Mechanical Engineering Educational Objectives
The educational objectives of the Penn State Behrend Mechanical Engineering Program are to produce graduates who, within three years of graduation, are able to:
A. be employed as a practicing engineer in fields such as design, research, development, testing, and manufacturing;
B. assume positions of leadership and responsibility within an organization; and
C. progress through advanced degree or certificate programs in engineering, business, and other professionally related fields.
Mechanical Engineering Outcomes
a. Students should be able to determine which fundamental physical law, including those from chemistry and calculus-based physics, applies to a given problem and express that law in mathematical form.
b. Students should be able to solve mathematical expressions of physical laws using differential and multivariate calculus, matrix algebra, differential equations, and numerical methods.
c. Students should be able to describe how systems typically found in mechanical engineering (such as machines, engines, and heat exchangers) work, and be able to work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas, including the design and realization of such systems.
d. Students should be able to take a real system, develop a mathematical model of the system, discuss the assumptions behind and limitations of the model, and solve the model for the values of parameters of concern using mathematical or computational techniques.
e. Students should be able to define objectives and requirements for an engineering problem, develop a plan for solving the problem, propose solutions to the problem, make and defend decisions about the problem, and manipulate models for the problem in order to find an optimum solution.
f. Students should be able to design and conduct experiments using modern data acquisition equipment; analyze and interpret experimental data using statistical methods; demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the principles of electrical engineering, and apply computer or other technology appropriately to an engineering problem.
g. Students should be able to identify social, economic, safety, quality, reliability, ethical, global and other contemporary issues in an engineering problem and demonstrate that their solution to the problem addresses these issues.
h. Students should be able to communicate their ideas and solutions effectively to a wide range of audiences, both orally and in writing.
i. Students should be able to demonstrate an ability to work as a professional in a multi-disciplinary team environment, including team leadership.
j. Students should be able to recognize the need for life-long learning, be prepared to continue their education through formal or informal study, be open-minded with regard to different opinions and cultures, and be able to adapt to a continuously changing work environment.
According the ABET accreditation agency, “Program Educational Objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduate to achieve. Program Educational Outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are to know and be able to do by the time of graduation.”
The Program Educational Objectives were established through the input from employers of our students, alumni, and industrial constitutes of the program. The achievement of Program Educational Objectives is assessed through the use of alumni and employer surveys, as well as employer focus groups. The Program Educational Outcomes are assessed using a combination of the following instruments:
- Direct assessment of Student work. Each year faculty members in the program assess graded examples of student work to determine the level of achievement. The examples of student work are linked directly the Program Educational Outcomes.
- Senior Exit Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by all graduating seniors in which they are asked to rate how well the Educational Outcomes were achieved.
- Internship Employer Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by supervisors of students who receive internship credit. Employers are asked to rate how well the Educational Objectives were achieved.
- Senior Design Industrial Sponsor Surveys. This assessment survey is completed by supervisors of senior design projects to measure how well the outcomes of the senior design experience were achieved.
- Fundamentals of Engineering Exam reports from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. This nationally administered exam provides a national benchmark for assessing achievement of the Program Educational Outcomes.
The Program Educational Outcomes are assessed annually and each academic program employs at least three of the measurement tools above. More detailed information for each program is available upon request.