June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.118.1 - 13.118.16
A Study to Establish a Masters Degree Program in Electronics and Computer Technology at Bowling Green State University
This paper presents the results of a study conducted to assess the feasibility of establishing a master’s degree in Electronics and Computer Technology (ECT) program at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio. Following an informal market analysis for the need of such a degree program, a review of ten technology masters programs in ECT related areas at different universities was conducted to find the curriculum of the existing programs. Survey questionnaires were then administered to three groups of subjects: graduating seniors, alumni, and industrial representatives, after proper human subjects review board (HSRB) approval. A total of 55 subjects responded to the survey. The data analyzed indicated positive response to establish the masters program in ECT at BGSU. On a Likert scale of 1 to 5, the three groups of respondents ranked 4.02/5.0 in favor of establishing a master’s degree. For a question on the type of degree, 33.33 percent of the respondents indicated their interest for a Master of Science (MS) degree in ECT while 20.37 percent favored ECT specialization in Master of Industrial Technology (MIT), and 46.30 percent of the respondents did not have preference for the type of degree. The response to the interest in the inclusion of blended instruction of courses that are partially online and partially face-to-face was better (3.85/5.0) than that of complete online courses (3.64/5.0) for the degree program. Response to the inclusion of laboratory activity in the degree program received the highest rating (4.44/5.0). Respondents preferred to have a thesis/major project as a part of the degree rather than taking additional courses, by giving the lowest rating of 3.16/5.0 for additional courses. Respondents’ choices of the possible ECT specialization courses were ranked into three categories. A mixture of computer networking and control systems courses were the top choice courses among the 18 possible courses. The paper describes this survey results in detail.
The U.S. Department of Labor17, Bureau of Labor Statistics16 predicts a 23.4 percent increase in job openings that require a master’s degree during 2000-2010. While there are many master’s degree programs in engineering in U.S. universities, there is a shortage of master degree programs in technology13. Bowling Green State University (BGSU) offers an undergraduate specialization in Electronics and Computer Technology (ECT) in its Bachelor of Science in Technology degree. Though it offers a Master of Industrial Technology (MIT) degree with specializations in Manufacturing and Construction Management, it has no specialization in ECT. Interested ECT students at BGSU have opted for the Manufacturing specialization to get a graduate degree by completing the synthesis experience on ECT related topic. Others have moved to a limited number of technology graduate programs available in ECT area elsewhere. A small number of students have also joined masters programs in engineering by taking needed extra math and science courses. All these students would have benefited if there were a master’s degree in ECT at BGSU.
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