June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.187.1 - 24.187.14
Answering a Renewed Call for Action in Engineering TechnologyAbstractThe 2013 Engineering Technology Leadership Institute (ETLI) meeting in Washington, D.C.offered an opportunity for participants to discuss issues relevant to re-branding EngineeringTechnology (ET); global perspectives on educating engineers; the role of industry in engineeringeducation; and strategies that expand the supply of engineers. In short, ETLI rekindled a nationalcall for action. This article responds to the call by providing specific steps that address severalimportant issues affecting the ET community. The issues are coupled and not new; but thedialogue should provoke short- and medium-term actions. First, it has been proposed to rebrandET as General Engineering or Applied Engineering, and to rename the BS in ET as BS inEngineering. It will be reasoned that these proposed approaches are at best ineffective and atworst may be entirely devastating for ET programs across the nation. Instead, the articleadvocates a succinct description of technology and by association engineering technology to helpdispel what appear to be a never ending identity crisis, continuing misconceptions, and a sourcefor unnecessary and fruitless angst. Second, the time is proper to once again tackle ways ofranking ET programs. A features table will be developed based on the ASEE annual profile thatcan be used for the purpose of establishing national rankings. The metrics are either alreadyreported to the ASEE, or can be adequately measured and added to the ASEE annual profile.Ranking discussions may be contentious, but by concentrating on the positive, rankings can alsobe quite valuable to faculty and administrators seeking to improve their programs. Third, thefooting of ET can be made ever more solid by increasing the number of graduate programs. Anapproach will be laid out for that purpose. Finally, an inexpensive national marketing strategywill be outlined that gathers items posted in program websites and uses the ETD website andsocial media to markedly increase ET awareness in the communities. A sturdier image of thevalue of ET portrayed to prospective students, their school counselors, their parents, industryrecruiters, and faculty and administrators can be achieved by widely and continuouslypublicizing in the national arena the vastness of ET industry interactions, student/faculty andalumni success stories, scholarship, and community engagement.
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