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Pre Engineering Programs: A Seamless Approach To Connecting K 12 To The University

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.789.1 - 6.789.4

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Paper Authors

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Hank Regis

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Gaby Hawat

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

Session 2486

Pre-Engineering Programs: A Seamless Approach to Connecting K-12 to the University

Dr. Gaby Hawat, Hank Regis Valencia Community College


Valencia Community College offers the fundamental engineering classes needed for all engineering programs. In addition to the standard AA in pre-engineering, a more specialized AA is offered in pre-engineering. Credential requirements for engineering professors at Valencia include a minimum of a Master’s degree in engineering. Valencia also offers an “Introduction to the Engineering Profession” class centered on the introduction to students of the different engineering fields available to them. This program has been highly successful and the variety of participating speakers has significantly contributed to that success. Valencia is currently exploring the requirements to obtain ABET accreditation to increase the viability of our pre- engineering programs. The college has a broad diversity of students attending our classes reflecting the diversity of the local population at large in the Orlando area. Valencia has been successful in recruiting and helping engineering students by obtaining a variety of grants, scholarships and assisting in internships with industry to assist them in pursuing their ultimate goal of becoming engineers.

It is well known that there still exists a major shortfall in the supply and demand equation for engineers in the American workforce, particularly with software/hardware engineers as part of a nationwide shortage of technical talent in general. Virtually all technical sectors currently have a strong demand for engineers1. Valencia Community College is responding to a strong need for graduating engineers by providing the fundamental engineering classes needed for all engineering programs such as Engineering Analysis-Statics, Engineering Analysis-Dynamics, Probability & Statistics for Engineers, Principles of Electrical Engineering. In addition Valencia provides an “Introduction to the Engineering Profession” class, designed to assist students with their career paths through guest speaker presentations. The demand for graduating engineers is as high as ever. One indicator is the increasing hiring of foreign employees to fill the gap in the supply and demand of the engineering workforce. There actually appears to be a decline in the number of graduating engineers while the demand has remained constant or even increased slightly in the last few years.

Yet not all students are ready academically or financially to start in an engineering program at a four year university. Many cannot afford to go to school full time and take engineering classes with less than a full academic load.

Valencia Community College has one of the highest graduation rates in the nation for minorities, ranking 20th in the nation for all minorities, ranking 13th in the nation for Hispanics. This trend is also evident for students who have declared an engineering Associate in Arts degree. Looking at a snapshot picture of the Fall semester of 2000, we see that Valencia had a 23% Hispanic, a 15% African-American, and a 14% women representation among engineering students. It should also

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Regis, H., & Hawat, G. (2001, June), Pre Engineering Programs: A Seamless Approach To Connecting K 12 To The University Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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