A B.S. Degree Program In Mechanical Engineering In Partnership With Industry: A Case Study Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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