Industry Supplied CAD Curriculum Case Study on Passing Certification Exams
Students who successfully pass professional certification exams while in school are often targeted first by industry for internships and entry level positions. Over the last decade, leading industry suppliers of computer-aided design (CAD) software have developed and launched certification exams for many of their product offerings. Some have also created educational curriculum and resources for educators, such as sample exams and training guides. This case study investigates students’ passing rates of two SOLIDWORKS certification exams after utilizing free and openly available educator instructional material in the classroom. The engineering technology students were from Mechanical Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology degree programs. The Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) exam was administered at the end of a freshman level introduction to graphics course. The Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Academic (CSWP-Academic) exam was administered at the end of a junior level advanced CAD course. This paper presents a brief description of the curriculum for both courses, including the instructional material and exams. Quantitative and observational outcomes from both courses will also be presented.
Keywords: CAD, SOLIDWORKS, certification, engineering technology