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Out Of The Box

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.437.1 - 3.437.10

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Paper Authors

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Elaine L. Craft

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

Session 3247

Out of the Box Elaine L. Craft South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence

How does a state-wide system of two-year technical colleges produce enough engineering technology graduates to meet the needs of high-tech employers? South Carolinians are thinking “out of the box” in addressing this challenge. The South Carolina Technical Education System’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Initiative is taking an innovative, faculty- first approach to foster systemic reform in engineering technology education.

The SC ATE Initiative is being fueled by two significant grants from the National Science foundation (NSF): the SC ATE Exemplary Faculty Project and the SC ATE Center of Excellence. Out of the Box addresses outcomes for the SC ATE Exemplary Faculty Project. Remarkable results are being achieved through the SC ATE Exemplary Project as science, mathematics, engineering technology and communications faculty work together across the state in interdisciplinary teams for the purpose of increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of engineering technology graduates. By removing the limits of distance, academic discipline and individual endeavor, systemic synergy has resulted. Likewise, through strengthening collaboration and partnerships, the concept of how technical college faculty impact their students and local business communities is expanding.


There is a profound need for systemic change throughout the educational system in order to become more sensitive to and consciously respond to the learning styles of students, the technological opportunities available to teachers, and the increased demand for better trained, more sophisticated employees.

Industrial leaders continue to emphasize the change occurring in the workplace and the need for a better educated workforce for U.S. industry to be competitive in the world marketplace. Employers need a pool of highly qualified, technically sophisticated, and versatile engineering technology graduates. These new technicians must be team players who communicate well but are independent problem solvers who can integrate concepts from many disciplines. When employers are asked to prioritize the competencies engineering technology graduates need, they place communication and teamwork at the top of the list. Their message is clear: technicians must have interdisciplinary skills which include both technical and non-technical competencies that enable them to analyze, solve problems, communicate effectively, and learn continuously as the work place 1 changes.

Craft, E. L. (1998, June), Out Of The Box Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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