June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.175.1 - 2.175.5
Engineering Technology Curriculum Integration in an Associate Degree Program
James C. Wood Tri-County Technical College
The 16 technical colleges of the Technical College System of South Carolina in partnership with industry, public education, and the National Science Foundation (NSF-ATE DUE 9602440) have begun a five-year odyssey to reform the educational programs for engineering technology. This reform is needed because of two forces driving curriculum change. First, industry leaders emphasize that technicians need more than technical skills in the changing industrial environment. Second, knowledge gained from educational research on learning theory, new classroom methodologies, and improved instructional technology has made these changes possible. To reform the curriculum, interdisciplinary (mathematics, science, technology, and communication) faculty teams from across the state were formed and participated in faculty development activities involving learning theory, classroom methodologies, and instructional technology.
The business and industrial environment in the United States is in a state of change caused by the challenge to remain competitive in the world market. To successfully meet this challenge, industry must have a workforce that is well prepared, not only in technical skills, but also in teaming, communications, and problem solving. There is a shift occurring in the traditional industrial worker to become a technologist who works both with hands and with theoretical knowledge. Thus we can expect to see an expanding role of the "technician," especially the engineering technician within the manufacturing environment. Therefore, the role of the technician is not simply a "junior professional" but rather a collaborative partner who possesses a distinct body of heuristic knowledge and who has a unique set of activities to perform. The role of the engineering technology program is to identify the unique characteristics of the technician and to create an educational environment to fulfill the needs of industry in this changing situation. It is important that the educational programs model the workplace environment and not just teach about it.
Educational research provides guidelines for curriculum reform. Gardner1, in his concepts of multiple intelligences, indicates that students have seven different intelligences with each having various degrees of development. Felder2 has stated that the learning styles of students vary and that each style requires a different instructional strategy for effective learning to occur. Redich3 states that in the physics class "we will have to shift our emphasis from the physical content we
Wood, J. C. (1997, June), Engineering Technology Curriculum Integration In An Associate Degree Program Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6545
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