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Project Oriented Capstone Course: Integrating Curriculum Assessment Using Industry Partner And Student Input

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Capstone/Design Projects: Industrial ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1035.1 - 10.1035.10



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Paper Authors

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Dana Ingalsbe

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Jess Godbey

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

Project-Oriented Capstone Course: Integrating Curriculum Assessment Utilizing Industry Partner and Student Input Dana Ingalsbe, Ph.D., Jacksonville State University Jess Godbey, M.S., Jacksonville State University

I. Abstract The need for industry feedback concerning possible competency gaps in an Industrial Technology program was fulfilled in part by means of a senior-level capstone project experience. Students in their final semester of the program from a range of majors (industrial technology management, electronics technology, occupational health and safety, and computer integrated manufacturing) were assigned to an array of industrial projects at various manufacturers in the local area. Each student completed a minimum of 100 industry-supervised hours on his or her project. While capstone projects are commonly used for the purpose of evaluating the student skill set, the capstone experience may also be utilized as a feedback mechanism for faculty to determine competency gaps in the industrial technology curriculum. Through a structured series of communications between the academic and industrial project partners, it is possible to amend classroom instruction in response to rapid changes in demand for particular skills in the local manufacturing sector. Our study highlights the analysis tools necessary for such a feedback mechanism, a ranking of identified competency gaps, and curriculum changes that have been made over the course of using this feedback process.

II. Introduction While senior-level capstone projects are traditionally used to assess learning outcomes1,5, the project may also be used to help fulfill a need for feedback concerning program strengths and competency gaps2. At Jacksonville State University, there is a small industrial technology department that serves approximately 200 students in four different academic majors: electronics technology, occupational safety and health, industrial technology management, and computer-integrated manufacturing technology. In their final semesters, students complete industrial projects at various manufacturing facilities in Northeast Alabama. Each student works individually (i.e. not a team project) and completes a minimum of 100 industry-supervised hours on his or her project. In most cases, the student completes a project in his or her area of academic major. Prior to beginning the projects, prospective industrial supervisors complete a survey to identify professional and technical competencies necessary in newly hired graduates. The technical skills listed on the survey include both technical skills and so-called “soft skills”. Because the senior level students who participate in the capstone project course are one semester away from graduating, it is expected that these individuals should have the majority of employer-desired skills. After the senior completes his or her project

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Ingalsbe, D., & Godbey, J. (2005, June), Project Oriented Capstone Course: Integrating Curriculum Assessment Using Industry Partner And Student Input Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14663

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