Examining the Use of Engineering Internship Workplace Competency Assessments for Continuous Improvement
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This study explored how workplace competency assessment data from internship studentsand their supervisors, collected by College of Engineering programs between fall 2001 throughfall 2011 are applied toward continuous improvement practices. The continuous improvementprocess is integral to the accreditation and evaluation of the engineering curriculum. This mixedmethods study examined three separate practices using internship workplace competencyassessment ratings in the continuous improvement process. The study examined how assessmentrankings of the internship students’ workplace competency strengths and weakness have changedfrom the 2001-05 assessment terms in the past accreditation cycle, to the 2006-11 assessmentterms of the most recent accreditation cycle. In addition, this study examined competencyachievement percentages related to the ABET Criterion 3 (a-k) outcomes across the sametimeline. The third part of the study investigated how workplace competency assessment data areused to support continuous improvement for program curricula in the College of Engineering.The intent of the study was to gain better understanding of how the workplace competencyassessment data has benefited the continuous improvement process that enhances studentlearning. The results can also provide suggestions to programs in the early stages of developingnew program evaluation techniques.