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How do i know Im getting a quality education.

  1. Jan 31, 2008 #1
    So, I did my research when choosing schools to the best of my ability. I picked a school that was listed in the top 50 schools. I visited the school a few times, talked to some students, researched online, and in publications, and decided.

    Well, I have been here a few quarters, and I am realizing that this school isn't known for their Mech. Eng. endeavors beyond a narrow focus within the ME Dept. (which, so happens, is not what I'm interested in. ) I decided to come here because the school had a good reputation, it was a good geographical fit to my particular situation, and because I felt that I could get a good solid undergraduate education in ME, and then apply to a grad school that was more suited to my focus.

    So, now I'm wondering if I am getting a good education or not. Im doing the work, and putting my best efforts in as well. My grades are A/B, and I feel like I'm learning something, but Im not really sure what (or how well) I'm supposed to be learning. Most of the other ME students seem generally unhappy, or at least disenchanted with the program, unless they are in the focus areas. (although students in other engineering disciplines here seem to be in good spirits about their programs). The ME facilities are also below par compared to the other departments, and the ME faculty seems to be a bit disconnected from the student body.

    I know that nothings ever perfect, all schools have their issues, and that college is what you make of it. However, how do I determine that I am getting a good ME education, and how do I go about making the most of it.

    (a few details. the major is abet accredited. i am doing what i think i need to do to get the most out of my education, but I also know that I dont know everything. )

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2008 #2
    To be honest with you every school as you also said has their ups and downs. But there is something you should know. A school is not what makes a student into a scientist, doctor, engineer, or business man. It is the student himself, and how much time and effort the person puts into his studies.

    In other words, don't just follow the syllabus for the course/s, try to read outside the reading of the course, try to do extra work and even going ahead of your class. In the end most graduate schools will look primarily at two things: your grades and your recommendation letters or people. If you have good knowledge and excel beyond everyone and can prove that to professors, you can easily get into doing research with one of them and can in the end use their status to try and get into grad school.
  4. Jan 31, 2008 #3
    You are getting a good education at your school if you can correctly answer the following problem:

    "Describe in ONE sentence using the BEST LAY TERMINOLOGY you have--and therefore using TERMS your high school physics teacher would understand:
    'Why do we use differential equations in engineering?'"

    I'm looking for a 'best' specific answer (which I'll provide later). You get only one chance to answer this question correctly. I reserve the right to give you a second chance, but I do not guarantee it. Therefore, currently assume you have one chance: ONE CHANCE ONLY.

    If you can't answer it--keep in mind this is NO REFLECTION on your ability, intelligence, IQ. It's NOT an assessment of YOU. It's not an assessment of your school. It's not even an assessment of your mechanical engineering program. It is an assessment of the quality of education you're receiving.

    More specifically, it is a binary "good or bad" assessment of the quality of education you're receiving at school. This is what you asked for, and so I am providing you the key to the kingdom you seek!

    If you can answer this question correctly, I hope it goes without saying you are in fact getting a fine education. You no longer need to question the quality of the education you're receiving at school.

    Best wishes, in advance, for the assessment of your ME education.
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