Published in Journal of Mechanical Design, Volume 129, Issue 7, July 1, 2007, pages 682-691. Copyright © 2007 American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.2722788. Visit ASME's Digital Library at http://asmedl.org.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Chen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
At Rowan University, design has been infused into the curriculum through an eight-semester course sequence called the Engineering Clinics. Through this experience, students learn the art and science of design in a multidisciplinary team environment and hone their design skills throughout their 4-year career. This paper describes the objectives of the clinics, types of projects, and how the clinics complement traditional core courses in the curriculum. Impacts and benefits of the clinics on students and faculty are discussed, including retention and graduate study rates comparing Rowan University mechanical engineering students to their peers nationally. An assessment of the clinics is presented based on survey data and accreditation objectives and outcomes. Survey data from students were assessed to determine levels of students' satisfaction and confidence based on the clinics. Results of alumni and employer surveys also provide valuable feedback for assessing and improving the clinics as well as confirmation of the impact of clinics after graduation. Survey data are discussed along with challenges of the clinics at Rowan and adaptability of them at other institutions. Overall, the clinics are a positive and integrated design experience in the curriculum and assist students in achieving the program objectives.