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A Community College/University Educational Program In Technology – Maximizing Participation Through Varied Modes Of Delivery

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Recruiting and Retention

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.19.1 - 11.19.10



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Paper Authors


Clifford Mirman Northern Illinois University

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CLIFFORD R. MIRMAN received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991. From 1991 until 1999, he was a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Wilkes University’s. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Technology at NIU. His research areas are CAD, finite-element-analysis, and kinematics, both securing grants and writing publications. Dr. Mirman is actively involved in ASEE and SME.

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Xueshu Song Northern Illinois University

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XUESHU SONG received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in 1987, and has been a faculty member at NIU since that time. Dr. Song has written numerous refereed journal papers and conference articles. In addition, Dr. Song has an extensive history of funded research with NSF and other state and regional granting agencies. His research areas are in manufacturing, educational material development, and development of computing interfaces, and he is actively involved in ASEE and NAIT.

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Promod Vohra Northern Illinois University

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PROMOD VOHRA received his Ed.D. degree from Northern Illinois University in 1995. After serving as an electrical engineering technology faculty member for over ten years, he assumed the role of Associate Dean of the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology in 1998, and the was selected as the Dean of the college in 2004. Dr Vohra has developed numerous federal grants through US Army and Department of Transportation, and is actively involved in ASEE and NAIT.

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A Community College/University Educational Program in Technology – Maximizing Participation Through Varied Modes of Delivery


To obtain a 4-year degree in a technical field, students typically choose from two options; attend either a 4-year university, or a 2-year community college, followed by transfer to the 4- year school. The community college transfer process is gaining a wide acceptance, especially when the one examines cost and accessibility issues associated with higher education. While the route to transfer is difficult in any major, it is very difficult in a vertically structured curriculum like Engineering and Technology. In these areas, the entry point and course prerequisites are of great concern. Within the State of Illinois, there are many community colleges that offer a multitude of programs. The transfer process is further complicated by the fact that the transfer student population is comprised of a wide variance in age demographics. While many of the students in the 18-22 year old population can “move” to the university, older students are place bound with families and/or full-time employment. To satisfy the needs of adult learners, the community college districts are requesting assistance from universities in the development of educational programs at off-campus sites.

Within the State of Illinois, as well as in many other states, there is a strong community college presence and there is a great need to provide affordable, quality education to these students. However, in these days of budgetary constraints, the question arises how does one support on-campus and off-campus programs offered at several external sites. Over the past ten years, the Northern Illinois University Department of Technology has developed a unique partnership with Rock Valley College, which has resulted in the development of a technology 3+1 program. With a current enrollment of over 100 students, the program is offered off campus through live and distance video formats. The Department is now looking to develop two additional programs utilizing clusters of community colleges as program feeders. This program places much emphasis on the infrastructure needs, namely articulation, advising, marketing, scheduling, and Inter-college program development. This paper will discuss the modes used to develop this complex program and to provide the needed communication between the partners and students.

Program Need

The community college system within the State of Illinois is wide spread and represents a unique educational experience within the state. Overseen by the Illinois Community College Board of Education (ICCBE), the community colleges must provide the students with a fundamental education core within a two-year education. The education received through this system satisfies a significant need for quality education to students within the respective community who are place bound, or are unable to attend a four-year institution. However, these programs are 2-year offerings, and in many cases, the students who are in the program or the program graduates desire a 4-year education. This is especially true in the technical fields, where graduates of the

Mirman, C., & Song, X., & Vohra, P. (2006, June), A Community College/University Educational Program In Technology – Maximizing Participation Through Varied Modes Of Delivery Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--537

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