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Creating Synergistic Opportunities for Professional Adult Continuing Learners through Engineering and Technology Collaborations

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

CPD Technical Session

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.335.1 - 24.335.15



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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer PMP, SPHR Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Springer currently serves as the Executive Director for Purdue University’s College of Technology located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He possesses over 30 years of theoretical and industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Program Management and Human Resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized, has contributed to the literature more than 110 articles, presentations, books and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and mediation.

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Mark T. Schuver Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Mark Schuver is the Director for the Center for Professional Studies in Technology and Applied Research (ProSTAR) in the College of Technology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is responsible for the administration/operations of the Center with Program Management oversight of the Weekend Master’s Degree, the Rolls-Royce Master’s Degree and the Building Construction Management Master’s Degree for working professionals in the College of Technology. Prior to joining Purdue in 2002, Mark was employed by Caterpillar, Inc for 35 years with assignments in Product Design, Research and Development, Supplier Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management and various leadership positions. He holds an Associate Degree in Drafting Technology from North Iowa Area Community College (1967), a BS in Business Administration (1990) and MS in Management (1992) from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Mark is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education and serves on the Executive Board of the Continuing Professional Development Division. He is also a member of College/Industry Partnerships, Engineering Technology and Graduate Studies Divisions of ASEE. Mark is a Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager with the Institute of Supply Management (formerly NAPM).

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Creating Synergistic Opportunities for Professional Adult Continuing Learners through Engineering and Technology CollaborationsThe engineering and technology educational continuum was formalized in a 1955 report of theCommittee on Evaluation of Engineering Education as part of the American Society ofEngineering Education by then chair Linton Grinter. In the report there was the recognition of adual, yet highly integrated educational continuum spanning the engineering-technologyundergraduate and graduate curriculums.Based on this report, most college and universities went on to associate under a single college orschool the disciplines of engineering and technology. The curriculums were evolved with asingular focus. As time passed, theoretical instruction became more prominent and some ofthese colleges and schools pushed the technology portion of the curriculum to the peripheral,others simply eliminated technology altogether.The College of A’s Division of Engineering Professional Education (A’sEd) and the College ofB’s Center for Professional Education (B’sEd) share a common purpose, mission and vision.Underlying these is the fundamental premise that both serve the graduate educational needs ofprofessional working adult learners in the STEM disciplines; this through credit and non-creditprogram offerings spanning the educational continuum of engineering and technology.Both organizations, A’sEd and B’sEd, recognize the similarities of their mission and sharedpurpose to provide learning opportunities to those in technical professions with careers inprogress. To this end, and aside from common policies, procedures and practices, bothorganizations recognize the significant commonality premised on space (facilities, equipment),distance infrastructure (distance classrooms, capture and delivery mediums), and the engineering– technology educational continuum (professional short courses, business/industry educationalcontinuum needs). This richness in overlap creates an unquestionable synergistic opportunity forefficiency gains, cost savings and increased revenue through enrollments.While it is widely accepted the sharing of resources creates efficiency and subsequently lowersoverall costs, the premise of this paper is solidly grounded in organizational design theory andpractice. A’sEd and B’sEd, through collaboration, anticipate organizational cost avoidance andincreased gross revenue through more efficient utilization of space, distance infrastructure andthe engineering-technology educational continuum; therefore yielding increased net residual tothe university, colleges, departments and faculty.Nearly 14 months ago two colleges opened discussions on collaboration. The manifestation ofthese many earlier discussions culminated in a more focused and targeted series of meetings todetermine areas for collaboration and how that collaboration might look. Primary areas forcollaboration, a result of these many meetings, centers on space, distance infrastructure and theengineering-technology educational continuum.This paper details the organizational challenges of bringing two tier 1 research universitycolleges together for a common purpose; that being the continuing education of professionalworking adult learners.

Springer, M. L., & Schuver, M. T. (2014, June), Creating Synergistic Opportunities for Professional Adult Continuing Learners through Engineering and Technology Collaborations Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20226

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