June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.888.1 - 11.888.13
Lessons Learned: Reflections on a Department’s First TC2K Evaluation
The department’s first accreditation visit under the TC2K criteria was completed in fall, 2005. The philosophy of continuous improvement requires an assessment of the results -- an “after action report” so to speak to assess how the department’s presentation was received by the visiting team, how well the preparation accomplished what was necessary, and what could be improved next time. This paper is a follow up to our analysis on the implementation of TC2K and our department’s preparations over the past six years1-9 . In particular we show how it was demonstrated that students met the department program outcomes and the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) “a through k” program outcomes before graduation. Concrete examples will be provided that may be useful for other programs nearing an ABET visit.
The department has six full- time engineering technology faculty members serving the mechanical engineering technology (MET) and industrial engineering technology (IET) programs. All were fully engaged over the last several years preparing for the visit. There were no slackers in the department. Administrative leadership was largely responsible by fostering a continuous quality improvement atmosphere and communication within the department 8,9. Departmental faculty members from two non-ABET accredited programs in the department and non- faculty staff members also helped out significantly. Also responsible was the value the university places on continuous improvement and accreditation. For example, both IET faculty members teach and cons ult in the area of total quality ma nagement and three of the six engineering technology faculty in the department are TAC/ABET commissioners or alternates with accreditation team chair experience. Insights from these individuals will be presented in the paper.
One insight realized during the visit preparation was that the department’s associate degree level engineering technology programs would have more difficulty meeting the requirements of the TC2K criteria than the four year programs. The criteria require demonstrating that graduates meet the same “a through k” outcomes whether they have experienced four years of course work or only two. It was difficult or impossible to add new courses to cover any of the so-called “soft” ABET program outcomes “h, i, j, and k” that were not covered before TC2K. Simultaneously, Purdue University Calumet added a new general education graduation requirement requiring all programs teach a one to three credit hour freshman experience course to improve retention, an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) goal and project for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In response, the department modified the title and contents of an existing three credit freshman level computer course. Our sister MET program at Purdue West Lafayette found that most students were getting adequate preparation using computer software such as Microsoft Office in
Neff, G., & Scachitti, S., & Mapa, L., & Higley, J., & Zahraee, M. (2006, June), Lessons Learned: Reflections On A Department’s First Tc2 K Evaluation Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/1145
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