June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.655.1 - 22.655.11
Perspectives from a Forum Examining the Feasibility of Integrating E and ET EducationUnder a 2-year Department of Education – FIPSE grant, the College of Technology at the(institution name) hosted a two-day forum in spring 2010 exploring a variety of issues related toengineering (E) and engineering technology (ET) education. A central focus of these discussionsrevolved around whether E and ET exist as separate fields or whether there was value in thinkingabout them as part of a continuum. The CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) model wasused as a framework for thinking about these two knowledge areas as facets of an overarchingengineering profession where the majority of E and ET graduates flow to the middle of CDIOand engage in “design-implement” tasks within 3-5 years after graduation. Several implicationsof a continuum-based framework for engineering education were debated within the context oftwo alternative curricular approaches. The first approach envisions a two-year curriculum inwhich E and ET students enroll in a set of common technical core courses. At the end of thesecond year, students would make a well-educated decision to become either engineering orengineering technology majors, subsequently completing a BS degree. The second approachmimics the educational models in medicine, nursing, or law. A professional engineering degreewould require a pre-requisite 4-year baccalaureate degree after which students would have theoption of applying to and enrolling in a post-graduate professional engineering degree program.This approach renders a BS in an ET area (e.g. mechanical engineering technology) a naturalchoice.This article presents a report on the results of the forum. A total of 47 forum participantsrepresenting E and ET programs from 35 institutions and 23 states expressed a wide range ofviews. Some did not agree with the premise of the continuum model or that any changes toengineering education were needed as such. A significant number viewed one or both alternativecurricular approaches as intriguing possibilities. However, even among those who regarded thealternatives favorably, many acknowledged that while they personally would support attempts toimplement alternatives at their campuses, contextual and institutional factors posed significantobstacles to change. Participants were also given an opportunity to interact with local industryrepresentatives for the purpose of gaining insight on what employers think about some of thesetopics. Evaluation results from observations and follow-up surveys suggest that at least in theimmediate future any potential changes are likely to take the form of positive incrementalchanges in general awareness and attitudes regarding (i) the correct placement of engineeringtechnology within the engineering profession; (ii) the correct placement of engineeringtechnology graduates in industry; and (iii) the opportunities for creating collaborative effortsbetween the two disciplines resulting in potential institutional savings and an increase in thepipeline of individuals entering the engineering profession. The project continues in its secondyear to widen the pool of participants by means of surveys to faculty, administrators, andindustry.
Ramos, M. A., & Chapman, L., & Cannady, M., & Barbieri, E. (2011, June), Evaluation Results of an E and ET Education Forum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17936
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