Executive Director’s Desk: A Look at Engineering Technology and Related Program Student Enrollment and Completion in Florida

Every year FLATE makes a formal request to the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) for
enrollment and completion data for the A.S. degree in Engineering Technology (A.S.E.T). After filtering, sorting, and categorizing, FLATE produces an annual “Enrollment and Completion Report.” Annual improvements have included new data requests and building in our own comparatives with other related technical programs. This data-intense document provides a five-year look at enrollment and completion for the ET degree as well as the 20 college credit certificates which are associated with the degree. The data includes overall trends as well as breakdowns by college and by program, and also includes ethnicity and gender analysis for degree and college credit certificate enrollment and completion. For comparison, the tool also provides the same data elements for enrollment in other technology-focused A.S. degrees in Florida that support manufacturing industries. 

FLATE ET Degree College Network
To help us better understand the pipeline from secondary programs, we also request data for the high school programs that best align with the A.S.E.T degree and support manufacturing. Many of these are aligned to the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC CPT) credential and takes advantage of the statewide articulation using that MSSC CPT to acquire 15 credits towards the ET Degree. The secondary program portion of the report also includes ethnicity and gender.  

A few data bytes will hopefully entice you to take a look at the full report which you can download at: http://madeinflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/2009-2014-FLDOE-Student-Enrollment-Completion-Trend-Study.pdf. Statewide enrollment in ET continues to build and now tops 1,500 students. The ET degree currently (2013-14) represents 32% of total Florida technology A.S. degree enrollments. The new ET Bachelor Degree program (BSET) has grown from 204 in 2010 to 675 enrollments this year. College program administrators and faculty may find the statewide, college and demographics breakouts useful for various reporting requirements, targeted recruiting and program reviews.

In 2014, Seminole State College (SSC) became the 15th Florida College to adopt the ET degree,
starting with the Alternative Energy Systems Technology certificate, and will add additional ET offerings in 2015. FLATE is currently working with four additional colleges for ET adoption in 2015 or 2016.  Several colleges added new specializations and/or certificates. Information about specializations offered at individual colleges is provided on our webpages http://fl-ate.org/projects/Stackable-Credentials-Aligned-Certificates.html and http://madeinflorida.org/engineering-technology-degree/e-t-overview/ .

Other activity around the ET Degree includes a new certificate under the Mechanical Design and Fabrication specialization with additional clarification in the three existing certificates. The new certificate brings the total number of college credit certificates under the ET Degree to 20. The best place to access these certificates and all current ET degree program frameworks is the FL DOE Curriculum Framework website (http://fldoe.org/academics/career-adult-edu/career-tech-edu/curriculum-frameworks/2013-14-frameworks/manufacturing.stml). Additionally, a small group of offering colleges and their industry partners reviewed and updated the Electronics specialization curriculum as required by the FL DOE.

With new 2014 MSSC standards, the alignment of the ET Core to the MSSC CPT was also reviewed by all colleges offering the degree to determine if there should be a change in the number of credits articulated for that certification. After much discussion, the ET degree offering colleges voted via a survey mandating the number of credits they believed should be granted for the MSSC CPT.  The survey did not indicate a clear majority for changing the number of articulated credits at this time.  Although the articulation is based on a mapping of the ET core frameworks to the MSSC standards, the articulation agreement does not specify which credits a college must give an incoming CPT holder. Each college can still make that individualized decision and many have opted to make one of the articulated courses one of the program electives. Most colleges also felt they could adjust their programs to address any local concerns for the articulation.

We look for a year of continued growth in the ET Degree with some new programs, new faculty, and, of course, new students. As we close out the year, I also urge you to read rest of the articles in this edition of the Focus where we have a guest contributor from Tallahassee Community College providing an Analysis of Industry & Education needs in Engineering. The spotlight is also on one of our regional manufacturing partners and their efforts to build awareness about manufacturing in Volusia and Flagler counties. December is also time for us to hit the pause button to recognize 2014 FLATE Awardees. Be sure to congratulate Aubri Hanson, recipient of the 2014 Post Secondary Educator Award. The FLATE team wishes everyone a very happy holiday season and restful winter break. Don’t miss this month’s special holiday edition of the sTEm-at-Work puzzle; I have a feeling it will be jolly!