June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.744.1 - 14.744.11
Institutional-Level Reform of an Engineering Technology Program
Burlington County College (BCC) is completing an institution-level reform of its Engineering Technology Associates degree program in an effort to better meet the workforce demands of industry in central New Jersey. This project brings together a consortium made up of secondary schools, a community college, a four-year university, workforce development professionals, and industry leaders. The approach of cooperative interaction is expected to serve as a model for transforming a community college technical education program in an effort to create a seamless and meaningful educational and work-entry pathway for future engineering technologists and technicians. One of the main goals of this project is to strengthen the ties within the technical education community and promote industry participation in educating students and training technicians. The addressed topics include: (1) transforming the Engineering Technology curricula to better meet the technical standards of industry; (2) developing customized training opportunities for incumbent and displaced workers; (3) integrating work-based activities and/or internship programs for students in the educational process; (4) developing initiatives to increase enrollment in the Engineering Technology Programs, particularly of under-represented students; (5) enhancing faculty development opportunities with local industry partners; and (6) promoting discussion, collaboration, and a working relationship among interested industrial stakeholders vested in the tri-state (NJ, PA, and DE) area. This project is supported by the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. 0703836.
The demand for highly-skilled manufacturing engineers and technicians is a growing concern in Burlington County and throughout New Jersey. Manufacturers in the state of New Jersey employ approximately 345,000 workers, 10% of the private sector workforce . In Burlington County alone, over 20,500 people are employed by manufacturing companies . Although some areas within the manufacturing sector have declined in recent years, there continues to be a strong demand for highly-specialized technicians who can bring critical technology skills to the manufacturing environment in order to affect operational efficiencies and cost reductions. For example, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (2004)  projects that demand for industrial engineering technicians (Associates degree holders) within Burlington County will continue to rise by 5.7% through 2012. Furthermore, statistical data from the US Census Bureau  (Local Employment Dynamics) indicates that in the first quarter of 2005, Burlington County had a total of 1,039 jobs created within the manufacturing sector. This figure represents 20% of the total number of manufacturing jobs created in New Jersey during that time period. Despite the growth within the advanced manufacturing sector, the demand for highly skilled technicians is exceeding the supply. According to the June 27, 2006 SHRM/Rutgers Leading Indicator of National Employment (LINE) report , 39.8% of the 500 manufacturers surveyed reported an increase in the number of vacant positions; a 7% increase from June 2005.
Spang, D., & Genis, V. (2009, June), Institution Level Reform Of An Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5276
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