June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Continuing Professional Development
23.4.1 - 23.4.11
BUILDING AND SUSTAINING AN IDEAL TECHNICAL CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMHow would you build and sustain a technical continuing education program that would bepositioned as a critical core value, not just an employee benefit, within a business or governmentorganization?Additionally, how would you assure that this program maintained its critical core value statuswithin that organization long after the founding innovators and champions who instilled passionand vision into it are retired from the scene?This article outlines the mission, strategic construct, and operating philosophy of such a programthat answers these two questions with inputs and conclusions from two main sources.The first source is the chronicled experience gained from the General Motors TechnicalEducation Program (TEP) from inception through growth and cultural acceptance as a core valuewithin GM. But this program that captured over 30 national and international awards, realizedover $400M in cost savings, generated multiple patents, survived the GM bankruptcy, andoutlived Pontiac, SAAB, Saturn, and Oldsmobile within a twenty five year span is not ideal andnecessitates continuous improvement and planned innovation in areas vital to sustaining strengthin its core value position. Still, it possesses strong and admirable attributes that help comprisethe ideal model.The second source is a compilation and synthesis of the strengths of other technical continuingeducation programs operated by other business and government organizations that arerepresented by respective university partners who participated in a survey to document thesestrengths.The criterion for selection for strengths within the ideal model are based on sound evidence thatthese strengths made the difference between survival and death in periods of sever budget cutswhere core value priority rather than “favorite son” positioning is the real and only measure ofthe final result.These two sources of input and criterion selection of strength combine to provide thecomponents for a model program that has greater potential for long term impact andsustainability than any individual participant program. Some of the results presented in this paperwill likely be anticipated by the reader. Some may be surprising. But all of the conclusionscapsulated within the resultant model contribute to an impactful and sustainable program.
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