Date: November 2008
Creator: Barbieri, Enrique & Fitzgibbon, William
Description: This paper discusses a transformational paradigm for engineering and engineering technology education. The knowledge explosion in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) over the past decades is unquestionably overwhelming. It is important that those involved in STEM quickly adapt. Life-long learning has taken a do-or-die slant, as technological breakthroughs turn obsolete within only a few years of their inception. Medical and law degree curricula became more "professional" and require a "pre-degree" status to be considered for admission. However, the traditional engineering degree plan is essentially the same as that of the mid 20th Century. Legislation in some states places additional pressure on baccalaureate degrees by questioning the need for anything above 120 credit hours. The result is (i) fewer engineering-specific courses; (ii) courses that heavily emphasize theory; and (iii) a subsequent reduction in hands-on, laboratory oriented, experimental learning. Engineering Technology curricula are designed to have experiential learning as the educational backbone. This forces a reduction in mathematical and scientific depth that is compensated by a richness of laboratory courses in almost one-to-one proportion to lecture courses, and which emphasize the application of engineering. The main challenges to establish and maintain experiential learning include (i) availability of slots in the curricula ...
Contributing Partner: UNT College of Engineering