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Implementing An Assessment Course

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.224.1 - 2.224.8



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Arnold F. Johnson

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

Session 1630

Implementing an Assessment Course

Arnold F. Johnson University of North Dakota


There is increased interest in assessment on college campuses across the nation and specifically in many engineering programs, as ABET focuses on Criteria 2000. Within the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Engineering and Mines, selected as one of four pilot schools to undergo accreditation under ABET’s Criteria 2000 in the fall of 1997, an assessment course has been implemented to address a special need in the Corporate Engineering Degree Program (CEDP). CEDP offers undergraduate engineering degree programs using videotape courses and on-campus laboratories to employees of a consortium which currently includes 3M, GE Plastics, Lucent Technologies, Intel Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Hutchinson Technology Inc., Conoco, Raychem, Little Hoop Community College, Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation, IES Industries Inc., ALCOA, Nortel, and Control Tech Inc.

Under National Science Foundation (NSF) grant number DUE-9455466, entitled “Enhanced Curriculum for Undergraduate Engineering Adult Learners in Industry,” a one credit course was developed in the fall of 1995 to assess the CEDP adult learners’ backgrounds to determine whether several of the standard introductory engineering courses would be of potential value to these students. Since many of the students have a great deal of related experience and extensive knowledge in their respective fields, some of the introductory courses in engineering may not be necessary. Depending on the outcome assessment of a students background, certain introductory courses may be waived for individuals.

This one credit course was implemented on a pilot basis in the spring of 1996 with nine students. The first class was evaluated by five UND faculty working under the NSF grant during the summer of 1996. Faculty evaluation, student feedback, and comments from the NSF grant evaluator will be presented. In the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997, the course was again offered with several minor modifications. Outcomes from these classes will also be presented. This course represents an application of engineering assessment that is of direct benefit to students.


A one credit course, primarily focusing on assessment, was developed at the University of North Dakota to evaluate students coming from industry into UND’s Corporate Engineering Degree Program (CEDP). The CEDP is a videotape program coupled with required on-campus labs leading to an undergraduate degree in engineering. Many of these students are graduates of technical colleges and have ten to fifteen years of industrial experience. With an investment of resources in mind (students’ time, company funds for tuition reimbursement, etc.), UND faculty began asking “why should these students (with so much industrial experience) have to enroll in entry-level courses/labs?” Thus, in order to make the best use of both the students’ time and the institution’s resources, a course was developed to assess the students’ technical backgrounds. It

Johnson, A. F. (1997, June), Implementing An Assessment Course Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6604

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