Salt Lake City, Utah
June 20, 2004
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004
9.27.1 - 9.27.4
Cooperative Industry-University Program to Deliver a BSEET Degree Scott Dunning, James Smith University of Maine/University of Southern Maine
National Semiconductor Corp. (NSC) is a worldwide manufacturer of integrated circuits for analog and mixed-signal technologies. Its newest and most modern integrated circuit fabrication plant is located in South Portland, Maine. Several years ago NSC identified a need for a career track for valued technicians, a number of who had an associate’s degree but were lacking a baccalaureate in an appropriate discipline, a necessity for advancement.
While a BSEE program was available locally through the University of Southern Maine (USM) it was not deemed appropriate for the particular group of technicians targeted for the program. Rather, a BSEET was felt to be more tractable for these individuals for several reasons. Much of the coursework which the technicians had taken was from technical colleges. Credits from these institutions would not transfer into a BSEE program as readily as they would into a BSEET. Also, the particular skill sets projected to be required for these individuals favored the more “hands-on” focus of the BSEET.
There were several challenges that needed to be overcome to serve the needs of the technicians. First, the nearest BSEET program available was at Maine’s land grant institution, the University of Maine (UM). UM is located in Orono, Maine which is a two hour drive from South Portland. Second, the company required a program which would allow this selected group of technicians to receive a baccalaureate in two and a half years. Finally, this program was projected to be a one-time-event, rather than a continuing program. To work into UM outreach plans, the effort to develop the off-site classes would have to complement their plans to develop on-line outreach courses. For this unique program to succeed, a cooperative arrangement between UM, USM and NSC would be necessary.
The first step in the process was to garner a cohort of students that were willing to commit the necessary time and effort necessary to succeed in the program. NSC and their affiliate Fairchild Semiconductor, advertised the program to their employees. This resulted in a screening group of approximately twenty-five. UM officials reviewed their transcripts and narrowed the pool to fifteen candidates qualified for the program. Selected candidates had obtained Associates degrees in EET or similar programs. Those applicants lacking an Associates degree were referred to Southern Maine Community College to complete the necessary credentials.
The cohort of students was largely non-traditional. Most students had been out of school for at least eight years with some out for as many as twenty years. Most had families with some
“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”
Smith, J., & Dunning, S. (2004, June), A Cooperative Industry/University Program To Deliver A Bseet Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/13317
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