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Preparing For Professional Practice In Industrial Engineering: A Complementary Capstone Experience Influenced By The Ec2000 Outcomes

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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

6.798.1 - 6.798.10



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Paper Authors

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Cynthia Atman

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Jennifer Turns

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Session 2357

Preparing for Professional Practice in Industrial Engineering: A Complementary Capstone Experience Influenced by the EC2000 Outcomes Jennifer Turns, Cynthia J. Atman University of Washington


The “EC2000” learning outcomes are currently receiving a great deal of attention within the engineering education community. EC2000 (or Engineering Criteria 2000) refers to a set of eleven skills and abilities expected of graduating engineering students (ABET, 2001). In order for an engineering school to be accredited by the US Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the school must provide assessment results showing that its graduates have mastered these skills and abilities captured in the EC2000. This implies, in turn, that engineering programs must ensure that these skills and abilities are part of their students’ educational experiences.

Given the need to ensure that the EC2000 learning outcomes are adequately addressed in student experiences, the following types of questions can arise: Are the learning outcomes adequately addressed in our existing courses? Can coverage of the outcomes be integrated into the existing courses? Will new learning experiences be required? What additional types of learning experiences do we need to provide?

This paper focuses on one approach to answering these questions taken in the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Specifically, the EC2000 learning outcomes were used as a tool in developing a “complementary capstone experience.” The goal of this experience, as with other capstone experiences (e.g., Todd et al., 1995), was to support students’ transition into professional practice. Specifically, the course provided students with an opportunity to discuss what it means to be a professional engineering practitioner and to use ideas from this discussion to synthesize and extend knowledge acquired in earlier courses. The course was intended to complement the efforts of traditional capstone (senior design) experiences. This work builds on earlier work we completed in this area (Atman et al., 1999).

In this paper, we describe the design and evaluation of the course. We believe that the course represents a new type of valuable learning experience for our students. We also believe that the insights we gained from teaching the course, and the materials developed for it, may be valuable for other efforts to address the EC2000 learning outcomes.

Professional Practice Issues in Industrial Engineering: A Complementary Capstone Experience

The idea for the complementary capstone experience stemmed from the observation of a mismatch between what we hope will occur as a student moves through an engineering curriculum and what traditionally occurs. In the traditional engineering program, students spend

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

Atman, C., & Turns, J. (2001, June), Preparing For Professional Practice In Industrial Engineering: A Complementary Capstone Experience Influenced By The Ec2000 Outcomes Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9667

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