From the Executive Director’s Desk: Synopsis of News & Events from Engineering Technology College Partners

It's pumpkin and Halloween season with students and faculty well into the rhythm of another school year. It's also a good time to share some news from our 19 ET College partners. This update/synopsis is based on information presented at the Engineering Technology Forum (ET Forum) hosted by Daytona State College’s Advanced Technology Center on September 22-23.

A common theme among the colleges was the good news that most ET enrollments are up,

despite many colleges reporting that overall college enrollment is down. The new programs at Pasco-Hernando, Palm Beach and Lake Sumter Colleges all report strong growth as they start their second year of ET classes. Mature programs at Hillsborough, St Petersburg College, Florida Gateway, Polk, Broward, Central Florida, Eastern Florida and Jacksonville also all report solid enrollment growth. Daytona State started it’s A.S. program just this fall offering the Digital Design and Modeling and Electronics specializations with good first semester enrollment.

Ted Norman, State Supervisor for the Manufacturing cluster reported on the status of the current, 2016, ET Curriculum framework review. He also requested help with outstanding review items. He related important information about changes in the Automation and Production Technology high school and PSAV programs that included; a new name and CIP number in 2018 (Advanced Manufacturing Technology); significant alterations to reflect modern industry needs, and guidelines for the annual presentation sequence of important topics.

Additional good news came from the ET Forum round up session about new faculty. Colleges
are appointing new full time faculty. This includes Sherri Dobbins and Ron Smith, both at HCC; Henry Cabot at Polk State; Jessica Jones at TCC, and recently hired to start a new program at North Florida Community College in January, Jorge Monreal. HCC, Polk, and TCC, joining the ranks of Eastern Florida and Jacksonville, now each have two full-time ET faculty. This is great news for the E.T. degree program. Congratulations to all and good luck to the five additional colleges who will be recruiting new faculty this year. We will share news about their programs and specializations with you later this fall.

One exciting adventure this fall is the fact that many colleges have ventured into offering hybrid and non-traditionally scheduled classes. Several colleges have added online sections of their courses, others have added optional home lab kits that the students either purchase or check out for a semester. Margi Lee reported that this "check-a-kit" process is working great for her rural students in the Lake City area. She is now running most of her program using this augmented learning process.

So what are the bottom line items for the colleges in the Florida College System that offer the
E.T. degree? The programs are growing, everyone reports strong industry partnerships and high industry satisfaction with graduates and training and the Florida Department of Education is developing improved high school program interactions with college A.S. programs. One final tidbit of great news. Additional resources are important but hard to come by. However, 2016 brought NSF ATE funding to North Florida, Lake Sumter, Seminole, and Florida Keys Colleges to support their new Engineering Technology degrees. A few colleges also have been awarded Department of Labor grants that will support manufacturing. Congratulations to these FLATE partners!

Don't forget to check out the other parts of this month's FLATE Focus which is heavily focused on ongoing Manufacturing Month activities which just kick started on October 7. The sTEm-at-Work Puzzle provides an opportunity for you to keep up with the concept of "lead" and "lag". Send us your thoughts and comments at news@fl-ate.org. You can also jot down your thoughts on our social networking platforms on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @Made_InFlorida #FLMFGMonth16 and #MFGday16.