June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.221.1 - 13.221.11
Articulating Need Sensitive Vertically Integrated Programs for Electronic Technology
Our department has entered into articulation agreements with several two-year colleges. Subsequently, we have commenced a dialogue with our community college partners as to how we can be more effective and student-centered in our approach to vertical integration. Traditionally, community colleges have done a good job of preparing technicians for industry, but graduates of two-year technical programs have more difficulty in getting appropriate credit for their technical courses. When transferring to a four-year program a direct equivalency is not always possible due to regulatory requirements, but in an outcome-based culture, it should be possible to create supplementary 1-credit or 0-credit courses that make such transfers possible. This paper will detail our initial efforts in that direction.
Within the framework of this manuscript vertical integration represents the process by which high school students, community college students, or certificate holders, are encouraged and given meaningful opportunities to obtain four-year degrees that they would not have sought otherwise. In a sense, this is recruitment, and recruitment strategies will have bearing on vertical integration. The electronic and computer engineering (ECET) option of the engineering technology department has many reasons to promote electronics education at all levels -- local, state and national1. At the local level, we primarily need to increase the number of recruits in the ECET program to continue to provide opportunities for students to excel and keep our program viable. At the state level, we know from talking to prospective employers that the demand for our graduates is extremely high: 4 to 5 jobs for every graduate. At the national (and global2-8) levels, the US is getting out-produced by India and China 30:1 in the numbers of engineering graduates; we are in desperate need of people who will manage America’s technical and financial interests around the world. Unfortunately, we are far from getting the job done at any one of these levels.
At the forefront of any recruitment exercise, we need to think about new and innovative ways to increase the number of students in any electronics area without regard to whether it is in electrical engineering, electronic engineering technology, or electronics technology. This means we are not concerned with the particular degree to which students aspire, as long as they select a specialization within electronics (this approach benefits electronics all levels – local, state, and national).
We also need to be able to differentiate our programs from the vocational, the AAS and the B.S. degrees in engineering. We need to design a vertical integration plan that invites students that are most suited to enter our program either from community colleges or from high schools (Figure 1). Finally, we need to tailor our program to meet the criteria
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