June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.967.1 - 11.967.8
Offering a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Degree Program on Accelerated Eight-Week Terms: Experiences, Challenges, and Advantages for Students
A recent exchange on the Engineering Technology listserv discussed the possible use of terms shorter than the traditional sixteen week semester. The responses indicated a strong preference for the standard semester, and very little interest in attempting to offer Engineering Technology courses in shorter terms. The fact that the question came up, however, indicates some interest in, or pressure on, programs to offer courses in terms shorter than sixteen weeks.
Our department was moved to the university’s satellite campus, which is on a military base and where the standard operating schedule is based on eight week accelerated terms. With this change, we had to adapt our program to eight-week terms. This paper describes the author’s experience as the department chair with making this transition from sixteen-week semesters to eight-week terms. This paper will discuss the changes we were forced to make, advantages and disadvantages for students, and challenges as well as opportunities for faculty and department chairs in making this transition to shorter terms.
Our engineering technology department evolved from earlier programs in industrial arts and then industrial technology. The program offers the Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology with specialized concentrations in robotics, manufacturing, and electronics, as well as a general concentration. After the move to the satellite campus, a two year degree program in electronics technology was merged into the department as well. This is a small department with five full time faculty members and around 100 majors in the four year degree program.
Initially, the department was based on the main campus of the university, and occupied the old industrial arts building. This campus operates on traditional sixteen week semesters, and caters primarily to traditional students and others who can take courses during regular daytime hours. The department could easily draw on courses in other departments as major requirements. Some departments, including engineering technology, offered a few evening courses. However, the lack of consistent evening offerings of required courses outside the major limited the department’s evening program.
The university also has a satellite campus on a nearby military base. This compliments the main campus by serving as the primary campus for nontraditional commuter students. The prime time for courses is in the evening. To meet military needs, the campus operates on accelerated eight- week terms.
The student population at the satellite campus has a higher number of nontraditional students. Many students are either active duty military or military retirees. Also, the campus attracts a large number of students, mostly nontraditional, from the community. Despite recent troop deployments, enrollment has stayed strong on this campus.
Blake, J. (2006, June), Offering A Bachelor Of Science In Engineering Technology Degree Program On Accelerated Eight Week Terms: Experiences, Challenges, And Advantages For Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--855
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