June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.918.1 - 13.918.15
Nationally Normed Exams for Outcomes Assessment of Engineering Technology Programs and Certification of Engineering Technology Graduates
Four-year engineering programs often use the FE exam as a direct measure of outcomes for EAC of ABET accreditation, but such use of the FE exam is not universally appropriate for engineering technology programs. Many engineering technology programs are at the two-yr community college level, and graduates of those programs are not typically eligible to sit for the FE exam. There are fifteen states or other jurisdictions in the U.S. that do not allow graduates of 4-yr engineering technology programs to take the F.E. Use of the FE exam for outcomes assessment of engineering programs and its appropriateness for outcomes assessment of engineering technology programs are examined in detail. The implications of using the FE, which is designed as a test of minimum competency, for outcomes assessment are discussed.
A need is identified– particularly at the community college level and in states where graduates of four-year ET programs are not eligible to take the FE – for nationally normed exams that can be used for direct assessment of outcomes for TAC of ABET accreditation and for state and regional accreditation purposes. Since graduates of 2-yr ET programs are not eligible for engineering licensure in most states, some type of certification such as that offered by NICET, a division of NSPE that has been certifying engineering technicians since 1961 and engineering technologists (by education and experience) since 1980, may be important for career advancement. This paper examines the considerations in developing exams that can meet such needs. Other topics addressed include: the need for different exams at the 2- and 4-yr levels, an exam format that includes separate breadth and depth components, the types of exam-result data that are most helpful for outcomes assessment, development of the question items, and student motivation.
Four-year engineering programs in the U.S.A. often use the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam as a direct measure of outcomes for EAC of ABET accreditation, but such use of the FE exam is not universally appropriate for engineering technology programs. Many engineering technology programs are at the two-yr community college level, and graduates holding only associate’s degrees are not typically eligible to sit for the FE exam. There are fifteen states or other jurisdictions in
Balascio, C., & WEHRLE, L., & Henry, R., & Hollis, C. (2008, June), Nationally Normed Exams For Outcomes Assessment Of Engineering Technology Programs And Certification Of Engineering Technology Graduates Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3411
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