Evaluation Results of an E and ET Education Forum

Description:

This article discusses evaluation results of an Engineering (E) and Engineering Technology (ET) education forum at the University of Houston. A central focus to these discussions revolved around whether Engineering and Engineering Technology exist as separate fields or whether there was value in thinking about them as part of a continuum.

Creator(s):
Creation Date: 2011  
Partner(s):
UNT College of Engineering
Collection(s):
UNT Scholarly Works
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Total Uses: 70
Past 30 days: 2
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Creator (Author):
Ramos, Miguel

University of Houston

Creator (Author):
Chapman, Lauren

Quintiles

Creator (Author):
Cannady, Mac

University of California, Berkeley

Creator (Author):
Barbieri, Enrique

University of North Texas

Publisher Info:
Place of Publication: [Washington, DC]
Date(s):
  • Creation: 2011
Description:

This article discusses evaluation results of an Engineering (E) and Engineering Technology (ET) education forum at the University of Houston. A central focus to these discussions revolved around whether Engineering and Engineering Technology exist as separate fields or whether there was value in thinking about them as part of a continuum.

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Abstract: Under a two-year Department of Education FIPSE grant, the College of Technology at the University of Houston hosted a two-day forum in spring 2010 to explore a variety of issues related to E and ET education. A central focus to these discussions revolved around whether E and ET exist as separate fields or whether there was value in thinking about them as part of a continuum. The CDIO (conceive-design-implement-operate) model was used as a framework for thinking about these two knowledge areas as facets of an overarching engineering profession, where the majority of E and ET graduates flow to the middle of CDIO and engage in "design-implement" tasks within three to five years after graduation. Several implications of a continuum-based framework for engineering education were debated within the context of two alternative curricular approaches. The first approach envisions a two-year curriculum in which E and ET students enroll in a set of common technical core courses. At the end of the second year, students would make a well-educated decision to become either engineering or engineering technology majors, subsequently completing a BS degree. The second approach mimics the educational models in medicine, nursing, or law. A professional engineering degree would require a prerequisite four-year baccalaureate degree. This approach renders a BS in an ET area (e.g., mechanical engineering technology) a natural choice. This article reports on the results of the forum. A total of 45 forum participants representing E and ET programs from 35 institutions and 23 states expressed a wide range of views. Some did not agree with the premise of the continuum model or that any changes to engineering education were needed. A significant number viewed one or both alternative curricular approaches as intriguing possibilities. However, even among those who regarded the alternatives favorably, many acknowledged that while they personally would support attempts to implement alternatives at their campuses, contextual and institutional factors posed significant obstacles to change. Participants were also given an opportunity to interact with local industry representatives to gain insight into what employers think about some of these topics. Evaluation results from observations and follow-up surveys suggest that, at least in the immediate future, any potential changes are likely to take the form of positive but small incremental changes in general awareness and attitudes regarding the correct placement of engineering technology within the engineering profession, the correct placement of engineering technology graduates in industry, and the opportunities for creating collaborative efforts between the two disciplines resulting in potential institutional savings and an increase in the pipeline of individuals entering the engineering profession. The project continues in its second year, focusing on the design of a true 2 + 2 transfer program from junior colleges to E and ET.

Physical Description:

7 p.

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Subject(s):
Keyword(s): engineering | technology | higher education | degree plans
Source: Journal of Engineering Technology, 2011, Washington DC: American Society for Engineering Education
Partner:
UNT College of Engineering
Collection:
UNT Scholarly Works
Identifier:
  • ARK: ark:/67531/metadc122182
Resource Type: Article
Format: Text
Rights:
Access: Public
Citation:
Publication Title: Journal of Engineering Technology
Edition: Fall
Page Start: 54
Page End: 60
Peer Reviewed: Yes