Celebrating the 50th State-wide Forum on Engineering Technology

The 50th Forum on Engineering Technology (ET) was held on March 30th and 31st at Daytona State College (DSC) in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Forum was well attended with more than 75 representatives from 18 state and community colleges, 3 Florida Universities, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), technical education sales representatives, and local industry and workforce partners. 

The spring ET Forum topics included FDOE updates, an introduction to the new proposed Autonomation College Credit Certificate (CCC), technical trends vendor round table, College updates, best practices and issues, DSC and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) updates, industrial workforce round table, University of Florida robotics modules, survey results regarding adjusting ET AS degree programs to respond to industry identified skills (NSF grant Award # 2148138), the introduction of FLATE new data dashboard “Manufacturing Matters.org”, master credential list. In addition, the forum included guest speakers from Florida Ready to Work program, IT-OT and Cyber for technicians, and Florida Center for Students with unique abilities.

History of the ET Forum

Back in the mid-1990s, the faculty, program managers, and deans working in electronics and related technologies got together to work on one of the first Florida statewide articulation agreements for Associate of Science (A.S) degrees. The small group of interested and concerned stakeholders was excited about the prospect of transferability of what was then a “non-transferable degree.” That articulation agreement was implemented and has now been superseded by the Florida legislation that made all A.S degrees transferable with “2+2” alignments to Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees. The Florida ET Leadership Council and the ET Forum were established in April 1997 at Seminole Community College (now Seminole State College). Membership includes the department heads and the leaders of the engineering technology programs in the State of Florida. This was the genesis of the “Forum on Engineering Technology”—better known today as the Florida “ET Forum”.

Since 2004, FLATE has facilitated this meeting to increase the impact and effectiveness of the event.

Over the years, our Forum has matured and evolved to become more focused on action items and outcomes. Today, the ET Forum provides an excellent opportunity for industries and educators across the state to meet twice a year at different college locations to discuss common interests and issues surrounding the education of tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing workforce.

FLATE works with the Forum to strengthen the consortium, share its administrative activities and projects, provide professional development, bring industry and academia together, and with the support of FDOE, engage in statewide curriculum reform. 

The ET Forum has become a true engineering technology community of practice and a model for other states to follow. 

Since 1996, the ET Forum has convened fifty times at over 24 different Florida colleges.

Special thanks to Daytona State College for hosting the ET Forum (for the fifth time) and the educational vendors for sponsoring the Forum.


For more information on the Forum and/or A.S.E.T degree visit http://fl-ate.org/projects/et-forum.html.

Save the date for the Fall 2023 ET Forum: September 28 - 29 at St. Johns River State College.

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