Lean Six Sigma Method to Focus Resources in Engineering Education Programs

Many models focus on student performance during high school and first year university to determine ways to improve faculty throughput. However, studies linking throughput to the allocation of scarce resources in a higher education environment are limited. The purpose of this study is to answer the following questions: 1) Can Lean Six Sigma and Network calculation be utilized to determine where resources should be focused ? 2) How can Lean Six Sigma tools be applied to engineering education to determine focus areas within the program structure? Sigma level calculation coupled with Rolled Throughput Yield and the Network Function were utilized to identify the areas where resources should be focused in an industrial engineering program at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). The utilization of Lean Six Sigma methodology and the Network Function were found to be effective in identifying subject areas where the faculty should invest resources to achieve an optimal improvement in throughput rate. Although undergraduate coordinators, department heads, academic deans and others have been doing ad hoc statistical analysis for years, a uniform systematic approach applicable to all disciplines is presented in this paper.

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