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The 4+1 Program and Distance Learning Meeting Objectives and Outcomes

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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



Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1427.1 - 22.1427.10



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Paper Authors


Daniel W. Walsh California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Daniel Walsh is currently a Professor of Biomedical and General Engineering, and a Professor of Materials Engineering at the College of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He received his B.S. (Biomedical Engineering) , M.S. (Biomedical Engineering) and Ph.D. (Materials Engineering) degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Prior to joining Cal Poly, Dr. Walsh was employed by General Dynamics Corporation, as a principal engineer and group leader in the Materials Division.

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Lanny Griffin California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Lanny Griffin received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis in Materials Scienceand Engineering. He also has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from California
Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Currently, he is a Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He is also on the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the US Military Academy at West Point as an Army Reserve Officer. Dr. Griffin’s research interests are in bone mechanics and biomaterials and has been the Principal Investigator of several projects from the Army, DOD, and NIH.

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Robert S. Crockett California Polytechnic State University

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The 4+1 Program and Distance Learning Meeting Objectives and OutcomesAbstractGraduate engineering education is a key to the maintenance of U.S. competitiveness inthe world market. The world has been an extremely dynamic engine during the last fiftyyears, and we have witnessed a dramatic change in the world order. The change hasbeen evolutionary in many cases, but events in Eastern Europe, the Middle East andthe erstwhile Soviet Union are only slightly less cataclysmic than the Second WorldWar. In a world where strength is measured in terms of the financial resource, thetechnological ability and the intellectual capability of a populace Japan, China, India andthe EEC are poised to make further strides, while the U.S. is slipping when measuredby a number of economic and educational indicatorsThe 4 + 1 Program is an accelerated route to the professional MS degree. In manyevolving technical areas, four years is not enough time for the formal education of anengineer about to enter a lifelong career of professional practice, even when theindividual is committed to life long learning. The 4 + 1 program started in the GeneralEngineering program in 1998 and now allows General Engineering, AeronauticalEngineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering,Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Civil andEnvironmental Engineering, and Materials Engineering students to progress toward theterminal applied MS in Engineering degree appropriate to their interests, or in existingspecializations in Biochemical Engineering, Bioengineering, Biomedical Engineering,Integrated Technology Management, while still undergraduates.This paper summarizes the results of an assessment of the 4+1 program in theBiomedical and General Engineering Department. It is contrasted with a coupleddistance learning program for several industrial partners. In the distance learningprogram, on-campus and off-campus cadres share a synchronous program of classes.The paper describes the results of a study that used both direct and indirect measuresto assess the level of success the 4+1 program and the distance learning program. Itreports the persistence, time to degree and career indicators of 4+1 students vis-à-visother students in their cohorts and in the distance learning cadre. Data indicates that theprogram has provided benefit for its participants, and remains strongly supported bystudents, faculty and industry.

Walsh, D. W., & Griffin, L., & Crockett, R. S. (2011, June), The 4+1 Program and Distance Learning Meeting Objectives and Outcomes Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18731

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