The Engineering Technology Degree at HCC & SCF

FLATE-led initiative to create a statewide Engineering Technology degree has established a unified curriculum to meet the demands of advanced technology industries in Florida. The State College of Florida (SCF) in Sarasota and Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Brandon adopted the program in 2009, and enjoy robust participation from faculty and students alike.

HCC offers the Engineering Technology A.S and A.A.S degree with a specialization in advanced manufacturing, along with four college credit certificates: Automation, Engineering Technology Support; Lean Manufacturing, and Pneumatics, Hydraulics, and Motors for Manufacturing. SCF currently offers the A.A.S degree with certificates in AutoCAD and Electronics, with plans to add a sequence of Solid Works, and expand the AutoCAD program to Digital Design and Modeling.

A common component of the program lies in developing critical thinking and tangible skills, and educators play a central role in igniting students’ interest. Dr. Adrienne Gould-Choquette, instructor and program director for engineering technology and construction management technology at SCF advises colleagues and fellow educators to “keep a watchful eye” to ensure the material that is being taught is not only relevant, but “instills honor and excitement in the profession”.

In terms of skills, Dr. Alessandro Anzalone, engineering technology instructor and program manager at HCC states students need to have transferable skills, have an open/inquisitive mind, enjoy engaging in hands-on activities, and be eager to learn new things. Thus, the type of learning offered in Engineering Technology degree programs provides students with critical thinking and transferable career skills. “This country was built on the innovation of minds trained as engineers…stretch your mind and your thinking, and the possibilities become infinite” Choquette said.

Looking to the future, Dr. Anzalone foresees a growth in the demand for trained/skilled people in the technology field. This spring he will serve as part of an advisory committee comprising of industry personnel, students and educators to review the current ET program, provide recommendations to improve the program, and strategize ways to better align the program to match workforce needs. The ET curriculum at SCF is also set to grow and evolve with the needs of the community. Topping the list are green technologies, implementing eLearning courses and partnering with local manufacturers to ensure students are prepared to embark on exciting opportunities upon graduation. “During this time of economic struggle, students can look at this moment as an opportunity to hone their skills and be ready for the next exciting technology to emerge in this country, or better yet, be the one to invent it” Choquette said.

The ET degree consists of a common technical core with five specialization tracks in advanced manufacturing, quality, mechanical design & fabrication, electronics, and advanced technology. The common core of the degree aligns with the national Manufacturing Skill Standards Council’s (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) credential and four its assessment areas of safety, quality and measurements, manufacturing processes and production, and maintenance awareness. The statewide articulation agreement awards 15 credit hours of the A.S. /A.A.S. Engineering Technology degree core for the MSSC CPT certification, and creates a pathway for certification holders from high school career academies, CTE programs, technical schools and incumbent workers to gain college credit for their acknowledged competencies.

For more information on the ET program at HCC contact Dr. Alessandro Anzalone at 813.253.7852/ aanzalone2@hccfl.edu. For information on the SCF program contact Dr. Adrienne Gould-Choquette at 941-752-5515/ gouldca@scf.edu. To read the full interview with Dr. Anzalone and Choquette visit our Facebook page.

2010 ET Course Listing at HCC & SCF