Graduate Program Review and Lessons Learned

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The Department of Engineering Engineering Technology and Surveying at East Tennessee State University offers a graduate program-MS in Engineering Technology. The program has two concentrations-Engineering Technology and Entrepreneurial Leadership. The Engineering Technology concentration is for students who plan to become, or are now, involved in supervising or coordinating workers, materials, and equipment in a production system or who are resolving technical problems in the workplace. Individuals completing the program should be qualified to deal with tooling, methods, planning, quality control and reliability, safety and management aspects of production in manufacturing and other industries. The Entrepreneurial Leadership concentration was formed to provide students with skills that will help them thrive in the global economy of the twenty first century. The purpose of the Entrepreneurial Leadership concentration is to respond to the ever-increasing need for entrepreneurial leadership skills in the commercialization of innovative technology, and to respond to the broader application of entrepreneurial thinking in existing technology-based businesses, health care and higher education. This program is designed to provide the innovative, prudent risk-taker with a practical approach for commercializing innovative technology and for creating wealth by finding implementation methods for transforming creative ideas into value producing technology-based business models. Recently the program has gone through an academic review which is mandated by Tennessee higher education commission. This academic review is conducted every seven years and it is designed to improve the quality of the program and implement recommended changes in a systematic manner. The academic review consists of creating a self-study report and a site visit. The self-study focuses on learning outcomes, curriculum, student experience, faculty, learning resources and administrative support. A two-day long site visit was conducted by a panel of two external and two internal peer reviewers. This paper presents planning, preparation and lessons learned from this recent academic review of the program. Some of the highlighted lessons learned are plan early, develop and implement a continuous improvement plan, secure faculty and administrative support to drive success in a graduate program.