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On the Restructuring of the Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Curriculum for Quarter to Semester Conversion

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Pattabhi Sitaram Baker College, Flint, Michigan

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Dr. Sitaram is Professor and Program Director of Engineering at Baker College in Flint, Michigan. In his role, he also performs the duties of the chair of the engineering department. He worked in the automotive industry for 15 years, primarily at GM, as simulation and methods development engineer in crashworthiness using nonlinear finite element analysis. He hast taught extensively at both undergraduate and graduate levels in both Civil and Mechanical Engineering disciplines in the areas of engineering mechanics, structural engineering, structural design, and solid mechanics., crashworthiness, and Plates & Shells.

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Anca L. Sala Baker College, Flint

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Dr. Anca L. Sala is Professor and Dean of the College of Engineering at Baker College. In addition to her administrative role she is involved with development of new engineering and technology programs and curriculum, improving teaching and assessment of student learning, assessment of program outcomes and objectives, and ABET accreditation. She is a founding member of Mi-Light Michigan Photonics Cluster, and is active in the ASEE, ASME, and OSA professional societies serving in various capacities.

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Most schools in the U.S. have moved, and continue to move, from a Quarter to a Semester system (Q2S) curricula. From the point of view of student learning, it is well known that the semester system has many advantages over the quarter system. At our institution, most students of the mechanical engineering program, during the day, work full-time in the industry and take classes in the evenings. Additionally, with classes meeting once a week in our 10-week quarter system, we firmly believe that transitioning into a 15-week semester system will immensely help student engagement and retention due to truncated semester class meeting times each week as well as dissemination of the same lecture topics over longer time-frame. Our university transitioned from the Q2S system in Fall 2017. Additionally, in order for our program to be competitive with other schools, we have reduced the total number of semester credit hours necessary for graduation, with every effort made in this Q2S transition to ensure full comprehension of the course contents in the quarter system. The present paper discusses the restructuring of our ABET accredited undergraduate mechanical engineering (ME) curriculum for Q2S, its challenges, advantages, and changes made to the content in some courses. It is hoped that this paper would help institutions in preparing their mechanical engineering program for Q2s.

Sitaram, P., & Sala, A. L. (2018, June), On the Restructuring of the Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Curriculum for Quarter to Semester Conversion Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30848

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