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Building Ethics & Project Management Into Engineering Technology Programs

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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

Nontechnical Skills for Engineering Technology Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.276.1 - 9.276.6



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Paper Authors

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George Zion

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Ronald Fulle

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Carol Richardson

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

Session Number: 1348

Building Ethics and Project Management into Engineering Technology Programs

Authors: Ron Fulle, Carol Richardson, George Zion Affiliation of All: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)


Our Industry Advisory Board (IAB) strongly suggested that we include more managerial skills in the Engineering Technology curriculum. Revised ABET criteria now require such skills. Our programs were already so long that they adversely impact student retention. The dilemma was how to implement more so called “soft skills” without adding more hours to the curriculum. This paper reviews our approach to solving this problem.


In 1999 and again in 2000, our Industry Advisory Board (IAB) strongly requested that we include more managerial skills in Engineering Technology Programs so as to graduate students who not only have excellent technical skills, but also possess so called “soft skills.” This request was for BS Programs in Electrical, Computer & Telecommunications Engineering Technology. These programs were already 5-year cooperative programs and were chock full. We turned this request and problem into a great opportunity that not only satisfies the original goal, but also may be a major contributor toward fulfilling two other, perhaps more important goals.

• Include more managerial skills and graduate students with so called “soft skills • Satisfy the new ABET requirements for Engineering Technology Programs • Expand Program breadth, while, at the same time, provide succinct programs. Successful progress toward time to graduation is a key component of RIT’s retention improvement programs. Lengthy programs may diminish the perception of progress.

Only the initial goal was originally undertaken. Like so many innovations, the other outcomes were incidental benefits that will ultimately improve our student’s skills and the programs at least as much as the original goal.

Genesis of Change

Our Engineering Technology programs utilize Industry Advisory Boards as input to potential improvement of our curriculum and programs. At a minimum, these boards meet with faculty curriculum committees twice per year. Historically, individuals who serve on these IABs offer suggestions for introducing advanced technology, tools and tests into the curriculum. They also “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering"

Zion, G., & Fulle, R., & Richardson, C. (2004, June), Building Ethics & Project Management Into Engineering Technology Programs Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13667

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