Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Technology Management-Quality Systems

Department

Engineering Technologies

First Advisor

Christopher Kluse

Second Advisor

Sudershan Jetley

Third Advisor

Mohamad Mayyas

Abstract

Lean training and education has become a focal point in both industry and the realm of academics; however, the need within the industry remains, and oftentimes companies must take on the additional and high expense of training new graduates once they enter the workforce. Often, the classes that students study in the lean methodology, if any are studied at all, are taught within other disciplines, and the instruction is in a general sense as opposed to in depth and hands on. Within the past eight years it has been referenced in different academic articles that students are not coming into the workforce able to contribute to corporate lean initiatives. Although lean is making it into academics in greater measure, there is still opportunity to create an academic course that focuses specifically on lean and around the principles of lean which drive the techniques and tools required to build a lean culture.

The goal of this project was to develop an associate degree level course on lean, a stand-alone course that provided students with opportunity to conduct and contribute to lean projects and to understand the guiding principles that define lean and the lean culture. To achieve this, a review of literature was conducted on lean, lean history, and lean within the industry to determine where lean education is failing the marketplace. Next, a review of the different instructional paradigms within academics was performed to determine the best methods to administer a training such as lean and the many tools that can be associated with it. Then, a study of course construction and curriculum development was carried out to understand the accreditation requirements involved in creating a course that can be taught at state colleges and universities. Finally, research was conducted on course assessment and how to determine that a student has understood the tools and methodologies needed and set forth in the course objectives.

At the conclusion of the research, a course outline, schedule and assessment criteria were created that bring students through a progressing knowledge of the fourteen principles of lean and the tools and techniques that sustain a culture of continuous improvement. The course, administered in the paradigm set forth, carried out with hands on training in lean tools and exercises, and assessed by the measurement criteria provided, will enable students to be immediate contributors to lean initiatives upon entering the workforce.