Establishing Online Degree Programs in Engineering Technology
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Establishing Online Degree Programs in Engineering Technology The Ninth Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN) November 15, 2003. Presenters From the University of Toledo :.

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Establishing Online Degree Programs in Engineering TechnologyThe Ninth Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN)November 15, 2003

Presenters From the University of Toledo:

Karen Rhoda, Ph.D.Director, Distance LearningDan Solarek, M.S.E.E. Chair/ProfessorEngineering TechnologyElla Fridman, Ph.D.Associate ProfessorEngineering Technology

Karen Rhoda, Ph.D.Director, Distance Learning

The Mainstreaming of Distance Learning at UT: The evolution

Centralized structure

  • Cost effectiveness

  • Comprehensive faculty support and technical services

  • Comprehensive Student Services

  • Adherence to NCA Best Practices

  • Network Infrastructure

  • Marketing Strategic plan

  • DL Advisory Committee

  • Change of reporting line

The Importance of Collaborations with UT Colleges and other Institutions

  • Faculty – control of curricula, quality control

  • Fellowships: $129,000 since 1999

  • Fellows: 8 since 1995

  • Ohio Learning Network (OLN)


  • Conferences

  • WebCT

  • UT Offices - support

DL Grant Funding Collaborated with UT's Colleges and Other Colleges:$3.03 million

The DL Team

Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Online Programs and Degrees

  • Associate degrees in Business Management Technology, Marketing & Sales Technology, and Technical Studies

  • B.A. in Adult Liberal Studies

  • CSET Program (Computer Science and Engineering Technology degree completion)

  • Masters in Liberal Studies

  • M.S. in Engineering

  • M. Ed., Curriculum & Instruction

  • B.S. in Pharmacy and Pharm D Programs

  • B.S. in Health Information Management

  • Certificate Programs

UT Distance Learning – Course Enrollment by Year

*Enrollment as of 10/10/2003

UT Distance & eLearning – Course Enrollment by Year

*Enrollment as of 10/10/2003

UT Distance Learning – Number of Courses by Year

*Number of courses as of 10/10/2003

Distance Learning at UT: serving the goals of students in an urban, metropolitan university

DL meets the needs of all students

  • 50% of DL students work full-time

  • 36% have children

  • 69% are female

    As is typical of urban universities serving students of all ages and those who cannot engage in a traditional academic program or whose schedules must be flexible in order to pursue higher education

Dan Solarek, M.S.E.E. Chair/ProfessorEngineering Technology

One-third of the College undergraduate enrollment

CSET program started in January of 1999.

Engineering Technology at UT

  • 1,100 Undergraduates Fall 2002


  • University, community college, state agency collaboration.

Degree Completion Partners

  • Central Ohio

  • Cincinnati State

  • Columbus State

  • Cuyahoga

  • Jefferson

  • Lakeland

  • Rhodes

  • Lorain County

  • Northwest State

  • Sinclair

  • Stark State

Program Structure


BS Degree Requires

128 Semester Hours


2/3rds of the coursework for the BS degree is taken at community college tuition rates.





Associate Degree


Current Enrollment

  • The distribution of these students between upper division and lower division is shown below.

Some Realities

  • Dual admission helps to connect students with both UT and the partner community college.

    • Students can confused about which institution to ask for advice about a particular problem.

    • Students need advising on a continuing basis

    • Advising should begin at the partner CC but be coordinated between the institutions

  • Clearly identified points of contact for both institutions need to be available to students.

Some Realities

  • Despite careful articulation agreements, students may find that they need to take additional “bridge” courses because of the differences between programs.

  • Programs at both institutions change constantly, forcing frequent review and revision of articulation agreements.

Some Realities

  • Financial aid needs to be coordinated with a consortium agreement between the institutions.

  • Scholarships should be available for students in this program at both institutions.

  • All partners need to invest in the program …

Some Realities

  • From a faculty perspective, the immediacy and limitations of email can be a problem.

    • Students come to expect instant responses to messages that they send at all hours of the day or night. Students complain about lack of responsiveness.

    • Students/faculty can easily read a message in a negative light when nothing negative was intended.

  • Need for Teaching Assistants, especially in larger classes


  • Obviously, to be successful the program must be marketed.

    • Partner institutions must take the lead in their own service areas

    • Direct mailings need to come from a familiar institution

    • Program should be advertised in the local media

    • Information sessions with UT and CC participants for parents and high school students have proven effective

Building Partnerships

  • To state the obvious …

    • There is a correlation between effort extended in nurturing the partnership and the enrollment in the program.

  • Our desire is to maintain ‘real” partnerships.

    • Appointed a faculty member to pay attention to partner relationships.

    • Sponsor an annual meeting.

    • Need to see each partner at their location 1-2 times per academic year as a minimum.

Funding Model

  • Distance learning courses offered in cooperation with UT’s centralized Division of Distance Learning

  • DL Division began as a self-supporting unit

    • Tuition monies to Division as income source

    • After expenses, “profit” is split between the Division and the College/Department offering the course

    • University retains all subsidy

  • Model is currently under revision

Faculty Participation

  • Faculty are encouraged to develop “web assisted” courses

    • Putting syllabus on web

    • Putting handouts on web

  • Transition to web-based courses is easier

  • Proceeds from departmental share go to support participating faculty

Faculty Participation

  • Faculty normally teach distance learning courses for extra compensation

    • Courses can be taught as part of normal workload

  • Compensation is based on enrollment

  • ET department and College of Engineering view faculty efforts in distance learning as meritorious

Ella Fridman, Ph.D.Associate ProfessorEngineering Technology

Professional Master’s Degree in Engineering and Engineering Technology

Rationale for the Program

  • Responds to the needs of corporations for a practical MS degree that better prepares students for the modern and future workforce

  • New work environment requires to form cross-disciplinary programs that complement traditional engineering education with

    • Business Management

    • Leadership Education

    • Entrepreneurship Education

  • Alternative to traditional MBA or research-oriented technical MS degree

Rationale for the Program

  • The program fills a critical niche for intellectual growth for working professionals who seek advanced training

  • Unlimited potential growth for the program given the pace of technological change and a trend in the higher education to make the first professional degree at Master’s level

Program Background

  • Created in 1999 within the scope of the existing Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) degree

  • The Project option of MSE degree is used as the template for the program

  • Part time (PT MSE) program: students normally take 2 courses per semester

  • Can be started in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters and follows the academic calendar

  • Courses are taught by faculty

Who are our students?

  • 65% are UT graduates

    • 12 other universities are represented

  • 57% are from Engineering programs

  • 36% are from Engineering Technology programs

  • 7% from related programs

  • BS degrees awarded from as far back as 1967

  • 98% of current students are domestic

  • Employed by:

    • Cooper Tire, Whirlpool, Eaton, GM, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, Sunoco, and many more…

Program Structure

  • 30 semester hours required:

    • 6 semester hours Core Courses

    • 9 semester hours Management of Technology Sequence

    • 9 semester hours Engineering Electives Sequence

    • 6 semester hours work-related project


  • Core Courses

    • Applications of Engineering Analysis

    • Applied Probability and Statistics in Engineering and Management Science

  • Management of Technology Sequence

    • Management of Projects and Technological Innovation

    • Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting

    • Business, Government and Society

Engineering Electives Sequencein the Area of Concentration

  • The Engineering Elective Sequence designed to include 3 courses in a specific area of engineering (area of student’s concentration) such as Mechanical Engineering , Information Technology/Computer Science, Civil/Construction Engineering, Chemical/Environmental Engineering, etc.

  • Currently graduate offerings in all departments of the College of Engineering are eligible for selection as engineering elective courses, not necessarily in a sequence

Project Requirement

  • The six-credit work-related project is accomplished under the College of Engineering faculty supervision and in coordination with the student's employer

  • Recent projects completed by our graduates:

    • Reducing Variation in a Structural Support Assembly” , M. Faught, Whirlpool Corp, Advisor Dr. Olson, Summer 2002

    • “Laundry Technologies and Innovations” , S. Ahmed, Whirlpool Corp, Advisor Dr. Abraham, Summer 2002

    • “The Problems Customers Face with New Technology” , A.Campbell, Monarch Labs, Advisor Dr. Dismukes, Spring 2002


  • The program “owned” by the College of Engineering and only administered by the Engineering Technology department

  • Currently the Engineering Technology department does not have it’s own Graduate program

  • The PT MSE is only the Part time program

  • There are not enough elective courses offered on line that can satisfy the Engineering Electives Sequence requirements

Proposed Changes

  • Expand the existing PT MSE program to create a full time online Professional Master’s degree in Engineering Technology

    • This program will not be just administered but also owned by the Department of Engineering Technology

    • There is no similar program in the state of Ohio that awards Master’s level degree in Engineering Technology and there are very few in the nation

    • The program will have several options (areas of concentration)

MET option

  • Practical FEA

  • Engineering Material Science

  • Advanced CAD/CAM Systems

  • Computerized Heat Transfer Analysis

  • Computerized Machine Design

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

EET/IT option

  • Unified Modeling Language

  • Advanced Visual Basic. Net

  • Wireless and Cellular Communication Systems

  • Computer Vision/Digital Imaging

  • Neural Network/Artificial Intelligence

  • Advanced Programmable Logic Devices

  • Testing Digital Circuits

Civil/CET option

  • Indoor Air Quality

  • Outdoor Air Quality

  • Green Engineering

  • Dispersion and Risk Modeling

  • Practical Structure Analysis

  • Practical Traffic Analysis and Design

  • Building Industry Regulation & Mitigation

  • Advanced Engineering Cost Decision Analysis

Benefiting Groups

  • Four population groups will benefit from the Professional Master’s degree in Engineering Technology

    • Professionals in the engineering workforce

    • Recent graduates from engineering and technological degree-granting institutions

    • Students from the Degree Completion program

    • Faculty members in two-year institutions and technology education teachers

Questions and Discussion


Your questions and comments are welcome.


The University of Toledo Contact Information

Karen Rhoda, Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 419.321.5130

Dan Solarek, M.S.E.E.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 419.530.3377

Ella Fridman, Ph.D.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 419.530.3273

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