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NWCCU Accreditation Information for the Biological Engineering Program


The undergraduate Biological Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.



The USU Biological Engineering Program Learning Objectives:

Student learning objectives describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the Biological Engineering program.

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering?
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams?
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility?
  7. An ability to communicate effectively
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context?
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning?
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues?
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


The USU Biological Engineering Program Assessment Plan/Process:

The Biological Engineering program utilized three assessment processes in the 2013-2015 academic year. These processes are shown in the Table 1 below.


Table 1. Biological Engineering Assessment Plan

PROCESS DESCRIPTION FREQUENCY
IAB jury, Capstone Design  Projects IAB judges Capstone Design presentations and written reports relative to specific Student Outcomes Yearly, every Spring Semester
IAB jury, confidential senior interviews Seniors complete confidential survey and are interviewed by the IAB. IAB judges interviews relative to specific Student Outcomes Yearly, every Spring Semester
Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Results BE students are required to take the FE exam prior to graduation from the Program Required before Graduation

Each spring the Program’s Industry Advisory Board (IAB) judges the Capstone Design projects, both presentations and written reports, with regard to Student objectives (a) through (k). The IAB also conducts confidential senior exit interviews at that time and is asked to judge the students’ responses relative to Student objectives (a) through (k). Tables 2 and 3 are the forms used by the IAB for the collection of data.



Table 2. Biological Engineering Industry Advisory Board
CAPSTONE DESIGN FORM

Design Project Title: ______________________________

Students (Design Team): ______________________________

IAB Member Name: _______________________________

Instructions

The purpose of this form is to determine a percentage of attainment of Student learning objectives using the Capstone Design Presentations and Written Reports.  The Industry Advisory Board members are encouraged to ask the students questions they feel will indicate a measureable level of attainment of the objective. 

Student Objective Objective Description Suggested Evaluation Questions
a An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering Why did you choose this alternative? Explain why this alternative is the best choice? What would other alternatives provide?
b An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data What were the criteria for acceptability?  Were statistics tools used for designing experiments and/or interpreting results?
c An ability to design a  system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability How is this design different from an experiment?
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams How did you work as a team? What was the division of labor? How did you integrate data to make decisions?
e An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems What kind of accuracy is associated with your analytical, experimental, and numerical methods? Can you clearly articulate the engineering problem?
f An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility What code of ethics was applied to this project?
g An ability to communicate effectively What courses did you take that helped you write and organize your report?
h The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context Did you consider economic, environmental, and societal factors of your project? What were the factors?
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning How does your project connect with life-long learning?
j A knowledge of contemporary issues How does your project relate to contemporary issues?  How do you stay informed regarding contemporary issues?
k An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice What modern tools did you use for this project?  Did you use modern tools for your presentation, including graphing programs?
IAB Member General Comments:

Table 3. Biological Engineering Industry Advisory Board
CONFIDENTIAL SENIOR INTERVIEW WORKSHEET

Dear BE Graduating Seniors:

Please carefully complete the below worksheet, print it, and take it with you to the Industry Advisory Board meeting on (date of meeting). This worksheet is entirely confidential and is between you and the Board.  The BE Department will never see this completed worksheet, so please express yourself openly.  The Board will consolidate your worksheets and interview information and provide a report to the Department that is completely anonymous.  Your inputs will be used to improve our Program.

Thank you,


David Britt



Student Name: ______________________________

Today’s Date: ______________________________



Table 3. How well did the Biological Engineering program prepare you to attain Student learning objectives?

OBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION SCORE
a An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering  
b An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data  
c An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability  
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams  
e An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems  
f An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility  
g An ability to communicate effectively  
h The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context  
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning  
j A knowledge of contemporary issues  
k An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice  

  1. Student’s Scoring Instructions:  Using a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being failure and 10 being excellent, please answer the following question:
  2. How did you do on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam?  What sections were the best for you and what sections were you not prepared for?
  3. What are your immediate plans upon graduation?
  4. What are your long term plans?
  5. What is the most positive aspect of the Biological Engineering Program?
  6. What are your suggestions for strengthening the Program?
  7. Do you have any general comments?

Individual members of the IAB provide written responses to the Chair of the Industry Advisory Board. The Chair of the IAB consolidates the responses, calculates percentage of attainment of the Student Objectives, and provides a written report to the Department Head of Biological Engineering.
Students in the Biological Engineering Program are required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) national test prior to graduation from the program. The College of Engineering receives detailed examination results.



Outcomes Data:

Tables 4 and 5 summarize the BE program expected minimum levels of attainment and actual levels of attainment of Student Learning Objectives a-k.  Levels of attainment exceeded expected minimum levels of attainment for all three processes (Table 1).


Table 4. Results of Evaluation Processes, Expected Minimum Levels of Attainment, and Actual Levels of Attainment

PROCESS EXPECTED LEVEL OF ATTAINMENT ACTUAL LEVEL OF ATTAINMENT 2013-2014
IAB jury, Capstone Design Projects A score of 70% is the expected level of attainment for each specific Student Outcome 87%
IAB jury, confidential senior interviews A score of 70% is the expected level of attainment for each specific Student Outcome 88%
Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Results Expected level of overall attainment is an exam pass rate equal to or greater than the National Average Program level of attainment 95%  
National level of attainment 77%

Results for the FE Examination show that the pass rate for students in the BE Program exceeds the national pass rate. Therefore the program exceeds the minimum expectation of a pass rate equivalent to the national pass rate.

PROCESS EXPECTED LEVEL OF ATTAINMENT ACTUAL LEVEL OF ATTAINMENT 2014-2015
IAB jury, Capstone Design Projects A score of 70% is the expected level of attainment for each specific Student Outcome  100%
IAB jury, confidential senior interviews A score of 70% is the expected level of attainment for each specific Student Outcome  95%
Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Results Expected level of overall attainment is an exam pass rate equal to or greater than the National Average Program level of attainment 98%  
National level of attainment 84%

Results for the FE Examination show that the pass rate for students in the BE Program exceeds the national pass rate. Therefore the program exceeds the minimum expectation of a pass rate equivalent to the national pass rate.

Table 5. Actual BE Fundamentals of Engineering Examination Results Compared to National Results

EXAM DATE TAKE EXAM PASS EXAM BE PROGRAM % PASS NAT’L % PASS
April 2013 10 9 90% 81%
October 2013 4 4 100% 73%
May 2014 1 1 100% 86%
November 2014 2 2 100% 91%
May 2015 6 6 100% 87%
November 2015 17 16 94% 88%
June 2016 6 6 100% 85%
Average 7 6 98% 84%


Data-Based Decisions/ The USU Biological Engineering Program Continuous Improvement (CI) Process:


The participants include:

  • Industry Advisory Board – Assessment of obtainment of learning objectives using capstone design projects and senior confidential interviews
  • ABET Committee – Evaluation of attainment of student learning objectives, actions needed for improvement, prioritization of actions
  • Curriculum Committee – Evaluation of attainment of student learning objectives,

recommendations for curriculum improvement and implementation of improvement actions.

All of the Biological Engineering faculty members participate in the continuous improvement process. All faculty members are on either the ABET Committee, Curriculum Committee, or both. The Curriculum Committee meets regularly during fall and spring semesters.  The Curriculum Committee requests changes, additions, adjustments to the curriculum required to improve attainment of Student Learning Objectives as indicated through the assessment and evaluation process.  The changes, additions, adjustments are documented (with supporting data) and approved by the Biological Engineering Department Head and the Dean of the College of Engineering.  Requests are then submitted to the Educational Policies Committee (EPC) for approval and implementation. Table 6 gives a brief description of data-based decisions for program curriculum changes 2009-2016 and planned changes. 


Table 6.  Data-Based Decisions -Program Curriculum Changes 2009-2016 and Planned Changes

ITEM YEAR DESCRIPTION OUTCOME PLANNED IMPLEMENTED
1 2009-2010 BENG 3000 Bioinstrumentation 2 credits to 3 credits to add more labs and student contact time h, k    X
2 2009-2010 BENG 5020 Modeling Biological Systems brought into the program for better control (previously in Biology Department) a, i    X
3 2009-2010 BE Design I, II, III course sequence introduced one semester earlier to ensure adequate design time allowed for students; re-designed courses to focus on engineering design and greater emphasis on design and design concepts b, c, d, f    X
4 2010-2011 PHYS 2200 Elements of Mechanics 2 credits changed to PHYS 2210/2215 Physics for Scientists and Engineers 5 credits total; increase physics and science content of program a    X
5 2010-2011 Added BENG 1890 Introduction to UG Research 1 credit to introduce engineering design concepts early in program b, c, h    X
6 2010-2011 ENGR 2010 Statics changed from 2 credits 3 credits to increase engineering content of the curriculum (action at the College level) a    X
7 2010-2011 BE engineering elective courses re-evaluated for math and engineering content; established criteria that content of course must be minimum 50% quantitative (engineering & math) a, b, c, d  
8 2011-2013 BENG 5020 Modeling Biological Systems course re-designed to focus on use of structured programming a, e, i, k  
9 2011-2013 CEE 2870 Programming added to curriculum to increase programming skills of students a, e, k  
10 2013-2014 Re-designed BENG 1890 Introduction to UG Research to strengthen engineering design concepts, professional and ethical responsibilities, communication, and global impact of engineering relative to contemporary issues c, f, g, j  
11 2015-2016 CEE 3500 Fluids will be replaced by BE fluids course.  BE fluids course will focus on pipes, pumps, and microfluidics (vascular), which is applicable to biological engineering.  Current Civil Engineering fluids course focuses on open channel flow a  
12 2015-2016 ENGR 2030 Engineering Mechanics Dynamics 3 credits will be replaced with ENGR 2140 Strength of Materials 3 credits to better serve the current needs of biological engineers a, b, c, e  
13 2015-2016 Add engineering economics modules and engineering ethics case studies to BENG 3870, Biological Engineering Design I c, f, h