June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
In summer 2013 Western Washington University began the process of transitioning its three well-established and ABET ETAC accredited engineering technology programs in Electronics, Manufacturing, and Plastics into Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Plastics & Composites Engineering programs respectively. It took just over four years, but now we have successfully completed that process. All three engineering programs produced their first graduates in spring 2016, were reviewed for ABET EAC accreditation in the 2016-17 review cycle, and received ABET EAC accreditation late summer 2017, which is retroactive to October 2015 so graduates from the programs’ first two years have ABET accredited degrees. While this transition was clearly a chance for us to improve the opportunities for program graduates, one of the major concerns for everyone involved was the maintenance of the experiential learning and significant laboratory components that had been hallmarks of the engineering technology programs and one of the major reasons behind the success of engineering technology program graduates. This paper will briefly explain the engineering technology programs as they were before the transition, and why we believed that this was the right decision for students, employers and the department even though the programs were all strong and attracting large numbers of students. It will review the steps we took, including curricular planning and the role of our Industrial Advisory Committees in that planning, hiring large numbers of new faculty and integrating them into the experiential learning culture of the department, and the transition of students from the old programs to the new programs. Most importantly, it will outline the steps we took in order to be ready for ABET EAC accreditation in the shortest amount of time possible, which was requirement specified by Western’s upper administration. Finally it will discuss the lessons we learned making the transition from engineering technology programs to engineering programs and what we have found now that we have completed the transition.
Newcomer, J. L., & Larson, N., & Morton, T. D., & Yip-Hoi, D. M. (2019, June), Transitioning to Engineering Without Losing Experiential Learning Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33463
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