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Nuclear Engineering Technology Students Capstone Experience To Assess The Technical Competencies: A Case Study

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Curriculum Development & Assessment in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering

Tagged Division

Nuclear and Radiological

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.966.1 - 11.966.18



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Paper Authors


Robert Long Nuclear Stewardship, LLC

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Dr. Robert L. Long, Nuclear Engineering Technology Faculty, Excelsior College, holds the Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University. He is owner of Nuclear Stewardship, LLC and a Past President of the American Nuclear Society.

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Altaf Memon Excelsior College

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Dr. Altaf A. Memon holds MSCE, MPW, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. He is currently serving as the Interim Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Excelsior College, Albany, NY.

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Li-Fang Shih Excelsior College

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Dr. Li-Fang Shih holds a in Education from SUNY, Albany, NY and is currently Director of Online Course Management in the School of Business and Technology, Excelsior College, Albany, NY.

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Byron Thinger Diablo Canyon Power Plant

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

“Nuclear Engineering Technology Students Capstone Experience to Assess the Technical Competencies: A Case Study” Robert Long Altaf A. Memon LiFang Shih


At Excelsior College, one particularly unique dimension of student assessment is the Integrated Technology Assessment (ITA). This portfolio-based assessment method is a capstone experience for Engineering Technology students, documenting their ability to integrate knowledge from various technical and general education areas and apply it in a meaningful way.

The on-line learning environment facilitates a learner-centered approach to learning, with the learner as an active participant in the learning process. The approach requires that the teachers help learners to direct their own learning in ways that suit their individual learning styles.

This manuscript describes the development and implementation of a Web CT-based course which requires the nuclear engineering technology students at Excelsior College to develop online portfolios reflecting technical competencies acquired by them during their academic studies and through practical experience. It is a capstone requirement in which students document their ability to integrate knowledge from technology areas, general education, and practical experience in order that program outcomes are achieved.

The manuscript provides a complete description of the ITA process at Excelsior College. Details regarding the use of information technology in creating the on-line learning environment for ITA students are also presented.


Excelsior College in Albany, New York, was founded in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents, and was originally known as Regents College. In 1998, it was granted a charter to operate as a private, independent college and changed its name to Excelsior College in 2001. Currently, it has approximately 27,000 enrolled students and is one of the most respected distance learning institutions in higher education.

It is also recognized that there are many individuals who have acquired their knowledge and capabilities through experiences other than formal classroom learning. It has long been acknowledged that in many areas, ‘on the job’ training, self-learning, and other life experiences can result in an individual having full competence in pursuits normally associated with study in a college setting. [1] Neither the United States nor the world can afford to overlook the squandering of talent and potential among its citizens. This is especially true in technical fields, where society has a well documented need for more engineering science and technology graduates. [2] Recognizing that college-level knowledge can be obtained in many ways,

Long, R., & Memon, A., & Shih, L., & Thinger, B. (2006, June), Nuclear Engineering Technology Students Capstone Experience To Assess The Technical Competencies: A Case Study Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1447

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