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Evolution Of Assessment Within A Mechanical Engineering Technology Department

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.288.1 - 5.288.10

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Christine L. Corum

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

Session 2548

Evolution of Assessment Within a Mechanical Engineering Technology Department

Christine L. Corum Purdue University


With a successful ABET accreditation recently behind us and a regional accreditation almost upon us; the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department of the School of Technology at Purdue University has experienced maturation of its assessment and continuous improvement activities. Namely, with our short history of what works versus what does not and with valuable input from other School of Technology departments, a shift appears to have taken place where focus and responsibility are concerned. Eight departments, which make up the School of Technology, have completed audits of department assessment processes. Feedback from these audits has provided encouragement for focusing on how individual courses support achieving the goals and objectives of our department, school, and university. While assessing student learning remains a key activity, it is no longer the sole focus it once was. Our department has also seen a shift from continuous improvement and assessment direction emanating from a single point, i.e. Continuous Improvement Committee, to becoming the responsibility of every departmental committee and faculty member.

While our initial efforts have been discussed in similar settings before, we have since identified areas of growth in our philosophy towards assessment and improvement; areas that may be of interest to other Engineering Technology programs as they continue to expand their assessment and improvement activities. This paper will discuss the evolution of assessment philosophy and techniques within the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department and significant changes in how our department accomplishes assessment. Experiences of what activities have been beneficial to our efforts and which activities have not will be shared. This paper’s approach will be a points-to-ponder one rather than a how-to list. Additionally, consideration will be given to areas Engineering Technology programs might reflect on as they prepare in the future for both TAC-ABET and Regional accreditation reviews. That is, can one method of documentation efficiently satisfy both parties?

I. Initial Assessment Activities

A brief description of activities Mechanical Engineering Technology was involved in l998 follows. More detailed information is provided in a previous paper that this author co- authored.1

Continuous Improvement Committee (CIC). This committee was the starting point for most activities undertaken by the Mechanical Engineering Technology faculty. CIC responsibilities included recording and maintaining documentation efforts for visiting assessment teams,

Corum, C. L. (2000, June), Evolution Of Assessment Within A Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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