2023 Fall Forum on Engineering Technology

The 51st state-wide Forum on Engineering Technology held on September 28th and 29th was hosted by St. Johns River State College (SJRSC) at Orange Park, FL. The forum was well attended with 55 (8 virtual) participants from 15 Florida state and community colleges and three universities.

The Forum on Engineering Technology (ET Forum) has served as an important vehicle for bringing together Florida’s diverse and geographically dispersed community with common issues and challenges. With the support of the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), FLATE works with the ET Forum network to strengthen the consortium, share its administrative activities and projects, provide professional development, bring industry and academia together, and engage in statewide FDOE curriculum frameworks review and reform. Over the years, it has become a true community of practice. 

The Forum meets twice a year and has convened fifty-one times, at over 25 different Florida colleges. The ET Forum, with FLATE guidance and leadership, continues to grow strong by recruiting interested colleges, hosting industry professionals from companies near the host institution, providing professional development for emerging and relevant technologies, participating in FDOE statewide curriculum frameworks reform and change related to ET disciplines, and providing extensive networking and opportunities for sharing and collaboration amongst colleges.

The fall ET Forum included two days filled with key topics, discussions, and updates. On the first day, topics included:
  • a round table discussion with topics including Fusion 360, Industry 4.0, recruiting faculty, adjuncts, and students, best practices for advisory committees, and faculty loads; 
  • the FDOE reported on new program developments including the updated CPalms.org site - the State of Florida's official online toolbox source for standards information, curriculum modules, and course descriptions; 
  • updates on the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification articulation to the ET A.S.; 
  • an education vendor round table discussion on current technical education trends; 
  • St. Johns River State College ET program’s highlights and a tour of the ET Labs and facilities;
  • an industrial-economic workforce panel focused on new technologies that will impact and benefit the manufacturing sector; and
  • ET state college updates. 
In addition, the forum incorporated guest speakers with relevant key topics including Advanced Robotics in Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, and Cybersecurity for Manufacturing.

The 2nd day of the forum continued with the discussion of college issues, followed by NSF Grant updates that included a member recruitment request to join the Statewide Engineering Technology Advisory Board (SETIAB). SETIAB was created to engage manufacturers with college Associate in Science in Engineering Technology (A.S. ET) skills and certificates, Automation College Credit Certificate (CCC) review, and the creation of the ET A.S. Degree program database (core and specializations). 

Also on day 2, distinguished guest speakers and key relevant topics included:
  • Cobots with AI, from the University of Florida, and
  • Technology Transfer University (T2U) from NASA-John F. Kennedy Space Center
The Florida Engineering Technology Forum serves as a model organization for other disciplines and career clusters in Florida as well as technical disciplines in other states. Presentation and recordings are available at ET Forum Google Drive and FLATE.PBWorks/Presentations. Of the 16 evaluation survey responses received (13 in-person and 3 virtual attendees), nearly 80% (13) of respondents agreed that the Forum offered excellent overall professional development and networking value and 100% of the survey responders (16) would recommend the Forum to others.

Special thanks to SJRSC for hosting the ET Forum and the educational vendors for sponsoring the Forum.
  • Technical Training Aids
  • ARM Institute
  • Bluegrass Educational Technologies
  • D.C. Jaeger Corporation
  • JAR Systems
  • ROOTS Education 
  • Southern Educational Systems 
  • Learning Labs
  • Ultimate 3D Printing
For more information on the Forum and/or A.S.E.T degree visit https://fl-ate.org/programs/e-t-forum/.

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