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Beating The Competition Down With The Stick Of Education: A Winning Strategy For A Global World

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Collection

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Global Engineering in an Interconnected World

Tagged Division

International

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

13.249.1 - 13.249.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4388

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

biography

Saeed Khan Kansas State University-Salina

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SAEED KHAN is an Associate Professor with the Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology program at Kansas State University at Salina. Dr. Khan received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, in 1989 and 1994 respectively and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1984. Khan, who joined KSU in 1998, teaches courses in telecommunications and digital systems. His research interests and areas of expertise include antennas and propagation, novel materials for microwave application, and electromagnetic scattering.

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biography

Beverlee Kissick Kansas State University-Salina

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BEVERLEE KISSICK earned three degrees from Kansas State University at Manhattan, Kansas: a B.S. in Sociology, MS in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Educational Technology Library/Media. Currently a Professor Emeritus, Beverlee has served as a Professor and Director of Libraries at Kansas State University at Salina where she has taught sociology. Beverlee taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, and in Kansas public schools. Kissick chaired the diversity committee at KSU at Salina for three years and has served on the President’s Council on Multicultural Affairs and the Tilford Group at Kansas State University at Manhattan. Beverlee is known for her presentations on Practical Humanities and information literacy.

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

Beating the Competition down with the Stick of Education: A Winning Strategy for a Global World

Introduction:

In his book, Is America Falling off the Flat Earth1, Norman Augustine highlights the sharp competition that the U.S. has begun to face in the world stage:

…our competitors have not been standing still. The World Economic Forum dropped America from first to seventh place in its ranking of nations’ preparedness to benefit from advances in information technology; the number of US citizens entering engineering school declined still further; the remnants of the legendary Bell Labs, the birthplace of the laser and the transistor and the home of many Nobel laureates, were sold to a French firm; a new generation of semiconductor integrated circuits—the mortar of the modern electronics revolution—was introduced; the largest initial public offering in history was conducted by a Chinese bank; another $650 billion has been spent on US public schools while the performance of its students on standardized science tests of those about to graduate declined further; American companies once again spent three times more on litigation than on research; and in July, for the first time in history, foreign automakers sold more cars in the United States than American manufacturers.

Even taking account of Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz’s caveat that the world is far from becoming flat for many in developing countries2, most could probably find themselves agreeing with the alarming tone of the quoted material in the preceding paragraph. This paper will make suggestions as to how we might construct educational strategies that would help America prevail over this competition3-6.

The default strategy that has evolved without much foresight in high tech areas, has been the cultivation of major global partners like India and China. As engineers and educators, we have to ask how this impacts what we teach in the classroom. Having listened to numerous presentations on industry needs, we believe that industry would embrace a new breed of engineers and technologists to manage US technological and financial interests around the world. This is a rational approach based on ground realities. India and China together out produce the U.S. 30 to 1 in engineering graduates, and their graduates get paid one eighth of what a U.S. graduate will need7. If we want to maintain our technological and economic might, we certainly must make good use of the talent that exists around the world. Industry seems to be taking a two pronged approach to engineers and technologists. They are emphasizing the need for soft skills for engineers and technologists, and a more systems approach for the technician (as an example they would like an electronic technician education where components are de-emphasized in favor of a systems approach8).

No one can disagree with the importance of soft skills to engineers and technologists in a global economy; however, the approach to technician training needs to be studied more carefully3-5, 8, 9. A truly successful global technological strategy will require us to move from having two major partners, to many major partners in technology2. Indeed, the more successful we become, the greater will be the need for U.S. engineers and technologists. We submit that to meet this anticipated need for engineers and technologists can be

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