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Incorporating The Relevance Of Engineering Practice Into Academic Program Curricula

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Issues Affecting Engineering Technology Program Development

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.876.1 - 12.876.13



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Paper Authors

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Howard Evans National University

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John Bugado National University


Shekar Viswanathan National University

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Dr. Viswanathan is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Engineering and Lead Faculty of the Engineering Management and Homeland Security and Safety Engineering programs. He leads six full time and fifty-two adjunct faculty members, offering three undergraduate and six graduate programs, with a student population of three hundred. Dr. Viswanathan is an educator, researcher and administrator with more than twenty-five years of industrial and academic experience encompassing engineering and environmental consulting, research and development, and technology development. His career experience includes teaching at the University level, conducting fundamental research, and developing continuing educational courses.

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Albert Cruz National University

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Albert Cruz has had long-time careers in both income taxes and technology. He held a position as Tax Analyst Programmer at Intuit Inc for 11 years- working on the popular TurboTax and ProSeries software programs.

Mr. Cruz holds a B.S.B. degree in Information Systems, and an M.B.A. in Technology Management, both from the University of Phoenix. He also holds an M.A. in Human Behavior from National University where he is now a member of the Associate Faculty at the School of Engineering and Technology. He teaches both online and onsite courses in computer ethics, information systems, and information technology management. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the emerging field of Knowledge Management.

Mr. Cruz is an Enrolled Agent.

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

Incorporating the Relevance of Engineering Practice into Academic Program Curricula


In today’s competitive environment, employers consistently place high value on graduates that have demonstrated, relevant skills and knowledge. Perhaps the most effective way for acquiring such relevant capabilities is through co-op assignments and internships, yet these generally occur outside of the basic curricula even though they may have some educational credits attached. When incorporating the relevance of engineering practice directly into curricula, the use of input from external advisory boards is valuable and somewhat common. Industry visits, industrial seminar series, and incorporating external lecturers can also be effective in adding relevance to classes. However, while all of these are valuable, the most recognizable measure of having acquired relevant capabilities is achieving industry-specified professional validations and certifications.

This requires carefully pre-designed curricula that account for multiple aspects. Merely providing instruction for professional certification tests and exams can border on training rather than educating, and is therefore more appropriate at a trade or commercial school rather than at a traditional academic institution. Using the advice and direction of external advisory boards, pertinent professional certifications have been identified and the content covered therein evaluated relative to its fit with various engineering and engineering technology curricula. By aligning aspects of professional certifications with established curricula, it is possible to integrate and intersperse the fundamentals and scope of the certifications into the curricula. As students move through their engineering or engineering technology programs they acquire the understanding and capabilities required to obtain appropriate professional certifications if they desire. This has been demonstrated for a variety of programs, including: information technology; engineering management; computer science; environmental, health and safety engineering technology; and homeland security and safety engineering. Graduates of these programs will have acquired the knowledge and capabilities to acquire one or more of the following industry/professional certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Computer Wireless Network Administration (CWNA), Computer Wireless Network Security (CWNS), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Protection Professional (CPP), Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and FEMA Certifications (ICS 100, 200, 700, 800). Details of how to incorporate specific certification capabilities into curricula, along with the role of external advisory boards are described. Including this integration along with the other methods noted above – industry visits, external expert lecturers and seminars, and so forth - results in curricula that help develop graduates with capabilities of demonstrable relevance in engineering practice.


Evans, H., & Bugado, J., & Viswanathan, S., & Cruz, A. (2007, June), Incorporating The Relevance Of Engineering Practice Into Academic Program Curricula Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2871

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