Program Management Strategies and Student Success Practices for a Fully Asynchronous Online Professional Master’s Program

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session Blended

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This session will cover program management strategies and student success practices for the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) which is a fully asynchronous online professional master’s degree for working engineers. Faculty and student onboarding practices are discussed as well as strategies used in advising and building community in the program.


Jena Asgarpoor has been an Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln since August 2017. She also the Director for the Master of Engineering Management Program in the College of Engineering. Dr. Asgarpoor received her Ph. D. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering, specializing in Engineering Management, from Texas A&M University, College Station, where she had previously earned a B.A. in Political Science (Summa Cum Laude.). Her interests lie in quality control, management, and customer satisfaction improvement in manufacturing and service industries, as well as teaching, pedagogy, and assessment of student learning outcomes particularly in the web-based asynchronous online space. Prior to UNL, she was Professor in Supply Chain Management and Decision Sciences at Bellevue University, Nebraska for 26 years, where in 1994 she developed and taught the first online course for that institution as part of her teaching portfolio. She is active as an officer for the Council of Engineering Management Academic Leaders (CEMAL), Secretary for the Engineering Management Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and of ASEE, and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the Engineering Leadership Development Division of ASEE.

Extended Abstract

The Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program is an asynchronous, web-based, fully online program with no residency component. MEM students are engineers who work full-time, and are geographically dispersed. Many of them are located either regionally or nationally, and a few even globally. Naturally, design, administration, and delivery of such a program requires care, both in terms of student-staff interactions as well as course and curriculum issues and interactions.

We have implemented some big and small changes and started a few practices in hopes of improving MEM student interactions and overall quality of their experiences with staff and in courses. This session highlights a few of those changes and practices, including:

  • MEM Student Success Center: An information repository and a venue for communication
  • Effective student advising practices
  • Minor changes to improve rankings
  • Onboarding practices for new adjuncts and faculty
  • Development of course and instructional design template (using multiple sources)
  • Use of Syllabus and Canvas templates for consistency
  • Syllabus and course review
  • Plans to build a platform for networking opportunities and to create a sense of community between MEM graduates and current students

Outcomes for the audience

  1. Improve LMS course design and students’ experience
  2. Implement consistency across the program
  3. Enhance student engagement from a distance
  4. Establish onboarding processes for both faculty and students