Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.318.1 - 1.318.6
I .— Session 2547
MECOMTRONICS ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY - EDUCATING TECHNICIANS FOR THE 21st CENTURY
Jack L. Waintraub, P.E. Middlesex County College
The New Jersey Center for Engineering Technology Education, NJCATE, is restructuring engineering technology education in order to produce engineering technicians who are equipped with the capabilities needed to meet the demands of industry in the 21st Century. Central to this effort is the creation of a Mecomtronics Technology Program which addresses industry needs for a multifunctional technician, skilled in the areas of mechanics, computers, telecommunications and electronics. The Mecomtronics program, by achieving a synergistic relationship between industry and education will emerge as a major alternative foundation for lifelong careers in a wide range of rapidly evolving technology areas. Mecomtronics will not only provide students with the breadth and depth of education essential to the changing demands of career opportunity and growth, but will demonstrate to industry the effectiveness of the Associate Degree as the base requirement for entry level technical positions. The Center is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program.
An intense process of self-examination and restructuring that is a direct result of global economic competition, is revolutionizing American business and industry. Companies are seeking to increase profitability through organizational change that is leaving them leaner and operating more efficiently. This process requires an organizational change that relies on a greater use of technology and a radical difference in the use of human resources.
To fit into the new organizational structure, technical employees must be more quality- minded and customer oriented and must accomplish multiple tasks of great diversity. Where once an employee was expected to do a job without reference to what others were doing, now “teamwork, communication skills, breadth of knowledge, initiative, versatility, and leadership skills” are basic requirements for employees at all levels.’
Education is currently mounting efforts to reformulate itself to produce graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attributes that employers seek. Technical mastery is no longer enough; the technician of the future must posses the knowledge and skills and the ability to function with decreased supervision in an environment that demands greater creativity, autonomy, and accountability. It has become clear that a piecemeal approach to educational reform has not worked and that comprehensive re-examination of the assumptions on which education is built must be engaged in.
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Waintraub, J. (1996, June), Mecomtronics Engineering Technology Educating Technicians For The 21st Century Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6183
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