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Using Industrial Advisory Boards To Assess Capstone Design Courses

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Eduaction - Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1551.1 - 12.1551.10



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Paper Authors

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Stacy Wilson Western Kentucky University

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Mark Cambron Western Kentucky University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Industrial Advisory Boards to Assess Capstone Design Courses Abstract

The electrical engineering program at Western Kentucky University (WKU) was created in 2001 with a focus on project-based education. Faculty have developed a series of experiences throughout the curriculum to support this mission which culminates in a year long design sequence. In this sequence, students must plan, design, and execute an industrial project. The industrial advisory board is used as a resource for projects and to assess the students at then completion of the project.

This paper will describe the design sequence, explain the role of the advisory board in the assessment, present the assessment tool used, show how the assessment tool relates to ABET Criteria 3 A-K, and describe the results obtained from past assessment cycles.


The focus of the WKU Department of Engineering is project-based engineering education. An excerpt from the departmental mission statement exemplifies the focus clearly1: “The mission of the Department of Engineering is to produce, as its graduates, competent engineering practitioners. An engineering practitioner is one who has a foundation of basic science, mathematics, and engineering knowledge, combined with practical knowledge and experience in applying existing technology to contemporary problems. “

The mission of the Electrical Engineering (EE) Program is to build a foundation of knowledge in electrical engineering by integrating a variety of project experiences at every level throughout the curriculum. The program is to be relevant to the region and to produce graduates who can immediately contribute to the profitability of their employer. The roles of the student as learner, observer, assistant, and practitioner have been clearly defined and articulated for this environment2.

The EE program at WKU is an ABET accredited program. A variety of methods are used to assess the outcomes of the program. The purpose of this paper is to present the use of an industrial advisory board (IAB) to assess students in the capstone design course.

Design Sequence

The Electrical Engineering Program at WKU has a series of four design sequences throughout the curriculum. The purpose of these courses is to develop problem solving and project skills in the students. Also, these courses interspersed throughout the curriculum reinforce the project- based mission of the department. The four design courses are designated as follows: • EE 101: Electrical Engineering Design I, 1 credit hour (2 contact hours), first semester;

Wilson, S., & Cambron, M. (2007, June), Using Industrial Advisory Boards To Assess Capstone Design Courses Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1611

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