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Engineering Technology On The N. Carolina Information Highway

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.257.1 - 3.257.11



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Paper Authors

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Tom Owen

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Jack Carter

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Connie Martin

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Cheng Liu

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Ambrose Barry

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J. William Shelnutt

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Patricia Tolley

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Nan Byars

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

Session 1149

Engineering Technology on the North Carolina Information Highway William Shelnutt, Ambrose Barry, Nan Byars, Jack Carter, Cheng Liu, Connie Martin, Tom Owen, and Patricia Tolley The University of North Carolina at Charlotte


In the fall of 1997 we began offering a pilot program (funded by a grant from the University of North Carolina General Administration) of the BSET in Electrical Engineering Technology on the North Carolina Information Highway (NCIH) to three North Carolina Community College sites. Originating in an NCIH classroom on the UNC Charlotte campus, the classes are offered to sites at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston Salem, Gaston College in Gastonia, and Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh. The NCIH affords two-way, live video and audio of the UNC Charlotte classes. The entire upper-division Electrical Engineering Technology program, with limited electives, will be offered over four years, including selected courses that will fulfill five of the six UNC Charlotte Goals of General Education. (Remaining Goal courses can be fulfilled at the community and technical colleges. Admission requires an AAS degree with a grade point average of at least 2.20 and certain prerequisite courses.) The program will typically use a two-days-per-week format for each of two courses per semester. In addition to TV classes, the program depends on Web-based assignments, email communications with the instructor, and library and computer materials at each site. Laboratory courses will be taught as concentrated four-Saturdays-on-campus sessions of three experiments per day for each of four courses. We have appointed a half-time site coordinator for each site to take care of logistics such as registration, books, handouts, proctoring tests, and, in two of the three cases, operating the cameras. We have attempted to set up a distance-learning Mentoring Program with on-site mentors for these students in a model similar to the quite-successful one initiated in the last two years on the UNC Charlotte campus, but we had difficulty locating suitable mentors. On-site supplementary instructors were employed beginning in the second semester (spring 1998).

Although we could not begin advertising the program until well into the summer we overfilled two of the three sites with qualified students, requiring us to quickly find an alternate NCIH classroom at one site and additional seats at another. A total of 72 students were registered for this pilot cohort. Each of the host community colleges offered a calculus remedial/refresher course on a complementary night this first semester. The student population we have recruited is clearly non-traditional (with a median time since earning the AAS degree of five years), with families and jobs which preclude their coming to Charlotte to attend the BSET program on campus. They seem profoundly grateful for this opportunity. The popularity of this pilot program argues for its continuation with additional cohorts, and we have received requests for a similar offering of Mechanical Engineering Technology. However, we must address several issues related to funding, limited seating capacity at NCIH sites, limited availability of

Owen, T., & Carter, J., & Martin, C., & Liu, C., & Barry, A., & Shelnutt, J. W., & Tolley, P., & Byars, N. (1998, June), Engineering Technology On The N. Carolina Information Highway Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7099

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