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Improving Curriculum With Third Party Standards And Industrial Advisory Boards

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Industry and Engineering Technology Partnerships

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.714.1 - 13.714.10



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Paper Authors

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Joy Colwell Purdue University Calumet

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Shoji Nakayama Purdue University Calumet

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Carl Jenks Purdue University Calumet

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

Improving Curriculum with Third Party Standards and Industrial Advisory Boards


It is important, often critical, for educators to align their course objectives and course content with what is required by the businesses and industries which hire their graduates. Not preparing students to meet critical job-related demands will ultimately lead to poor job placement and poor job performance. More importantly, the fact that the university is not producing its best product penalizes all future students and negatively affects the institution’s reputation. In order for educators to prepare their students to become marketable, they will need to fully understand and assess the industrial and technological environment where the students are sent for employment. One of the approaches taken by the Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) Program in the School of Technology to achieve the needed alignment is to ally with professionals in business and industry and to develop and refine our curriculum and learning objectives as a team effort. As noted in the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria for 2007-2008 for accrediting engineering technology (ET) programs (and OLS is a partner to the technology programs), the orientation of the technical specialization must be shown to be integrated into the curriculum through business and industry guidance. Curriculum guidance from knowledgeable third parties outside the university is extremely helpful and necessary. Thus, recommendations from professional organizations and business leaders are used to hone the curriculum for both graduate and undergraduate students. In this paper, the authors will discuss the steps taken to recruit advisory board members, the tasks performed by each member, the need for continuous improvement to keep the program current, and the problems of maintaining a viable advisory board. The essential components of maintaining an effective advisory board program in today’s fast changing society will be presented.


Purdue University Calumet (PUC) is a regional campus of State University and is located in the northwest part of the state in Hammond, Indiana, a highly urban and industrial area of the state. The campus serves about 9,300 students and is primarily a commuter campus. The student population consists of about half traditional students and about half non-traditional returning students. The OLS Program is part of the School of Technology on the campus. The OLS faculty at PUC have planned for future accreditation of the program and job success of its graduates by carefully blending technical courses and “soft skill” courses together. These courses also serve as useful accompaniments in the curriculums of the various specialty areas of the engineering technologies. However, this curriculum was not arbitrarily and unilaterally developed; it was developed through a series of well-planned advisory committee meetings over many years.

Colwell, J., & Nakayama, S., & Jenks, C. (2008, June), Improving Curriculum With Third Party Standards And Industrial Advisory Boards Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3505

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