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Providing and Ensuring an Effective Community College Transfer Pre-Engineering Program

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Two Year-to-Four Year Transfer Topics Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1200.1 - 22.1200.8



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Paper Authors


Cecelia M. Wigal University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

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Cecelia M. Wigal received her Ph.D. in 1998 from Northwestern University and is presently a professor of engineering at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Her primary areas of interest and expertise include complex process and system analysis, quality process analysis with respect to nontraditional applications such as patient safety, and information system analysis with respect to usability and effectiveness. Dr. Wigal is also interested in engineering education reform to address present and future student and national and international needs.

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Tim MeGhee Chattanooga State Community College

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Tim McGhee received his M.S. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and currently serves as the Dean of the Engineering Technology Division at Chattanooga State Community College. He has over 21 years of project engineering/management and construction experience with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with responsibilities in site drainage design, excavation, and erosion control. His primary areas of expertise now include capacity building in relation to aligning engineering technology curricula with industrial workforce development needs. Dean McGhee is deeply involved with redesigning engineering technology education with an appropriate body of knowledge that will provide highly-skilled and prepared engineering technicians for the current and future workforce needs of the greater Chattanooga economic region.

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Many states, including Tennessee, are actively addressing strengthening the ties betweenthe states’ 2-year and 4-year degree granting institutions. The stated purpose for thisactivity is to define articulation agreements that aid students in completing 4-year degreesin 4 years whether the students begin their academic careers at the 4-year institution or atthe 2-year institution. For professional programs, such as Nursing and Engineering, thistask creates much apprehension. The major concern is how can generically definedengineering courses meet our programs’ needs?The State of Tennessee’s solution for engineering is to define an A.S. degree of 66 hoursthat includes meeting the state’s general education requirements (42 hours) as well as 24hours in the major. For most engineering programs this means meeting mathematics,chemistry, and physics requirements and a few major specific courses (Circuits I, Statics,Dynamics for example) that are necessary for students to progress at the Junior level oncethe A.S. degree is obtained.However, due to the general education requirements of the A.S. degree, it is not possibleto include all required sophomore level engineering courses in the agreement. Thus theseagreements have only been accepted by the 4-year programs if they include notessuggesting the student complete other courses prior to entering the 4-year institution.This paper presents another means to addressing the 2-year Pre-Engineering curriculum –an A.A.S degree that does not have the same general education completion requirements.This paper summarizes the teaming between a 2-year institution and a 4-year institutionto provide students the first two years of the engineering program in parallel. This paperdefines the curricular, instructional, and structural components of the curriculum andpartnership. However, the paper emphasizes the actions taken to ensure (1) desiredlearning outcomes are coordinated between the two institutions and (2) means aredeveloped to consistently and accurately test the outcomes to support accreditation needsfor both programs.

Wigal, C. M., & MeGhee, T. (2011, June), Providing and Ensuring an Effective Community College Transfer Pre-Engineering Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18949

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