A Look at Engineering Technology and Related A.S. Programs Student Enrollment and Completion 5-Year Trend in Florida

The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) annually requests and compiles student enrollment and completion data for Engineering Technology (ET) and related A.S., as well as Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) B.S. degrees and college credit certificate (CCC) programs for Florida colleges from the Florida Department of Education. For trends, comparisons, and benchmarking, FLATE collects the same data for related technology programs for secondary and postsecondary career certificate programs (CC). Some of these programs, including the A.S. ET Degree, are aligned to the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician (MSSC CPT) credential and take advantage of the statewide articulation using that MSSC CPT to acquire 15 credits towards the ET Degree.

FLATE ET AS Degree College Network

Figure 1. FLATE ET AS Degree College Network

FLATE, part of the FloridaMakes Network (the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center in Florida), serves Florida to enhance and promote 2-year manufacturing technician workforce education programs across the state. Currently, 23 of the 28 member colleges of the Florida College System (FCS), represented in Figure 1, offer the ET AS program. These programs respond quickly and efficiently to meet the demand of employers by aligning certificate and degree programs with regional workforce needs.

Student Enrollment

Roughly two years of the pandemic, statewide enrollment in ET and related AS degree programs continues to slightly decrease. As shown in figure 2, 2020-21 ET AS program student enrollment is now 1.7% (36 students) below 2019-20 academic year’s level for a total 2.5% (51 students) drop since 2018-19. Enrollment for related AS programs showed a more drastic decrease of 15% (619 students) when compared to the previous year’s enrollment. Currently, the ET degree represents 37% of total Florida ET and related A.S. degree enrollments. 

Figure 2-Student Enrollment ET & AS Degree Programs.

Female and Minority Enrollment

Despite COVID-19 impact on the overall reduction of student enrollment, female enrollment in ET AS programs has an overall favorable growth. Since the 2017-18 academic year, tracked ET AS degree female student enrollment in Florida has grown slightly from 238 to 297 (24.8%) students in 2020-21. Female enrollment in related AS degree programs declined from 1,177 to 990 (15%) when compared with 2019-20 academic year enrollment. However, since 2017-18 overall female enrollment has increased from 959 to 990 (3.2%).

ET AS degree program female enrollment represents 15% of total ET and related AS degree program enrollment in Florida. Minority enrollment has also grown for both ET and related AS degree programs from 929 to 944 (1.6%) and 2,437 to 3,060 (25%) respectively when compared with the 2019-20 academic year.

Disability and Military-Veterans Enrollment

Disability enrollment has been the most impacted due to the pandemic. Since 2018-19 student enrollment declined from 165 to 83 in 2020-21 for ET AS degree program (49%) and from 207 to 116 for related AS degree program (43%). Students with disability represent 4% of total ET and related AS degree enrollment. Since 2019 military-veteran student enrollment declined from 196 to 145 (26%) for the ET AS Degree program and from 334 to 230 (31%) for the related AS degree programs.

Student Completion

ET AS program completion continued an upward trend for 2020-21, with a 7% increase from 2019-20 and an 18% overall increase since 2017-18. Related AS program completion dropped 18% from 395 in 2019-20 to 320 in 2020-21. Overall related AS program completion shows a positive trend increasing from 300 in 2017-18 to 320 completions in 2020-21.

Female and Minority Enrollment

2020-21 ET AS program female student completion is now 20% above 2019-20 academic period’s level. Related AS degree programs female completion decreased from 114 in 2019-20 to 80 in 2020-21 (29%). Since 2017-18, female enrollment has slightly increased by 4% and 29% for ET and related AS degree programs respectively. Although the rate of female enrollment and completion has slightly increased, the gender difference in both ET and related AS degree programs remains prominent.

Disability and Military-Veterans Enrollment

Disability completion numbers increased from 8 in 2018-19 to 11 in 2020-21 (37%) for ET AS degree programs and decreased from 43 in 2018-19 to 14 in 2020-21 (67%) for related AS degree programs. Since 2019 military-veteran student completion declined from 22 to 15 (31%) for the ET AS Degree program and from 31 to 21 (32%) for the related AS degree programs.

 In 2022, the Florida College System fully resumed in-person classes. We look for a year of continued growth in the ET and related AS Degree programs with some new programs, new faculty, and, of course, new students. ET graduates get great high-wage jobs to launch their careers all over the state in Florida’s growing manufacturing and industrial-based sectors. They are well poised to implement the technology integration trends of Industry 4.0 and emerging concepts of Industry 4.0. We encourage all employers to visit their local state college and meet the upcoming ET grads. Contact FLATE if you’d like to be connected to your college.  The full enrollment and completion report will be posted on our website next month.

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