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Modernization Of An Aircraft Maintenance Curriculum: Measuring Up To The Tac Of Abet

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.726.1 - 6.726.11

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Paper Authors

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Terrence Kelly

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Aaron Cowin

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

Session 15470

Modernization of an Aircraft Maintenance Curriculum: Measuring up to the TAC of ABET

Aaron R. Cowin, Terrence K. Kelly Parks College of Engineering and Aviation Saint Louis University


The Department of Aerospace Technology at Parks College of Engineering and Aviation, Saint Louis University has offered a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautics with a concentration in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering since 1949.1,2 The degree was developed in an era when aircraft manufacturing was in its infancy and aircraft service and repair procedures were almost nonexistent. The curriculum was designed to provide students practical instruction in aircraft manufacturing and repair techniques as well as the mathematical and classic science instruction of the then current contemporary engineering programs. By today’s standards, the curriculum parallels that of an engineering technology program.

Over the years, as ABET accredited technology programs continued to submit themselves to rigorous peer review, accreditation evaluations and work toward raising academic standards, the faculty of the Department of Aerospace Technology resisted change and became comfortable in their niche. Much of the resistance to TAC/ABET stems from fear that the word "technology" as part of the degree name will draw an association with a program that graduates technicians and "glorified mechanics". This antiquated philosophy and refusal to deviate from the traditional model has resulted in a department that has not continuously raised classroom expectations, aggressively pursued continuous improvement, and fully utilized the resources of alumni and industry guidance.

This paper will describe the self-evaluation process taken by the department faculty, which resulted in the decision to break free from traditional thinking, and strive to meet the current accreditation standards of TAC/ABET.


The B.S. in Aeronautics Degree with Concentration in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (hereafter referred to as the AME degree) is geared toward students "interested in the theoretical aspects of aerospace engineering, but desire a practical "hands-on" career in which to put their engineering skills to use"3.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Kelly, T., & Cowin, A. (2001, June), Modernization Of An Aircraft Maintenance Curriculum: Measuring Up To The Tac Of Abet Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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