Updating Florida's Engineering Technology Career Pathways

Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering (SCNS) is a key component of Florida’s K-20 seamless system of articulation. The system provides an online database of postsecondary courses at public vocational-technical centers, community and state colleges, universities and participating nonpublic institutions. The assigned numbers describe course content to improve research, assist program planning, and facilitate the transfer of students.

For several years, FLATE, a National Science Foundation Center and part of the FloridaMakes network, has been working on updating the AS degree in Engineering Technology (ASET) pathways. Working collaboratively with the Florida Department of Education and state/community colleges across Florida, FLATE has now developed a comprehensive ET Course Database that provides a list of all eleven ASET degree specializations and the courses currently offered at 23 colleges for those specializations. At this time, the database focuses on the technical specialization tracks only which include computer-aided design, introduction to electronics, manufacturing material and process, mechanical measurements & instrumentation, quality and safety. The technical ASET core courses will be added in 2024. 

“FLATE will be conducting a review of the ASET curriculum framework later this year,” said Dr. Marilyn Barger, senior education advisor for FLATE. The state-mandated tri-annual review requires employers and educators to review and update the standards and benchmarks for each technical program in Florida. However, these curriculum frameworks do not provide guidance for which statewide courses should be used to meet the standards and benchmarks. Over the years, colleges have independently developed and adopted courses to fulfill the same standard. The ET Course Database will facilitate the process of the colleges selecting the courses that make up their program/specialization, working with other colleges who offer the same specialization.

For example, the colleges who offer the Advanced Manufacturing Specialization and require the Motors and Controls course could collaborate to better align their courses with the framework. Other examples and opportunities for alignment include the AC/DC circuits courses at Broward College, Northwest Florida State College, Palm Beach State College, and Pensacola State College.

Barger says the SCNS together with the new ET Course Database offers an effective way for colleges to adopt the same courses across the state. The goal is that one or two courses become the preferred courses to meet particular state standards and benchmarks; and that all colleges will adopt these as they go through regularly scheduled curriculum reviews. This alignment will also support students by simplifying transfers between colleges for the ASET degree and its related shorter-term College Credit Certificates (CCC). Transfers to BSET degrees should also be simplified. The ASET degree program has three major components:

  • General Education requirements
  • ET technical core
  • Specialization tracts that address regional industry sector needs
To date 18 of the 23 colleges offering ASET specializations have provided revisions and updates to the ET Course Database. The plan is to add the general education courses (15 credit hours) and the ET Technical core courses (18 credit hours) in 2024. Several opportunities for better alignment are outlined in the ET Course Database.

Click here to review the technical coursework offered under each of the colleges.

The ET Course Database has a separate tab for each specialization of the ASET degree. Each college that offers that specialization is listed alphabetically across the top (each college has its column). Every course that the colleges use in the specialization is listed in a row with prefix, number, and course title. The number of credit hours assigned to courses offered as an elective are in the blue color font. Courses with the number of credits hours in black font are required courses to complete the specialization.

The courses are grouped by topic. For example, there are several courses for teaching about motors and controls and those are grouped for easy comparisons. Faculty will need to review the SCNS descriptions and college syllabi for the details about what and how the topic is covered. Faculty offering these courses might review these together and determine the advantages and disadvantages of the different courses on the same topic and the same course might not be the best choice for all programs.

To send edits reach out to Dr. Marilyn Barger (marilyn.barger@flate.org) and Danielly Orozco-Cole (danielly.orozco-cole@flate.org).

Visit the FLATE ET Career Pathways page for more information.

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