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Experiences Of Engineering Technology Faculty In Professional Certification Programs

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Faculty Development and Research in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.605.1 - 14.605.9



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Paper Authors


John Denton Purdue University

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John Denton is an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology in the Purdue University, College of Technology in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1995. His areas of interest and expertise are analog electronics, RF electronics and electronic materials. He is the author or co-author of over 50 journal articles and conference proceedings.

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Nancy Denton Purdue University

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Nancy Denton, PE, CVA III, is a professor of mechanical engineering technology at Purdue University. She is involved in machinery monitoring, mechanical testing, curriculum and assessment. Her professional affiliations include ASEE, ASME, and the Vibration Institute.

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

Experiences of Engineering Technology Faculty in Professional Certification Programs


Professional certification is a widely accepted method for establishing credentials in one’s field. Certification is an industry driven process to establish a level of competency for employers and employees. Becoming certified generally consists of a minimum length of practice in the field of a technical discipline and earning a passing score on a written examination. These examinations are generated through a committee-based process comprised of experts in the area of certification, where the experts include a wide base of representatives from different aspects of the certified area. Typically, the committee contains industry professionals and very few, if any academics. While the absence of education-based members may be due to many factors, one contributor may be the lack of current industrial practice in most educational venues. Industry- based education programs, such as in engineering technology, are an often overlooked resource for professional certification. As academic contributors, the authors share their experiences serving on certification examination committees for two professional societies and how this is impacting their programs and students.


Professional certification is becoming more prevalent in the technical sector as a means to show competence and experience in an area of expertise. Certification has many advantages for both the employer and employee, but there are also benefits for participants in the certification development process. This paper will present the overall scope of professional technical certification and benefits for the employer and employee. This paper seeks to highlight the advantages for those who participate in the generation and maintenance of certification programs.

There is a multitude of professional certification programs available that are government based, corporate based and industry based. There are many opinions regarding the applicability, need and efficacy of the various types of certifications that are beyond the scope of this paper1-3. Government-based certifications are typically for public safety, understanding of governmental regulations and compliance. For many professionals, this type of certification is a prerequisite for beginning or continuing employment, such as nurses, accountants, teachers, and doctors4. Professional engineer licensure is a typical technical example of a governmental certification, and is mandatory for engineering requiring signature authority, where the resulting product will directly affect the general public5. There are also standards that industry has employed to certify the certification process6,7.

Corporate-based certification consists of certifying competency in a specific company’s systems or products. Cisco, Motorola, National Instruments, and Rockwell Automation are all examples of the many companies that offer certification programs for individuals. For example, Cisco offers individuals a three-level general networking certification program, with the option for

Denton, J., & Denton, N. (2009, June), Experiences Of Engineering Technology Faculty In Professional Certification Programs Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5568

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