June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Engineering Design Graphics
11.298.1 - 11.298.7
Building Soft Skills into a CGT Program: Planning for Accreditation and Job Success
Purdue University Calumet has long supported engineering technology, with some programs finding their roots in World War II industrial training programs. Only recently, however, has the university added a program in Computer Graphics Technology (CGT). The CGT program at PUC was created in 2000 and has grown from 18 students to approximately 200 in 2005. While managing such growth has presented challenging issues for CGT faculty, the faculty have always performed program development with an eye towards future Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (TAC/ABET) accreditation in mind. Hence, in creating the associates and bachelor’s degrees, and the various program options, the faculty at PUC have planned for future accreditation and job success of the graduates by including technical courses along with many courses in the degrees which emphasize the “soft skills” of engineering technology, such as communication, teamwork, and appreciation for diversity. TAC/ABET Criterion 2 lists the eleven areas of expertise a graduate must possess upon program completion; most people know these as the “a-k” criterion. It is interesting to note that only four of the eleven criteria apply to technical areas. All others cover “soft skills.” By working closely with faculty from the Organizational Leadership and Supervision program, the CGT faculty have been able to incorporate courses which emphasize communication, teamwork, and other soft skills. Such courses include Conflict Management, Gender and Diversity, Human Relations in Organizations, Creativity and Problem Solving, and related topics. By including these courses in the degree requirements, the CGT program produces students who are trained in the soft skills required by TAC/ABET and also students who are more job ready and marketable in the workplace.
Purdue University Calumet (PUC) is a regional campus of Purdue University which is located in the northwest part of the state in Hammond, Indiana, a highly urban area of the state. The campus serves about 9,100 students and is primarily a commuter campus. The student population consists of about half traditional students and about half non-traditional returning students. Both the Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) program and the Computer Graphics Technology programs are part of the Manufacturing Engineering Technologies and Supervision (METS) Department on the Calumet Campus.
The Computer Graphics Technology (CGT) program at PUC was begun in 2000, and has grown exponentially in the last five years, as have CGT programs throughout the country. Because of the relative newness of the CGT degree nationwide, relatively few programs are accredited. Accreditation of the program is a desirable goal, to assess and maintain quality learning experiences for students, and to produce quality graduates. Following the national trend in education, the CGT program intends to pursue ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
Whittington, J., & Nankivell, K., & Colwell, J., & Higley, J. (2006, June), Building Soft Skills Into A Cgt Program: Planning For Accreditation And Job Success Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/991
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