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Automotive Industry Management

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Building Bridges with Community Colleges

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.248.1 - 9.248.5



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Paper Authors

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Ron Darby

author page

Jane Fraser

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

Session 2148

Automotive Industry Management Ronald L. Darby, Jane M. Fraser Colorado State University - Pueblo


A unique Automotive Industry Management (AIM) program is offered at Colorado State University-Pueblo. The AIM program combines technical and business knowledge to produce graduates for entry-level management in the automotive industry. This program may be a model for producing technically knowledgeable, business savvy graduates for other industries.


Many businesses want graduates with technical knowledge and business savvy, but most technical baccalaureate programs include little business education. The CSU-Pueblo AIM program may be a model that others can follow to combine technical and business knowledge and to produce graduates that industry wants. The AIM program combines coursework for basic technical knowledge with a business minor. The AIM program was designed (1) to cover technical knowledge and business knowledge in a reasonable number of credit hours for a baccalaureate degree, and (2) to prepare graduates for the career paths they follow. The model is not without its problems; articulation with community colleges is difficult.

In this paper we first argue that businesses want technical and business knowledge and that, for at least some jobs, businesses would be willing to sacrifice technical proficiency, while maintaining technical knowledge and adding business knowledge. We then discuss how the AIM program has been designed to respond to those needs in the automotive industry. We finally discuss articulation problems with this model.

We distinguish throughout the paper between technical knowledge and technical proficiency. By “technical knowledge” we mean fundamental, theory-based understanding and by “technical proficiency” we mean the ability to perform skill based technical tasks.

What businesses want

For some technical jobs, businesses would accept reduced technical proficiency in new graduates in return for more business education. Since our program is Automotive Industry Management, we begin by discussing the needs of the automotive industry. We then generalize our argument to other industries.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Darby, R., & Fraser, J. (2004, June), Automotive Industry Management Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13628

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