Stepping Higher on the Engineering Technology Ladder: Four-Year Degree Options for Engineering Technology Students in Florida

Students choosing an engineering-related educational pathway in two year colleges across Florida have a number of options as they contemplate on joining the workforce, or consider pursuing a bachelors in engineering/engineering technology related fields. The two options offered at Florida State Colleges are: the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.); and the Bachelors of Science in Engineering Technology (B.S.E.T.). All A.S. degrees in Florida articulate to B.A.S degrees that offer a number of options that range from supervisory management, to nursing, to technical management etc., and serve as good options/opportunities for A.S. Engineering Technology (A.S.E.T) grads wanting more education. (A comprehensive B.A.S. degree matrix can be found on the FL DOE site.) The A.S.E.T. degree, on the other hand, serves as a gateway to technical baccalaureate degrees in engineering technology (B.S.E.T.). B.S.E.T. degrees generally require additional general education course credits, and have technical prerequisite courses that may require an additional semester to complete (beyond a typical four year B.S. program).

In Florida, the program at Daytona State College offers two options and a seamless transition for students wishing to earn a B.S.E.T degree. Ron Eaglin, associate vice president at the College of Technology at DSC says the program is designed “so that every A.S. program in engineering technology would have 44 hours of transferable technical credit, and 15-18 hours of transferable general education program.” In essence, students can transfer 59-62 hours towards a B.S.E.T degree at DSC. The Bachelors of Science in Engineering Technology-Industrial Systems Program prepares graduates for technical positions in industrial operations, mechanical design, and construction design. The program has a strong commitment to maintain standards of excellence in content and to continuously upgrade curriculum to meet industry needs. The B.S.E.T—industrial systems program uses a 2 + 2 model requiring completion of an Associate’s degree for entry into the program. The B.S.E.T at Daytona was first offered in the fall of 2010. Dr. Eaglin anticipates the degree will receive its ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) accreditation this year.

Community & State Colleges currently offering
Engineering Technology Degree
To qualify for admission to the B.S.E.T. program at DSC, students must either have earned an A.S., an A.A.S, or an A.A degree with an overall grade point average of 2.5, or higher. A.A degree holders who have completed all core general education courses are required to complete a total of 18 credits in appropriate technical prerequisite courses. “We've had excellent placement of graduates in the program” said Eaglin. The program is offered online and “has proven extremely popular” among students looking for certain degree of flexibility, or those from different locations around the state. Recent A.S.E.T. grads from Hillsborough Community College, State College of Florida and Brevard Community College and others are now enrolled in the B.S.E.T. online program at Daytona State. Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE who took a leading role in designing and implementing the engineering technology degree throughout Florida is confident “these future B.S.E.T graduates will complement the growing numbers of A.S.E.T. students and graduates who are already, or soon will be, strong members of our manufacturing workforce in Florida.”

Given its popularity, the number of A.S.E.T and B.S.E.T degree offerings and enrollment across the state is growing rapidly. According to annual enrollment and completion data compiled by FLATE, A.S.E.T degree enrollments across Florida rose from 603 in 2011, to 703 in 2012, with number of colleges adopting the E.T. degree doubling (from 7 to 14) between 2008-2012. A five-year analysis at A.S.E.T. enrollment and completion data shows an upward trend in engineering technology and related college credit certificate completions, with a total of 529 completions in 2012 vs. 461 in the previous academic year. At DSC, total B.S.E.T program enrollment with specialization in industrial systems rose from 204 in 2011 to 306 in 2012.

For more information on FLATE’s award winning, statewide engineering technology degree visit www.madeinflorida.org and www.fl-ate.org, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org. For information on the B.S.E.T degree program at Daytona State College visit http://daytonastate.edu/admissions/bset.html, or contact Ron Eaglin at eagilnr@daytonastate.edu.