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Educational Objectives

BSME Program Educational Objectives

The BSME curriculum has the following Program Educational Objectives:

  • Graduates are employed as mechanical engineers or in related fields that benefit from a mechanical engineering education.
  • Graduates advance in their profession and engage in the professional community.
  • Graduates participate in post-graduate educational opportunities.

The BSME Program Educational Objectives were formulated in a process of consultation with students, faculty, PSU administrators, and the MME Industrial Advisory Board. The Program Educational Objectives were updated in April 2011 to allow attainment of the objectives to be measured quantitatively. These objectives describe the goals we expect our students to attain within three years of graduating with a BSME degree.

Curriculum and Program Assessment

The high level Program Educational Objectives of the BSME program provide the motivation for the BSME curriculum. The curriculum consists of many inter-related and inter-dependent classes. Different classes have different learning outcomes. The curriculum is designed such that the cumulative effect of the required courses and electives is to enable our students to achieve the goals set out in the program objectives. The Program Outcomes are more specific goals that lead to the broader educational objectives.

Program Outcomes

The Program Outcomes are realized by designing the curriculum with specific learning outcomes. These outcomes are based on the recommendations of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
(d) An ability to function on multi-disciplinary 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) Have the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global 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

    Assessment helps us realize the learning outcomes of individual courses and the curriculum as a whole. Assessment is a continuous process of information gathering, analysis, and implementation of improvements. Assessment happens at two levels: for individual courses, and for the curriculum as a whole.

    Course Assessment

    The core of the course assessment process is seeking the answer to the question, "Do the activities in a class contribute meaningfully to the achievement of learning objectives for that class?" Through regular assessment, adjustments to the class activities help us improve the attainment of learning outcomes.

    Course assessment is an ongoing process that involves all MME faculty. Each course is assigned a primary instructor who is responsible for the assessment of the course. The primary instructor is not the only person who teaches the course. Rather, the primary instructor is the one person who must make sure that the assessment process is followed for that course.

    Program Assessment

    The core of the program assessment process is seeking the answer to the question, "Is the current structure of the curriculum a good way to meet the program outcomes?" Any deficiencies in the curriculum prompt us to change the learning outcomes of individual courses. In some cases, required courses may be redesigned or even eliminated in favor of other courses.

    The evolution of the curriculum is gradual. New technologies force us to re-evaluate our teaching strategies or learning outcomes, but the laws of physics do not change. Assessment guides our process of change. Assessment provides a self-correction mechanism that enables us to change the curriculum based on evidence of learning outcomes.

    Program assessment occurs with the help of our Advisory Committee, our alumni, our current students, and representatives from companies in and near Portland that hire students who graduate from the BSME program. We use a formal assessment process that includes surveys and an annual program review meeting.

    The annual program review meeting occurs every spring. At that meeting, the entire MME Faculty, along with representatives from current students, alumni, and local industry participate in an open discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the program. We review progress in achieving the immediate goals set in the previous year's annual review meeting, we examine new information (feedback) from several sources, we evaluate suggestions for curriculum improvement, and we set goals for attaining improvements in the next year.


    Your input to the assessment process is welcome. You can forward complaints or suggestions for improvements at any time to the MME Department chair. Or e-mail us at

    Throughout the year there are opportunities for providing feedback through surveys and other questionnaires created as part of our assessment process. Please use these surveys to provide constructive suggestions for improvement.