Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.573.1 - 4.573.7
Using a Capstone Design Course to Facilitate ABET 2000 Program Outcomes Melissa S. Tooley, Kevin D. Hall University of Arkansas
ABET 2000 challenges colleges of engineering to produce graduates with professional as well as technical skills. Specifically, ABET Criterion 3 (Program Outcomes and Assessment) outlines the desired attributes for graduate engineers. Capstone design courses are one of the most effective ways for engineering departments to facilitate the outcomes described by ABET Criterion 3.
This paper discusses how the civil engineering capstone design course (Senior Design) at the University of Arkansas has been structured to facilitate ABET 2000 Outcomes. Criterion 3 Attributes “a” through “k” are listed and a discussion of how each of these attributes are enhanced in the course is provided. For example, capstone design courses offer a unique opportunity to learn about professionalism and ethics (attribute “f”) in a realistic, applied context. Because the department does not have a separate ethics course, an ethics unit is taught in Senior Design. The concepts learned are applied by the project teams to hypothetical scenarios specific to their projects. The key is to make the ethical dilemma relevant to their project work.
The University of Arkansas was one of the first two universities to undergo ABET review under Criteria 2000. Lessons learned from that review, and the author’s professional experience, were used to develop a capstone design course that not only provides a meaningful design experience, but also creates an opportunity to begin the process of becoming engineering professionals. Although the methods described in this paper were developed for civil engineering capstone courses, they may be useful to other engineering disciplines as well.
ABET 2000 challenges Colleges of Engineering to produce graduates with professional as well as technical skills. Specifically, ABET Criterion 3 (Program Outcomes and Assessment) outlines desired attributes for graduate engineers. Capstone design courses are one of the most effective ways for Departments of Civil Engineering to ensure the outcomes described by ABET Criterion 3. The suggestions given in this paper apply specifically to civil engineering capstone design courses, but may also apply to other disciplines.
While desirable outcomes (attributes of a graduate engineer) have just recently been outlined in Criterion 3, industry has always wanted to hire graduates with Criterion 3 attributes. Thanks to ABET 2000, academia must now make a conscious effort to provide what those that hire engineering graduates have always wanted – engineers that are not only technically prepared but professionally prepared.
Tooley, M. S., & Hall, K. (1999, June), Using A Capstone Design Course To Ensure Abet 2000 Program Outcomes Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/8024
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