June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.309.1 - 2.309.3
NSF Supported Engineering Technology Programs and Institutional Changes
George H. Sehi, Ph.D. Sinclair Community College
In FY95, Sinclair Community College was awarded NSF grant to establish a National Center of Excellence for Advanced Manufacturing Education. Now in its third year, the AME Center has made major progress in transforming engineering technology education as it prepares students for careers in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology
Under the guiding influence of the AME Center, the learning environment is evolving through the pilot testing of curriculum modules that have been developed for basic science and mathematics. In contrast to the traditional classroom model, the new modules are more discovery-oriented. They are activity-based and paced by the development of the students’ individual interests. To add a distinct flavor of relevance, the modules are more contextual, in the sense that they relate the basic knowledge to specific application areas. They involve greater emphasis on more rapid learning through teamwork, and they have gained industry validation.
Faculty are already being trained in the philosophy and use of the new modular approach. The first series of faculty workshops was held in the summer of 1996 through the Sinclair’s emerging Center for Interactive Learning. Additional workshops are being scheduled throughout the academic year. They will emphasis not only the facilitation and delivery of the learning modules, but an understanding of how the modules are developed.
Traditionally, individual curricular programs have tended to be separate, stand-alone entities. The conventional structure has been successful in educating students in specialized areas, but it has inhibited an appreciation of the interrelationships among specialties. The new approach emphasizes increased integration across curricular boundaries (or barriers); within the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program, the process is referred to as the “integrating manufacturing experience.” It serves the essential purpose of demonstrating to the students the importance of interfacing and working effectively with fellow students and coworkers from different disciplines. The philosophy is being used in many of the modules. Beyond the modules themselves, the philosophy is being adopted in courses in quality engineering technology, industrial engineering technology, and applied arts.
In FY95, Sinclair Community College was also awarded a NSF grant for the acquisition and installation of special stereolithography, or rapid prototyping, equipment to support the drafting technology program. The instrumentation accepts a CAD drawing in digital format and automatically molds an actual model of the part under study, in a matter of a few hours. Precision of the instrumentation is such that parts generally conform to the stated dimensions within about 0.005 inch.
The rapid prototyping equipment has been in full operation since February 1996 with great success. Student response has been particularly enthusiastic. Traditionally, to the drafter the part
Sehi, G. H. (1997, June), Nsf Supported Engineering Technology Programs And Institutional Changes Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6716
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