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Improving Student Retention: Engaging Students Through Multiple Integrated, Problem Based Courses

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.345.1 - 5.345.5

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Paper Authors

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Elaine L. Craft

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James C. Wood

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

Session 2547

Improving Student Retention: Engaging Students Through Integrated, Problem-based Courses

James C Wood Tri-County Technical College Pendleton, SC

Elaine L. Craft South Carolina Board for Comprehensive and Technical Education Columbia, SC


South Carolina industry leaders are echoing industry concerns heard around the country: the fast pace of product innovation and the increasing complexity of technology in the workplace are requiring a different type of workforce to remain competitive in a global market 1,2,3. A shortage of highly qualified engineering technicians already exists in the state, according to the SC Department of Commerce and SC Technology Alliance, and the growth of technology-intensive companies is placing even more pressure on the SC Technical College System to meet the increasing demands for technicians 4.

The mission of the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education (SC ATE) Center of Excellence (partially supported by NSF grant DUE 9602440), a statewide systemic initiative, is to produce greater numbers of more highly skilled engineering graduates through the state’s 16 technical colleges. "Re-engineering" engineering technology programs involves not only developing new curriculum approaches to make instruction relevant to the demands of the workplace, but it also includes implementing new pedagogy and current instructional technology to make instruction effective. Industry representatives have made it clear that technical skills alone will not be sufficient for the worker of the future. Technicians must have interdisciplinary skills that include both technical and non-technical competencies that enable them to analyze, solve problems, communicate effectively, and be able to learn continuously as the workplace changes. Engineering technology graduates must be able to work as a part of a team, communicate well, and solve problems by integrating knowledge and skills from many disciplines.

Craft, E. L., & Wood, J. C. (2000, June), Improving Student Retention: Engaging Students Through Multiple Integrated, Problem Based Courses Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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