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A Modular Approach To Semiconductor Curriculum Development

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.25.1 - 3.25.3

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Lyn Mowafy

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

Session 1247

A Modular Approach To Semiconductor Curriculum Development Lyn Mowafy MATEC

It has been estimated that by the year 2000, the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry will need over 40,000 new workers (120,000 workers worldwide). Most of these workers will have earned a two-year technical degree from a community college or technical school. The unprecedented demand for degreed technicians in semiconductor manufacturing has caused competitors to join forces in assisting educators in developing their workforce. Through SEMATECH and SEMI/SEMATECH, the national consortia of semiconductor manufacturers and their suppliers, industry representatives are actively encouraging and helping community colleges convert existing electronics or industrial technology programs into Semiconductor Manufacturing Technician (SMT) programs. These new programs require knowledge, skills and abilities not found in most existing programs. As a result, educators are pressed to design and implement whole curricula seemingly overnight.

In response to the urgent need for curricula and materials, as well as faculty development opportunities, the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC) has been established under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation to create and maintain a national resource center for developing, managing, evaluating, and distributing educational materials for SMT programs nationwide. These products are to be characterized by their balance of practical knowledge with mathematical and scientific understanding, relevancy to industry workforce needs, and adaptability under rapid technological change. To meet the challenge, MATEC is creating a curriculum development system that allows individual institutions opportunities to transition successfully from existing programs as well as service local industry partner needs. The key features of this system are: 1) the curriculum is modular in design and based on workplace competencies and, 2) it is delivered to faculty electronically with an accompanying electronic performance support system.

Competency-Based, Modular Curriculum

In 1995, the SEMATECH and SEMI/SEMATECH Technician Training Council outlined a recommended course of study for technical degrees in semiconductor manufacturing processes, and equipment or facilities maintenance. The three-tiered course of study includes a conceptual foundation in mathematics, chemistry and physics, a sound footing in the ability to work and communicate as a productive team member, and a technical core of skills in managing sophisticated manufacturing tools and processes. MATEC has adopted this curriculum and recommends it to its partner schools. However, the educational philosophies, available resources and approaches to pedagogy of our partner institutions vary considerably. MATEC's task is to respond to each of these institutions with appropriate and useable courseware and teaching materials.

Mowafy, L. (1998, June), A Modular Approach To Semiconductor Curriculum Development Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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