Case study of a discontinued start-up engineering program: critical challenges and lessons learned
Friday, 1 September 2017 | Admin
by Wilhelm A Friess (University of Maine, US)
The explanatory case study presented here analyses the factors that have contributed to the failure of a start-up engineering program launched at an off-campus site, and aimed at imparting the first two years of the BSc Mechanical, Electrical, Computer and Civil Engineering utilizing an integrated curriculum. Findings indicate the root cause for insufficient recruitment (eleven students per cohort) was a low number of rising engineering students in the geographical area of influence, with incidental factors being the non-residential and non-degree granting nature of the program. Findings also show that the root cause for low program retention (36 per cent) was a mismatch between the program capabilities and the specific needs of the students attracted to the program. The causal analysis of this case study of program failure provides insights that can inform the design of similar programs in the future.