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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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Engineering
Technology
Education

IN THE UNITED STATES

Committee on Engineering Technology
Education in the United States
Katharine G. Frase, Ronald M. Latanision,
and Greg Pearson, Editors

A Report of the
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: This publication has been reviewed according to procedures approved by a National Academy of Engineering report review process. Publication signifies that it is judged a competent and useful contribution worthy of public consideration, but does not imply endorsement of conclusions and recommendations by the National Academy of Engineering. The interpretations and conclusions in such publications are those of the authors and do not purport to represent the views of the council, officers, or staff of the National Academy of Engineering.

This activity was supported by Grant No. DUE-1313209 from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-43771-4
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-43771-7
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016962095
Digital object identifier: 10.17226/23402

Copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academy of Engineering. 2016. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

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Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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Reports document the evidence-based consensus of an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and committee deliberations. Reports are peer reviewed and are approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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COMMITTEE ON ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Katharine G. Frase [NAE], cochair, IBM Corporation, Somers, New York

Ronald M. Latanision [NAE], cochair, Exponent, Inc., Natick, Massachusetts

Walter Buchanan, Texas A&M University, College Station

Imelda (Mel) E. Cossette, National Resource Center for Materials Education Technology, Lynnwood, Washington

Werner Eikenbusch, BMW Group, Greenville, South Carolina

Christopher Fox (until 1-5-2015), Howard County Public Schools, Maryland

Joyce Gleason, Educational Consultant, Punta Gorda, Florida

Daniel Hull, National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, Waco, Texas

Sharon Levin, University of Missouri, St. Louis

Jeffrey Ray, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

Michael Richey, The Boeing Company, Everett, Washington

Melvin Roberts, Camden County College, Blackwood, New Jersey

James L. Stone, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at the Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta

Will Tyson, University of South Florida, Tampa

Project Staff

Greg Pearson, Study Director and Scholar, National Academy of Engineering

Maribeth Keitz, Web Communications Manager, National Academy of Engineering

Aaron Adams, Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow

Marthe Folivi, College Intern

Daniel Kuehn, Consultant

Linda O’Doughda, Freelance Editor

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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Preface

This report is the final product of a two-year study by the Committee on Engineering Technology Education in the United States, a group of experts under the auspices of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). The committee’s charge was to shed light on the status, role, and needs of engineering technology (ET) education in the United States. In fulfilling that charge, the committee commissioned a review of federal education and occupational data, fielded two surveys—one of ET educators and the other of employers of ET talent—held an information-gathering workshop, and conducted a literature review.

The ability of the United States to support innovation requires production and retention of individuals who are highly skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These STEM professionals work in a widely disseminated global enterprise spanning government, industry, and academia. Engineers play an especially vital role as the designers of technological systems and processes. Over the past decade, policymakers, employers, researchers, and educators have focused considerable attention on the US engineering education system and the adequacy of the supply of individuals with engineering skills. Largely absent from most discussions of the future of the US technical workforce, however, has been the role that ET education plays or should play in supporting the nation’s technical infrastructure and capacity for innovation. This report aims to correct that omission.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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The report’s primary audiences are the ET and engineering education communities, to whom the bulk of the report’s recommendations are directed. Importantly, the report’s data gathering, findings, and recommendation address issues relevant not only to those involved in preparing students through 4-year ET programs but also to those preparing students through 2-year and certificate programs and, to some extent, educators working in K-12 settings. The report should be of interest to small, mid-size, and large firms that hire engineering-related talent. Our survey of employers found that many firms were unaware of ET education or confused about the differences between workers with ET and engineering training. Another important audience is the federal agencies responsible for collecting and coding data about ET education and employment. Finally, state and national leaders with a role in setting STEM education policy may find the report helpful to informing future decision making.

Katharine G. Frase, Co-Chair

Ronald M. Latanision, Co-Chair

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
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Acknowledgments

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The purpose of the independent review is to provide candid and critical comments to assist the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Ashok Agrawal, American Society for Engineering Education

Enrique Barbieri, University of North Texas

Amelito G. Enriquez, Cañada College

Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Kansas State University, Salina

Douglas H. Handy, Baltimore County Public Schools

Pradeep Kotamraju, Iowa Department of Education

Bradley J. Mason, AMSEC LLC

David C. Nagel, British Petroleum (retired)

Hal Salzman, Rutgers University

Robert F. Sproull, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Oracle (retired)

Nick Wilson, Morrison Container Handling Solutions

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Engineering Technology Education in the United States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23402.
×

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the views expressed in the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by NAE member Julia Phillips, Retired Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Sandia National Laboratories. Appointed by NAE, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and NAE.

In addition to the reviewers, many other individuals assisted in the development of this report. Consultant Daniel Kuehn, Urban Institute, collected and analyzed the federal education and occupational data presented in the report and wrote substantial portions of several chapters. His willingness to answer staff and committee questions about the data throughout the project was instrumental to the study’s success. Intern Marthe Folivi, Rippon College, painstakingly identified individuals associated with 2- and 4-year engineering technology (ET) education programs in the United States. Her work made possible the committee’s survey of ET educators. Megan Ellinger, with the Academies Information and Technology Services unit, programmed and fielded the survey of educators and collected and analyzed the resulting data. Ed Koc, at the National Association of Colleges and Employers, programmed and fielded the project’s survey of employers and analyzed the resulting data for the committee’s benefit.

Credit for bringing the field of engineering technology to the attention of NAE and making the case for a study, which was ultimately funded by the National Science Foundation, goes to several ET educators, including Ken Burbank, Robert Herrick, and Michael O’Hair (ret.), Purdue Polytechnic; Ronald Land, Pennsylvania State University; and committee members Jeffrey Ray, Western Carolina University, and Walter Buchanan, Texas A&M University.

Thanks are also due to the project staff. Maribeth Keitz managed the study’s logistical and administrative needs, making sure meetings and the committee workshop ran efficiently and smoothly. Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellow Aaron Adams conducted a background literature search for the project. Freelance editor Linda O’Doughda improved the readability of the report. Greg Pearson oversaw the project and worked with the committee to prepare the report.

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The vitality of the innovation economy in the United States depends on the availability of a highly educated technical workforce. A key component of this workforce consists of engineers, engineering technicians, and engineering technologists. However, unlike the much better-known field of engineering, engineering technology (ET) is unfamiliar to most Americans and goes unmentioned in most policy discussions about the US technical workforce. Engineering Technology Education in the United States seeks to shed light on the status, role, and needs of ET education in the United States.

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