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A Course In Career Preparation And Business Skills In An Engineering Technology Baccalaureate Degree Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Non-Technical Skills in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.26.1 - 12.26.13



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Paper Authors


Irene Ferrara Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

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Irene Ferrara, Pennsylvania State University
Irene Ferrara is the Coordinator for the Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program for the Altoona College of the Pennsylvania State University. She received her B.S. in Engineering Science from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.S. in Mechanics and Materials Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Address: 205 Force Technology Center, Penn State Altoona College, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601. Telephone: 814-949-5568, email:

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Rebecca Maguda Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

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Rebecca Maguda, Pennsylvania State University
Rebecca Maguda is Director of the Career Services Office at Penn State Altoona. She received her B.S. in Communications from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. She received her M.A. in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Address: 126 Slep Student Center, Penn State Altoona, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601. Telephone: 814-949-5059, email

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Andrew Vavreck Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

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Andrew Vavreck,Pennsylvania State University Andrew Vavreck is Head of the Division of Business and Engineering at Penn State Altoona, and an Associate Professor of Engineering. In addition to his administrative duties, he teaches dynamics and engineering design, and his research is in smart materials, especially magnetorheological fluids, including fluid and device design and control. He received his B.S. in Engineering Science, his M.S. in Engineering Mechanics and his Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics, all from Penn State. Address: 214 Hawthorn Building, 3000 Ivyside Park, Altoona, PA 16601. Telephone: 814-949-5529, FAX: 814-949-5838, email:

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Course in Career Preparation and Business Skills in an Engineering Technology Baccalaureate Degree Program Abstract

This paper describes the planning and implementation of a one-credit Engineering Business Skills course intended for baccalaureate degree students in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) at the Altoona College of The Pennsylvania State University. The elective course, developed cooperatively by the Director of Career Services and the EMET Program Coordinator during the spring 2006 semester, is designed to address career-oriented topics. The purpose of the class is threefold: to engage students in the job search process, to educate students regarding career planning activities and the resources available to them, and to better acquaint students with the skills necessary to succeed in industry.

Topics for the course include development of career goals, resume creation, marketing strategies, professional correspondence, job search strategies, interviewing skills, business etiquette, multicultural experiences, graduate school options, professional topics, and lifelong learning. As a part of the course, students attended two different career fairs: the Fall Career Fair at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, and the Business and Engineering Career Fair at Penn State Altoona.

The course was offered in fall of 2006 to eleven senior-level students in the EMET program. Students were surveyed during the first class period to gage their own assessment of their level of career planning preparedness for a variety of activities related to locating employment. An additional survey was administered at the conclusion of the course in order to assess shifts in student attitudes as well as the effectiveness of the course. Data from both survey instruments will be presented in this paper.


Penn State Altoona is one of 19 satellite campuses in the Pennsylvania State University system, which maintains its administrative and research hub at the University Park campus. The Altoona campus is located approximately 45 miles southwest of University Park, and is the geographically closest of the satellite campuses in the Penn State system. With 150 acres and more than 20 buildings, Penn State Altoona offers approximately 4000 students the opportunity to complete 20 baccalaureate and eight associate degree programs ranging from Arts and Humanities to Engineering. In Engineering Technology, two associate degree programs are offered, in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Electrical Engineering Technology. In addition, one baccalaureate degree program in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology is available at the campus. Approximately 30 students graduate each year with a BSEMET degree (Bachelor of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology.) In the eleven years since the inception of the BSEMET program, approximately 300 students have earned the degree.

In addition to the many degree programs that can be completed at Penn State Altoona, the college also offers the first two years of over 180 Penn State majors, including 13 in the College

Ferrara, I., & Maguda, R., & Vavreck, A. (2007, June), A Course In Career Preparation And Business Skills In An Engineering Technology Baccalaureate Degree Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1777

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015