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Larry F. Hanneman, Engineering Career Services, (515) 294-0253
Dennis Smith, Engineering Communications, (515) 294-0267
Debra Gibson, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa --Iowa State University's Engineering Career Services office has been recognized for improving engineering education.

Director Larry Hanneman and his staff have received the 2003 Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovative Programs in the Career Services Field. The honor, sponsored by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), is commonly known as the NACE/Chevron-Texaco Award. It recognizes Iowa State for developing and implementing an outcomes-based process for the accreditation and continuous improvement of the engineering curriculum.

Traditionally, engineering accreditation has involved measures such as the number of faculty per student, the number of credits per degree program and the physical facilities in which teaching and research take place. However, in 2000, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology prescribed more dynamic measures for evaluating engineering programs in American colleges and universities, emphasizing the degree to which programs prepare their students for the practice of engineering.

"This group specified 11 predominantly ability-based outcomes for engineering programs," Hanneman observed. "Most outcomes assessment in higher education focuses on assessing the acquisition of knowledge and understanding. Many engineering faculty members have little knowledge or experience with ability-based assessment for student development or curriculum management."

Hanneman said Iowa State's program enables engineering faculty to continually assess, analyze, change and evaluate the curriculum, not just every six years when an academic program is re-accredited. This process, he adds, is especially valuable in engineering, in which rapid technological change demands flexibility in order to respond to industry needs.

The NACE/Chevron-Texaco Award was conferred on Iowa State's Engineering Career Services because of its value for Iowa State students and for its potential impact on engineering education nationwide.

"During the last five years, engineering programs across the nation have been hard pressed to 'measure the immeasurable' in order to comply with new competency-based standards required for accreditation," said Leigh Turner, executive director of Texas A&M University's career center and chair of the NACE/Chevron-Texaco Award selection task committee. "Thanks to Iowa State's pioneering approach, engineering programs and their career services partners now have an elegant blueprint to follow."

Besides the NACE award, Engineering Career Services recently received the 2003 John D. Shingleton Award for Innovation in Applied Research from the Midwest Association of Colleges and Employers (MACE), and a 2003 "Best Paper" award from the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education for "Using Engineering Competency Feedback to Assess Agricultural Engineering Curriculum."

The three awards, Hanneman said, complement one another.

"An award for the process for creating the measurements, one for making the measurements productive for research, and one for faculty use of that research to adjust curriculum--it's going to be a beautiful story to share when it comes time for our next accreditation," Hanneman said.


About the award: The Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovative Programs in the Career Services Field, commonly known as the Chevron Texaco Award, recognizes and honors a college member for its development of a groundbreaking program in the career services field. It has been awarded since 1983. For more information about the award, go to

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