University of Wisconsin - Stout

Purpose of the Review

The review was conducted to assess the quality of the B.S. in Industrial Management degree program as part of the ongoing seven-year review cycle of every UW-Stout program.

B.S. Industrial Management
Program Director
Wendy Dittmann
PRC Consultants
Charles Baird and Dick Tyson

Committee Findings

The PRC recommends that this program continue to be one of UW-Stout's degree programs for the ongoing seven-year cycle, and that recommendations made by the committee be implemented.


The B.S. in Industrial Management (BSIM) degree began in May 2000 evolving from a distance education specialization in industrial technology. Developed in response to place-bound technical professionals' need for additional education, the Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management is a collaborative effort between the UW Colleges, Wisconsin Technical Colleges and UW-Stout. Additionally Dunwoody College of Technology and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) technical degree programs have partnered with UW-Stout to deliver the program in Minnesota.

The program prepares technical workers to take on leadership challenges in industry. Graduates are employed primarily in the manufacturing sector. The current BSIM student population is predominately non-traditional adult learners. Most of them are part-time students who hold full- time jobs and balance work, home and social responsibilities. The B.S. in Industrial Management enrolled 166 undergraduates in the Fall 2003 after beginning in 2000 with 59. In 2004 there were 182 who sought the Industrial Management degree at sites throughout the state of Wisconsin and Minneapolis. The majority of these are distance learners. Additionally, there are students not active in Stout classes, but working at completing general education requirements at UW Colleges or other institutions. This degree program also serves a small number who are attempting to complete the program totally on-line. The BSIM program includes a 42-credit General Education requirement and 42 credits of professional coursework and a 40-credit AAS or AS degree which are transferred.

Openings for positions and placement rates are high, with placement and employment being at or exceeding the Stout average. Earnings of graduates are among the highest, at about $45,000/yr. (2000-03 surveys)

Recommendations for improvement include:

It is recommended that the B.S. in Industrial Management continue as a degree program at UW-Stout and that recommendations made by the committee be implemented to further strengthen the program.

Process Followed for Current Review

The PRC Chair met with the dean, program director and chair of the primary department to discuss the review process. The PRC consultants also met with the program director to review the procedures and offer assistance. Under guidelines developed by the PRC, information regarding the program was gathered from the Placement Office, Institutional Research, the program director, key instructors, program committee, students, and one-year and three-year graduates. Eighty-three students, mostly juniors and seniors, participated in the survey of current students conducted on-line. Nine key instructors and twelve program committee members responded, while 7 of 19 graduates surveyed in 2002 and 3 of 4 graduates surveyed in 2000 responded (37% and 75% of those polled). Observations were made by the consultants based on these surveys and institutional data and were reported to and discussed by the PRC. The program director presented a summary of her report to the committee and had an opportunity to address concerns. The Dean from the College of Technology, Engineering, and Management was also available to answer questions. The consultants then wrote the recommendation report. This report was forwarded to the dean for his response. The PRC reviewed the dean’s response, approved the recommendation report, and forwarded the report to the Faculty Senate.

Previous Review

N/A (new program)

Program Review

Program Strengths

  1. Enrollment in the program is strong. There were 59 in 2000 and there are now about 180.
  2. Graduates have risen steadily. The Placement office reports that placements of recent graduates are excellent. Average wages of graduates are among the highest at about $45,000/yr. (2000-03 surveys). Attempted credits per graduate are among the lowest at UW-Stout.
  3. Recent graduates surveyed reported higher than average improvement in speaking effectively, conducting research projects, and thinking creatively. They felt better prepared and more satisfied with their level of career development and rate of advancement, and were more likely to be employed in a job related to their program.
  4. Recent graduates reported higher than average satisfaction with instruction in courses related to their program, course content, the availability of faculty, and the quality of advising. One hundred percent rated the value of their education as good or excellent and would attend Stout if they could do it over again. They rated the value of their program more highly and would be more likely to enroll in the same program.
  5. Current students reported somewhat greater than average enhancement of written communications and critical thinking skills. They feel that their advisors are accessible, their preparation for career success is high, course duplication is low, and that overall, this is a quality program and would choose this program over again.
  6. Current students see as program strengths the emphasis on quality skills, the flexibility of the program, acceptance of transfer credits, the availability of the program being on-line, the currency of instructional information and its relevance in the workplace.
  7. The quality and character of leadership of the program director was frequently mentioned by both students, program committee members, and key instructors.
  8. Program committee members believe that they are well informed about the program, meet adequately, and are able to contribute to the program. They saw as program strengths the good and diverse input into the program, and its relevancy to industry and ability to meet the needs of students.
  9. Key instructors cite program relevancy, leadership of and communication with the program director, and clerical support as very good.

Opportunities for Further Program Enrichment

  1. Recent graduates were less likely to feel that their program improved their competencies in areas such as thinking creatively, personal wellness, values development, and arts appreciation. It is recognized that most of the students in this program have already completed most, if not all, of their general education coursework or will be taking this coursework in many cases at other institutions.
  2. Recent graduates rated their satisfaction with faculty availability and their training, versus other graduates, somewhat less than the average Stout graduate.
  3. Current students would like more course offerings, and expressed concerns that general education coursework was less available, particularly in the evenings.
  4. Current students felt that there should be consistency in the delivery of coursework (Blackboard vs. e-scholar vs. Learn@uwstout, etc.). They also felt somewhat alienated and isolated from their instructors and other students. They have some concerns for the staffing quality at the remote sites, as well as the need for advisement there.
  5. Current students do not cite significant course overlap, though Quality Tools and Quality Concepts and Industrial Management and Introduction to Industrial Management were mentioned.
  6. Key instructors in the program and department have some concerns about the preparation of students for taking BSIM courses. While they felt that the library’s ability to meet student needs was good, they do not rate its ability to meet their own professional needs as high.
  7. The Program Advisory Committee suggests consideration of replacing BUMGT-116 Fundamentals of Business with a higher level course. The replacement course being considered is BUINB-260 Introduction to International Business.

Issues of Concern (Source)

  1. The program uses Wondernet extensively, its use and funding in the future is uncertain (Program Director Report, hearing).

Recommendations for the Program Director

  1. Continue to refine assessment instruments and monitor results of the satisfaction, achievement of program objectives, and technology surveys in order to improve learning in the BSIM program.
  2. Address concerns noted in the current Assessment in Major Report.
  3. Continue to work with CAS in an attempt to make general education courses available for BSIM students, particularly in the evening. Give consideration to UW-Stout on-line general education courses which may be taken at varying times.
  4. Continue to work with the Program Advisory Committee in considering replacing BUMGT-116 Fundamentals of Business with a higher level course in business. This course could be BUINB-260 Introduction to International Business or a revision of this course and numbered in the 300 level. Other possibilities could include an international course in marketing or management.
  5. Continue to work closely with Technology and Information Services as the WONDER network is phased out and replaced with a delivery method that is yet to be determined. The additional cost of the new delivery method will be of concern since the added costs will have to be covered by higher tuition.

Recommendations for the Chair of the Industrial Management Department

  1. Help the program director in working with the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to make possible more course offerings in general education in the evenings for the benefit of the B.S. Industrial Management students.
  2. Help the program director as she works with the Program Advisory Committee in getting BUMGT-116 Fundamentals of Business replaced with a higher level course in business.

Recommendations for the Dean

  1. Be supportive of the program director and the chair as they work with the CAS to make possible more course offerings in general education in the evenings for the benefit of the B.S. Industrial Management students.
  2. Be supportive of the program director and the chair as they consider replacing BUMGT-116 Fundamentals of Business with a higher level course in business.