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Student Learning and the Continuous Program Improvement Process in a Chemical 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

ABET and Curriculum-Level Assessments

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1332.1 - 22.1332.12



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Paper Authors


Howard S. Kimmel New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Kimmel is Professor of Chemical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. He has been Executive Driector for the Center for Pre-College Programs at NJIT for over 30 years. Dr. Kimmel has had numerous NSF grants and State grants focusing on professional development, curriculum, and assessment. In addition, he is a member of the assessment committee for Chemical Engineering.

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Angelo J. Perna New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Angelo J. Perna is professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and Director of the NJIT McNair Program A Fellow of ASEE and AICHE he is the co-author of over 100 publications and presentations. He has been the recipient of numerous awards on both a National and International level. In addition he has been recognized with the distinction of Master Teacher by NJIT.

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Shari Klotzkin


John D. Carpinelli New Jersey Institute of Technology

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John D. Carpinelli is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has served as coordinator of activities at NJIT for the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition and as a member of the Coalition's Governing Board. He previously chaired NJIT's Excellence in Teaching Awards Committee and is past chair of the University Master Teacher Committee.

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Reginald Percy Tomkins New Jersey Institute of Technology

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The development of the ABET engineering accreditation criteria is a result, in part, of the call forprogram accountability in higher education. Departments and colleges of engineering have beendiligently working to comply with the accreditation criteria. Yet, in many cases, the degree ofactivity has not directly been proportional to the development of processes that can analyze thestrengths and weaknesses in student learning. It almost seems at times that issues of studentlearning and the concept of continuous program improvement related to student learning get lostin the rush to demonstrate the achievement of the ABET criteria. A critical problem is the greatdifficulty in the direct assessment of the criteria 3 “a through k” program outcomes, as they are acomplex collection of skills and knowledge students are expected to acquire over their course ofstudy required to earn a BS degree, and thus may be influenced by a great deal of subjectivity. Alack of consistency in the terminology of outcomes specification and assessment adds to thedifficulty.This paper will describe the alignment of the ABET program outcomes with course outcomesand learning outcomes aligned with the course outcomes. A process will be discussed forspecification of learning outcomes and continuous program improvement, and the courseoutcomes documented the achievement of the ABET “a to k” program outcomes. In our process,learning outcomes consist of What action will students take to acquire the content skills and knowledge? What are the skill and/or knowledge the students will acquire as a result of learning? What students will use to show what they have learned?The relationship between the learning outcomes, opportunities for student acquisition of skillsand knowledge, and the student work products that will be used to assess their acquired contentskills and knowledge will be considered.The paper will also include, from ChE undergraduate courses, specific examples of thespecification of learning outcomes and how the performance indicators were utilized in theassessment of student work products, and the application of continuous program improvement toidentify where students are having difficulties and strategies used to modify the course asnecessary.

Kimmel, H. S., & Perna, A. J., & Klotzkin, S., & Carpinelli, J. D., & Tomkins, R. P. (2011, June), Student Learning and the Continuous Program Improvement Process in a Chemical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18364

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