Asee peer logo

Is Six Sigma Certification Appropriate For The Classroom?

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in MFG ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.821.1 - 9.821.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

David Gore

Download Paper |

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

Session 3247

Is Six-Sigma Certification Appropriate for the Classroom?

David W. Gore, P.E. Middle Tennessee State University


As part of a Malcolm Baldrige self assessment of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Engineering Technology (ET) program, it became clear that there was a lack of consensus among the faculty on the definition of ET itself. A more focused direction was needed for the department. Subsequently, the department chair developed a proposal to "define our product and market." Part of this proposal involved the roles and definitions of engineering technology versus engineering, and the confusion that seems to be present in both industry and academia. A new model was needed in order to define an ET education that attracts students while meeting the needs of those businesses and industries that hire ET graduates. After our students, graduates, and the Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) Industry Advisory Committee were surveyed, a new model was developed. Without going into details of this model (a topic for another paper), its key elements provide the following intents for our graduates: 1. Fast track to technical project management. 2. High-value specialty knowledge positions (not design engineering positions).

Each relevant ET course is being evaluated to see what is needed to meet these intentions with an emphasis on "hands-on, can do" attributes. In addition to better hands-on laboratories and more industry collaborations (involving student projects), industry-sought-after certifications are being considered and will be provided "if appropriate" to help achieve these intentions. In particular, the ET Department has decided that a Six-Sigma “Greenbelt” certification would be a good candidate to provide the desired attributes if included as part of the existing Industrial Quality Technology course. This certification is typically part of “Continuing Studies” non-degree programs offered by universities outside the ET degree curriculum, which raises the question, “Is Six-Sigma certification appropriate for the college classroom where students are pursuing a degree in Engineering Technology?”

Six Sigma Certification

The Six Sigma certification is widely-accepted and highly-valued by industry & business. Several levels of certifications are possible; the two most popular are the Blackbelt and the Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Gore, D. (2004, June), Is Six Sigma Certification Appropriate For The Classroom? Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13048

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015