June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.289.1 - 13.289.12
Characterizing the Engineering Technologists: Implications for Program Assessment
Several sources of instructional and occupational information were examined for their potential to produce and validate statements that describe the expected accomplishments of engineering technology graduates during the first few years after graduation, or objectives, and statements that describe what engineering technology students are expected to know and be able to do upon fulfilling their graduation requirements, or outcomes. The sources examined included crosswalks, the Classification of Instructional Programs, the Occupational Information Network, and the Standard Occupational Classification system. The results indicated that these information sources can serve as valuable and viable adjuncts to other means engineering technology programs use for producing and validating statements that describe the expected accomplishments of engineering technology graduates during the first few years after graduation and that describe what engineering technology students are expected to know and be able to do upon fulfilling their graduation requirements.
Engineering technology programs exist to prepare their products, their graduates, to fulfill roles in economic endeavors as technicians or technologists. That is, engineering technology programs exist to prepare their graduates to function effectively in given occupations. As a result, the need to assess the results of the instruction delivered is at the very least a value added step in the instructional process. Instructional programs should be able to identify the standards to which they are teaching and the extent to which their graduates meet those standards.
Most instructional programs seek feedback and respond to the feedback at the course, program, and product performance levels. The standards established by most programs are based on good and well established practices—ie focus groups, advisory boards, surveys, and the like, as are their measurement techniques.
The current literature, however, suggests that engineering technology has not taken advantage of what appears to be a wealth of selected bits instructional and occupational information housed in readily accessible databases. Perhaps it is because the information deals with engineering technology occupations as they are presently rather than what they ought to be or will be. Another reason that could be given is the findings are a result of data that are collapsed from numerous national sources and may not be as applicable to a particular community. The information, never-the-less, appears to be valuable and, at the very least, can serve as an adjunct to what’s being used and done.
The purpose of this study was to examine those sources of instructional and occupational information for their potential to produce and validate (a) objectives—statements that describe
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