SJSU Annual Program Assessment Form Academic Year 2013-2014 Department: Mechanical Engineering Program: MSME College: Engineering Website: www.sjsu.edu/me _ Check here if your website addresses the University Learning Goals. <If so, please provide the link.> Program Accreditation (if any): Contact Person and Email: Nicole Okamoto firstname.lastname@example.org Date of Report: April 23, 2014 Introduction to the Mechanical Engineering Department The Mechanical Engineering Department was formally established in 1958 and houses both BSME and MSME programs. The BSME program is accredited through ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Effective Fall 2014, the BSME curriculum will consist of general education courses, 30 units of math/chemistry/physics, 60 units of required major courses, and 9 units consisting of a capstone design course in the area of thermal/fluids, mechatronics, or mechanical design, and 2 electives. The MSME program consists of two required courses, and courses chosen from one of the three focus areas. For a culminating experience, students either complete a two-semester MS project or thesis or else take two extra electives and a comprehensive exam for a total of 30 units. In Fall 2012 there were 525 BSME majors and 101 MSME students for a total of 330.2 FTES in ME courses. Noted department strengths include a dedicated, highly qualified faculty including 9 full time faculty members and a large number of adjunct faculty working in industry, a strategic location in the Silicon Valley that allows for significant interaction with industry, and a hands-on educational program that has been recognized both by our ABET evaluator and through numerous awards in design competitions. MSME PROGRAM 1. List of Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) Instead of having both Program Educational Outcomes (what graduates are to have accomplished 3-5 years after graduation) and Student Learning Outcomes (skills/knowledge attained by graduation) as in the BSME program, in the MSME program we have only Educational Outcomes, as shown. Graduates shall have A strong foundation beyond the undergraduate level in their chosen focus area as well as in mathematics, basic science and engineering fundamentals, to successfully compete for technical engineering positions in the local, national and global engineering market, advance in their current position or pursue doctoral studies. 2. Contemporary professional and lifelong learning skills to be able to apply theory to solve practical engineering problems. 3. The expertise necessary to perform design and/or analysis of mechanical engineering systems with possible specialization in areas such as: energy systems, electronics cooling, electronics packaging & reliability, finite element analysis, computer-aided design, mechatronics, microelectromechanical systems, product design, robotics, automation & manufacturing. 1. Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to read, write, and comprehend technical documents. 5. Ability to think and work independently to perform design and in-depth analysis in solving openended mechanical engineering problems. 4. As with the BSME PEO’s, these outcomes were developed through numerous faculty discussions and a discussion with our Department Advisory Council. While ABET is only used to accredit undergraduate programs, the SLOs required by ABET were used to inform the development of these MSME Educational Outcomes. Additional feedback was solicited from our alumni via surveys. In a recent meeting of our Graduate Studies Committee, the members noted some redundancies – discussion on potential minor changes to the outcomes will continue. Students demonstrate achievement through exams and projects in the two required classes ME 230 and 273 as well as their culminating experience, as discussed in Section 3. 2. Map of PLOs to University Learning Goals (ULGs) Table 1 shows the relationship between the Educational Outcomes and the University Learning Goals. The map shows good coverage of four of the five ULG’s. The last goal, related to social and global responsibility, is not explicitly covered in the Educational Outcomes. However, good design is not done in a vacuum and must address social and/or global needs. The department may consider re-writing one of the Educational Outcomes to explicitly consider global and social responsibility next year. Table 1 Map of MSME Educational Outcomes to University Learning Goals University Outcome Outcome Outcome Outcome Outcome Learning Goal 1 2 3 4 5 Specialized Knowledge Broad Integrative Knowledge Intellectual Skills Applied Knowledge Social/Global Responsibilities 3. Alignment – Matrix of PLOs to Courses Table 2 provides a map of Educational Outcomes to our required courses. Students also take many electives. However, we are only including required courses to ensure that every student achieves all of our outcomes. Table 2 Map of MSME Program Learning Outcomes to Courses ME 230 ME 273 ME 295/299 Comprehensive Exam 2. Lifelong Learning Skills 3. Specialized Expertise Program Learning Outcomes 1. Technical Foundation 4. Communication Skills 5. Independence in Discipline For their culminating experience, students take either the comprehensive exam or six units of MS project or thesis (ME 295/299). The comprehensive exam is a new option effective Spring 2014. This map shows the need for further examination of how our learning outcomes are met by students taking the exam option. In particular, they may miss out completely on #4. The department's Graduate Studies Committee is submitting in Spring 2014 a course change proposal for a popular elective ME 265, such that it will satisfy the university Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). If approved, a synergistic plan being considered is to perform assessment of communication skills in ME 265, such that all students will be assessed with respect to this outcome. 4. Planning – Assessment Schedule Assessment data for each learning outcomes will be acquired every semester and assessed each spring. Program improvements will be implemented the following fall. In the past all assessment was done via ME 295/299 since those project courses cover all the learning outcomes. However, since some students are no longer taking those classes, we have added ME 230 and 273. The first round of assessment of those courses will take place in Spring 2014. 5. Student Experience The MSME Educational Outcomes are included on our department website. Students have some knowledge of outcomes, but they are not included on most syllabi, and discussions are occasional, largely limited to the MS project/thesis courses. Feedback from alumni was incorporated into the development of the outcomes but not current students. Part B 6. Graduation Rates for Total, Non URM and URM students (per program and degree) Table 3 represents the most recent graduation rates for our MSME program. Table 3 MSME Graduation Rates Grads : 3 Year Graduation Rates Academic Programs Mechanical Engineering Fall 2010 Cohort Entering % Grad Total 31 48.4% URM 2 50.0% Non-URM 19 52.6% Other 10 40.0% The five-year graduation rate for MS students is 66.7% (Fall 2008 cohort). A high percentage of our students work while completing their MS degrees, which slows their progress. Figure 1 shows that our first year retention rates have been showing a small improvement over time, which should in turn increase our graduation rates. Results show that tracking and analysis by the department to determine the cause of the low three-year graduation rate could be very useful. 100.00% 1st Year Retention Rate 95.00% 90.00% 85.00% 80.00% 75.00% 70.00% 65.00% 60.00% 55.00% 50.00% 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 Year Figure 1 First Year Retention Rates in the MSME Program 7. Headcounts of program majors and new students (per program and degree) Tables 4 and 5 provide the number of newly enrolled students from 2009-2013 and the headcount from 2009-2013. Table 4 Newly Enrolled MSME Students (First Time Graduate) Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 30 31 45 31 29 Table 5 Headcount of MSME Students Fall Fall Fall Fall Fall 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 129 100 110 101 96 Enrollment in the MS program has been relatively steady with a slight decrease. We have seen a decrease in international students, potentially partly due to the difficult economic times. 8. SFR and average section size (per program) Table 6 shows the SFR and average headcount per section in ME courses in Fall 2013 Table 6 SFR and Average Headcount in ME Courses Fall 2013 Student to Faculty Ratio (SFR) 26.3 Average Headcount per Section Lower Division 23.8 88.0 Upper Division 27.8 40.8 Graduate Division 21.2 19.8 Course Prefix Course Level ME - Mechanical Engineering Total 39.7 Our numbers are between the averages for the university and College of Engineering. The Fall 2013 average headcounts per section for graduate courses in the university and College of Engineering were 13.1 and 25.5, respectively. The SFRs for graduate courses in the university and College of Engineering were 16.3 and 24.9. 9. Percentage of tenured/tenure-track instructional faculty (per department) Table 7 shows the percentage of FTEF that are tenured/tenure-track vs. probationary (lecturers) . All full-time faculty in the department are tenured, and eight of nine are full professors. Table 7 Percentage of Tenured/Tenure-Track Instructional Faculty Fall 2013 Mechanical Engineering % Tenured/Prob Tenured Probationary Temp Lecturer 56.2% 6.448 5.023 0 Part C 10. Closing the Loop/Recommended Actions The following actions are being taken to improve the MSME program: a) Based on feedback from current students and alumni, the department's Graduate Studies Committee submitted a course change proposal for a popular elective ME 265 in Spring 2014, such that it will satisfy the university Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). If approved, a synergistic plan being considered is to perform assessment of communication skills in ME 265, such that all students will be assessed with respect to this outcome. b) Comprehensive exam option Our last program planning report discussed our decision to add a comprehensive exam option for students who do not wish to pursue an MS project or thesis. In that report, we expressed the need to change our assessment process since not all of our students are doing these projects/theses. A new plan has been developed, and effective Spring 2014 we will be assessing required courses ME 230 and 273 every semester. As discussed above, we will also begin assessing ME 265 for Educational Outcome #4 (communication) if this course is approved to satisfy GWAR. c) New/Improved Lab Facilities As discussed in our last program planning report, the department continues to work on several new and improved lab facilities to make sure that equipment is up-to-date and to ensure coverage of important topics relevant to the Bay Area. These include an overhaul a mechatronics lab, spearheaded by Burfurd Furman, continuing development of the relatively new Renewable Energy Lab, directed by Jinny Rhee, and brand new facilities to study hybrid and electric vehicles as well as building energy efficiency, led by Fred Barez. Response to the recommendations of our external evaluator, received Feb. 5, 2014, are given in section 13. 11. Assessment Data Only the MS projects and theses were used for assessment of achievement of education outcomes, through Fall 2013 (in addition to surveys of alumni). The tool used for assessment and its alignment to the educational outcomes is shown in Table 8, and the results are presented in Table 9. Results are presented only for the second semester finished project and not the interim report that is presented after the first semester. Surveys of alumni were performed in Spring 2013, and the results were presented in the Spring 2013 Program Planning Report. 12. Analysis The results shown in Table 9 show strong achievement of criterion and hence all student outcomes. This conclusion is bolstered by the alumni surveys. The project/thesis criterion showing the most need for improvement is “A thorough literature search was performed with proper citations, and an understanding of the cited literature was clearly evident,” although even on that item only 8.9% were weak. Of more concern to us at this point is how well students taking the comprehensive exam will cover outcomes 4 and 5. We hope to include coverage of these outcomes in ME 265 if it is approved to satisfy GWAR. Table 8 Relationship Among Criteria Used for Project/Thesis Assessment and Educational Outcomes Criterion 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 PEO1 PEO2 PEO3 PEO4 PEO5 Technical Lifelong Specialized Comm. Independent Foundation Learning Expertise Skills Performance Motivation for the work was convincing and clear objectives were defined. A thorough literature search was performed with proper citations, and an understanding of the cited literature was clearly evident. A methodical, in-depth analysis and/or design of a mechanical engineering system was performed, using appropriate assumptions as needed. Mathematical representations and computations were applied appropriately for graduate level work. Science and engineering fundamentals were applied appropriately for graduate level work. Modern tools (computational or experimental) were used effectively as needed. Results of the work were presented effectively, using graphs and tables appropriately as needed. X X X X X X X X X X X X 8 The report was well written, with correct language and terminology used throughout. X 9 Key points of the work were summarized effectively and meaningful conclusions were drawn. X Scale: 1 = Lacking, 2 = Weak, 3 = Acceptable, 4 = Good, 5 = Excellent Table 9 Summary of MS Project/Thesis Assessment Results (Spring 2012-Fall 2013, N=45) Criterion number Avg. Score % weak or lacking 1 (Motivation and Objectives) 4.5 2.2% 2 (Literature Review) 3.9 8.9% 3 (Methodical Analysis) 4.0 4.4% 4 (Applied Math) 3.7 6.7% 5 (Science and Engineering) 4.1 2.2% 6 (Modern Tools) 4.5 0% 7 (Presentation of Results) 4.0 2.2% 8 (Report Writing) 3.9 2.2% 9 (Conclusions) 4.1 4.4% X 13. Proposed changes and goals (if any) a) A major goal for the 2014-15 academic year will be the hiring of new faculty. The mechanical engineering department offers 43 courses at the undergraduate level and 22 courses at the graduate level in addition to 14 teaching/student projects labs. It had 714 majors and 340 FTES in Fall 2013. Tenure-track faculty members often are completely booked up teaching undergraduate courses, leaving most of our instruction in MS courses to our part-time faculty. Our external reviewer recommended, “The program needs to hire additional T/TT faculty to support a robust graduate program. This has become essential due to recent split between Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering programs.” He also wrote, “This situation is critical and cannot and should not continue. Faculty are needed and immediate steps need to be taken to remedy the situation.” The last time a new tenure-track Mechanical Engineering faculty member was hired was 2002. In the last 12 years, we had a senior faculty member retire, and we also lost three tenured/tenure-track faculty members when the AE program split from what used to be the MAE Department in Fall 2013. It has become increasingly difficult for the department to sustain its current activities in offering and coordinating all the aforementioned 65 courses, student advising and laboratory operations, with only 8.5 full-time faculty members in the department. This has resulted in the large SFR and headcounts in ME courses shown in Table 6. The department would like to hire a minimum of two tenure-track faculty members to begin in the 2015-16 academic year. b) Spring 2014 was the first time we offered a comprehensive exam as a culminating experience option. We plan to improve coordination between the instructors and the course coordinators to ensure that exam content is covered in the courses. c) As discussed in Section 5, we will begin assessing additional courses, along with the comprehensive exam, beginning in Spring 2014. This fits with the recommendation of our external reviewer who wrote, “Implement the non-thesis option with strong controls on comprehensive exam to ensure achievement of learning objectives.” d) Also discussed in Section 5, we are proposing to use the elective ME 265 to satisfy GWAR. e) In section 6 we discussed the need to determine the causes of our low three-year graduation rate. This follows the recommendation of our external reviewer that we “study the causes that might contribute to further improve the 3-year graduation rates, and develop strategies to improve this rate within the next five years.” Due to the changes being made in the MSME program, we do not have the time to address this during the 13-14 academic year but hopefully can begin an analysis in the 14-15 academic year.