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Why Should We Take Engineering Technology Programs On Site?

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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

6.1163.1 - 6.1163.7

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James Barrott

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

Session 3247

Why Should We Take Engineering Technology Programs On-Site? James L. Barrott Chattanooga State Technical Community College


In a booming economy, colleges with engineering technology programs in small to medium size markets struggle to attract students. Higher wages, overtime opportunities, retiring workers, and a tight job market pull potential students away from college. This is occurring at a time when workers need more skills, especially technical skills like those acquired in an engineering technology program. In this dilemma, what should industry and education leaders do? They should move to a new paradigm by taking engineering technology programs to the workers on- site. At Chattanooga State Technical Community College in Chattanooga, Tennessee, an innovative alliance with Dupont Chattanooga has shown that providing engineering technology programs on-site is viable. In the fall 1999 semester, 66 student FTE’s were generated and in the fall 2000 semester, 54 student FTE’s were generated in three engineering technology programs: Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, Automated Control Engineering Technology, and Process Operator Chemical Technology. Success of this innovative approach was made possible by addressing critical issues: 1) a workable method of instruction that includes a combination of independent study, class, and lab; 2) a schedule of classes that accounts for rotating shifts; 3) a system of verifying acquired technical skills; 4) a practical schedule for instructors; and, 5) a lab with appropriate equipment. This successful alliance provides employees of Dupont educational opportunities that they would not have otherwise. Also, Chattanooga State boosts its engineering technology enrollments and provides a needed service to its industrial community.

I. Introduction

A French immigrant, Eleuthére Irénée du Pont de Nemours established the Delaware based Dupont Company in 1802 to produce black powder. Providing a quality product that ignited when it was suppose to, the Dupont Company quickly became successful with a reputation for quality. In the early 1900’s, the company lost its competitive edge in the black powder market. Three du Pont grandsons purchased the company and began producing products through successful synthetic fibers research. A worldwide revolution in materials science research and product development began when Dupont researchers invented Nylon in 1938. As new materials were invented, Dupont opened production facilities all over the world including a nylon fibers plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee supporting the carpet industry in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia1.

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

Barrott, J. (2001, June), Why Should We Take Engineering Technology Programs On Site? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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