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Engineering Technology and ~ . . ~ ~ ngmeer~ng Engineering and engineering technology are closely related, and ini- tially they appeal to people with similar interests and backgrounds.6 7 Both are rooted in the basic sciences and both proceed from a study of the sciences to applications in modern technologies. Practitioners of both careers work in the same types of business and industrial environ- ments, often side by side and often doing similar work on the same projects. Similarities A casual look at the curriculum of the four-year technologist and that of the four-year engineering student in the same field For example, electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology) shows a similar number of total credit hours required to complete the baccalau- reate and congruence in the names and order of the courses in each. In the case of mechanical engineering and mechanical engineering tech- nology students,8 each studies statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, machine design, physics, chemistry, calculus, differential equations, manufacturing processes, and electrical circuits; in addition, each pur- sues a basic program in the humanities and social sciences. As is shown later, however, although the names of the technical courses are similar, the actual offerings differ because they use different mathematics and . . . science as prerequisites. In some schools that have both engineering and technology courses 11

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12 ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION of study, these programs are under the budgetary and managerial super- vision of the same dean. Students from both areas may find themselves in the same classroom at the same time taking the same nontechnical course. And both use the same laboratories. At graduation it is not unusual for a prospective employer interview- ing on campus to talk to students from engineering and from technol- ogy programs about the same job openings. For some jobs, computer science, physics, and mathematics majors are also considered. In other words, the new technologist, the new engineer, and the science major compete for the same job, often at the same salary. About 80 percent of the engineering graduates and 60 percent of the technology graduates have "engineer" in their job titles. Thirty-six percent of engineering graduates pursue graduate study [for an average of 1.6 years), as do 18 percent of technology graduates [for an average of 1.4 yearsJ. In some graduate programs, such as the Master of Business Administration, graduates from technology and engineering curricula are viewed as being similar; they are perceived as only modestly different when applying to some engineering graduate schools. Other institutions, however, consider the two types of gradu- ates separately when reviewing graduate applications. Likewise, in some states, graduates of Bachelor of Science in Engi- neering and Bachelor of Engineering Technology programs, when both are accredited by ABET, sit for the Intern Engineer and Professional Engineer examinations as equals. In many jurisdictions, however, obtaining the PE certification is difficult if not impossible for the B.E.T. graduate, although the technologist may become certified as possess- ing specific skills [e.g., safety inspector or tool designer). Differences Although the overall pool of potential students for engineering and technology programs may appear to be homogeneous, the sensitive counselor will notice some significant differences in aptitude and atti- tude that emerge to differentiate the two groups of students. Those interested in the "why" rather than the "how" of a technological phe- nomenon will generally tend toward engineering, as will those who are drawn to the abstract and the theoretical; those who prefer to build and operate what was planned may favor the program in technology.9 The areas of research, development, and advanced design are more the interests of the engineer, while the business of manufacturing, testing, inspection, quality control, plant operation, and the like more often appeal to the technologist. The engineer develops new procedures

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ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING 13 for use in the future; the technologist applies this knowledge to opera- tions, equipment components, and routine maintenance procedures. There are no hard and fixed boundaries, however, and both the engineer and the technologist can be found in all areas, though generally in quite different proportions. Close examination of the curricula for the two fields shows that they differ. Although both require exposure to the basic sciences, for the engineering student that exposure is deeper and broader. The engineer requires more chemistry and more physics and uses mathematics in the basic sciences to a greater degree and with greater rigor than does the technologist. Technology students, on the other hand, often take two or three courses to cover essentially the same material that engi- neering students cover in one course. Here, also, the difference occurs because of the level of study. The engineering "core" curriculum provides a common language and fundamental base for all engineers; technology disciplines tend to be unique and specialized. Although the basic engineering sciences, such as statics, dynamics, circuits, electronics, controls, thermody- namics, and materials science, are part of both curricula, course con- tents are more abstract, and more mathematically rigorous for the engineer than they are for the technologist. Design courses for engi- neering students tend to emphasize systems design and open-ended problem solution rather than component design and standardized tech- niques. Design for the technologist is more likely to use approaches applicable to current problem situations similar to those used in course work examples. Throughout the curriculum, the technology student usually spends far more time in laboratory courses than does the engineer and as a result is better suited to and better trained in laboratory technologies. The required curriculum in humanities and social sciences is usually more extensive for the engineering student although this varies consid- erably with different institutions. The required study in communica- tions Composition and speech is probably about the same for both the engineering and the technology student. The number of skill-type tech- nical courses is greater for the technologist than the engineer. Upon graduation, the engineering graduate who seeks immediate employment may need a period of on-the-job training that draws on a capacity for professional development and continuing self-education. Many engineers move into management positions. The technologist most often moves into a supervisory position. In recent years, during the same period that the B.E.T. has come to prominence, the engineering curriculum has been evolving both to

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14 ENGINEERING TECHNOLOG Y ED UCATION prepare the graduate for immediate employment in the world of engi- neering and equip him or her to proceed directly to graduate school for further engineering study at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. [Perhaps one reason for the rapid growth of undergraduate technology programs has been that engineering curricula have become more theoretical and more oriented toward graduate school than business and industry would like.) The designers of the B.E.T. program assume that the vast majority of graduates will go directly from school to industry. As a result the development of graduate work in technology is still a some- what controversial subject, and the number of such programs is small by comparison to engineering graduate programs. The organization of the American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE) includes the Engineering Technology College Council {ETCCJ, composed of 102 regular members and 45 affiliate members. A review of their agendas/minutes of the past few years indicates that a number of discussions have taken place about the advantages of institutions working jointly on curricula development. Wentworth Institute of Technology, with the help of Ford Foundation funding, maintained a library of catalogues and curriculum materials during the 1970s. Cur- rently, efforts are under way to revive this activity as an educational resource center to serve the entire engineering technology community. Another joint effort is the Engineering Technology Leadership Insti- tute (ETLI), now in its tenth year. This is a loosely organized group that sponsors annual programs for the specific purpose of developing the leadership in those institutions with engineering technology pro- grams. Typically, about 80 institutions participate in the October meeting each year. There is considerable overlap in the memberships of ETCC and ETLI, and discussions are continuing on how the two organi- zations might join and still preserve the essential objectives of both. A third group, the Engineering Technology Division jETD) of ASEE, presents programs of interest to engineering technology faculty. Many of the programs are about curriculum development. Transfer Opportunities Despite the similarities of engineering and engineering technology curricula, and with the exception of a few institutions, there is little transferability of credit between the two programs, even in the same generic discipline, after a student has gone beyond the first year or so in either program. Such lack of transferability is perhaps a consequence of and evidence that the two programs are actually separate and distinct. The student who after a year or two finds that he or she should really be

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ENGINEERING TECHNOLOG Y AND ENGINEERING 15 in the other discipline can find few programs that build efficiently on what has already been learned. One such program is Rochester Institute of Technology's Transfer Adjustment Schedule. The program permits a graduate of the 2-year electrical technology curriculum who demon- strates superior performance and real aptitude for engineering to make the transfer to electrical engineering with minimum loss of time and credit. In approximately 15 years, the program has produced more than 250 electrical engineering graduates whose first 2 years were spent in electrical technology studies. Recommendations 1. Greater emphasis should be placed on the communication skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in both technical and non- technical courses. 2. Consortia of educational institutions and industry should be formed to improve existing programs and to develop new programs for all to share. 3. Students should be advised and actively informed about the simi- larities and differences between engineering and engineering technol- ogy. 4. Students who demonstrate superior ability in two-year engineer- ing technology programs should be encouraged to continue their educa- tion by transferring into bachelor's degree programs in either engineering or engineering technology.