June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Technology & Design Programs
During the summer of 2016, visits were undertaken to six post-secondary academic institutions with programs in construction management, industrial design, information technology, manufacturing or mechanical engineering technology, and technology & engineering education. The purpose of these visits was to learn more about how they are structured, their history, their faculty, and other related items. While certainly not representative in terms of numbers, what was learned as a result of these visits is at least a valuable snap-shot of current practices in several technology disciplines, at seven institutions (including the author’s home institution). These seven institutions were (in alphabetic order): Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Purdue University, University of Cincinnati, University of Houston, and University of Wisconsin-Stout. This paper will report on observations in areas of faculty, enrollment, local organization, placement, experiential learning, teaching load, scholarship & scholarly productivity, industry experience, industry advisory boards, program accreditation, and terminal degrees of the faculty members. There are four types of faculty: full-time tenure-track – professorial; full-time tenure-track – professional; research only; and adjunct. It was also learned that there are four types of adjunct faculty. The actual name of a program, and the academic unit in which it is housed, varies substantially. These are usually a function of the history of the academic institution, its mission, and the local and state politics where it resides. A few were experiencing, or had recently experienced, substantial growth in enrollments. Most were relatively steady in their student enrollment. All reported two different statistics on placement: the official number, which had varying definitions and was always less than 95%, and the unofficial number, which generally meant how many of those actively seeking a job were able to obtain one. The latter number was nearly always 95-100%. All programs had experiential learning as a core component. There was some variation in how this was accomplished, but not in the commitment to using this as an integral part of their educational program. All had some form of maker space, usually multiple ones, with a wide range of equipment. The teaching load was generally a function of the type of faculty (see above), but at some institutions this is tied to research grant dollars – the more money they brought in, the smaller their teaching load, such that in some cases, the faculty member became a full-time researcher with no teaching load. Where the AAUP (American Association of University Professors – a union) had a chapter on campus, the load was defined by the AAUP contract. Several factors determine the definition of scholarship, including impact, quality of venue, and peer review. Some programs include work with local industry as part of scholarship, as it shows impact. Some institutions valued conference proceeding publications, while others did not. Most institutions allow the programs to define what scholarship means to them. All engineering technology (ET) programs agreed that ET does not have a cultural history of research expectations.
Lunt, B. M. (2017, June), Technology and Design Programs Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28935
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