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Mechanical Engineering Technology Curriculum Enhancement: A Process Review Of Program Level Change

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technology Curriculum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1049.1 - 12.1049.20



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Paper Authors

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Kevin Cook Montana State University

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Robb Larson Montana State University

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Keith Fisher Montana State University

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

Mechanical Engineering Technology Curriculum Enhancement: A Process Review of Program Level Change


The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at Montana State University (MSU) has evolved to address the needs of a diverse group of employers representing virtually all aspects of mechanical engineering technology. Although many graduates continue to obtain employment within large manufacturing organizations, the growth in the construction sector, locally and nationally, has provided additional opportunities for these graduates in the thermal sciences related field. Opportunities in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system design, as well as project management and systems integration are quite common and growing. Also, many graduates are gaining employment in the applied design, test, and maintenance functions within industry. Rapid changes in technology and management practices are compounding the complexity of this shift, leading employers to continuously provide recommendations and requests related to program content and desired graduate capabilities and attributes. Responsibility for program integrity and success rests with the faculty members. Supporting industry constituents, while also providing the best possible education to the student population, becomes a critical goal. Therefore, in order to effectively support the shift and diversification of employment opportunities, continuously improve the MET program, and enable the program to produce graduates capable succeeding in the future, all aspects of the current MET program were re-evaluated and substantially revised. This paper will outline the process utilized to develop and implement this enhanced MET curriculum. A brief historical perspective will be presented, as well as the methodology utilized to understand the current and future needs of program constituents (industry, students, TAC of ABET, the university, and the college of engineering). The MET program enhancement proposal, as well as matriculation of the proposed changes into the future curriculum will follow. Finally, organizational and implementation issues, as well as future assessment issues will be discussed.


The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) program at Montana State University (MSU) is housed in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (M&IE) Department. This department includes three undergraduate programs: Industrial Engineering (IE), Mechanical Engineering (ME), and Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET). The department also offers masters degrees in Industrial and Management Engineering (I&ME) and Mechanical Engineering, as well as a Ph.D. degree in Engineering. The main goal of the MET curriculum has always been to provide a diverse, engineering applications oriented graduate capable of contributing to industry immediately upon graduation. The current program has evolved to be a traditional MET program with a strong manufacturing emphasis. Many factors have contributed to this evolution. For the first twenty years of the MET program, the employer base has been predominately manufacturing oriented. Also, the organization structure of the housing department has led to the beneficial sharing of resources, thus aligning the MET program closely with the ME program. MSU has had a TAC of ABET accredited MET program since 1974. Pre-TC2K ABET criteria provided strict requirements for accreditation, thus influencing the program greatly. Finally,

Cook, K., & Larson, R., & Fisher, K. (2007, June), Mechanical Engineering Technology Curriculum Enhancement: A Process Review Of Program Level Change Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2710

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