June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.180.1 - 23.180.12
An Interdisciplinary Strategy for Improving Enrollments in ET ProgramsAbstractThe recent trend of declining enrollments in many Engineering Technology (ET) programsacross the US has prompted universities offering BS degree programs in ET disciplines to seekstrategies to maintain their identity, viability, and continued relevance in the face of competitionfrom Engineering programs, and the prevailing poor economic conditions. Strategies adopted bysome institutions have included the "if you can't beat them, join them" option of switching theirprograms entirely from ET to Engineering, renaming their programs to differentiate them fromsimilarly named Engineering programs, seeking innovative ways to develop pipelines forstudents to enter their programs via articulation agreements with two-year institutions, ordeveloping highly innovative and specialized new curricula that seek to differentiate the ETprograms from Engineering programs. This latter strategy was considered to be the better optionby the faculty of the ECET department at ____ ____ ____ University. In 2006, the ECETdepartment at _____ sought to take advantage of the rapid growth in the biomedical Engineeringarea to develop an innovative option in Biomedical Engineering Technology under its existingEET program . While there has been a lot of interest in this BMET option, the anticipatedgrowth in enrollment has been slow to materialize due to the fact that the option was not aseparate degree program. Students have had difficulty in accepting the fact that the actualdegree obtained will be the BSEET degree with an option in BMET. As a result the ECET facultyhave revisited the option and is working in conjunction with their MET colleagues to develop anovel full-blown BMET degree program that incorporates aspects of device design andmanufacturing into the curriculum. This program is being developed in conjunction with anotherprogram in Renewable Energy Engineering Technology (REET) that is also a joint effortbetween ECET and MET faculty. These two new highly innovative "boutique" ET degreeprograms are expected to capture the growing interest in Biomedical Engineering andRenewable Energy Systems. This paper discusses the development of these two new curriculaand the anticipated challenges in offering these programs and recruiting students into these newinterdisciplinary majors.
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