Are these red flags in my Engineering Systems Technology Program

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
Recently I just found that only 30 students are completing an Electrical concentration in Engineering Systems Technology AS program at my community college. I also found out that a lot of engineering facilities retired, requiring the program to rebuild supports. In the part of this dilemma, several courses I've taken had a discrepancy between the course descriptions and student learning outcomes (SLO). I want to pursue electronics technician/control automation technician positions after graduating, but I'm afraid that I'm not receiving a strong enough foundation education or that this degree is very limited. Any advice regarding other AS degrees that are more suitable for electronic technicians or should I strongly consider a tech school like New England Tech?
 
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MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
21,123
I you are contemplating going to school this coming fall 2020 you want to investigate the college very carefully. Many schools have already cancelled in-class courses and will be providing on-line education instead.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,745
Recently I just found that only 30 students are completing an Electrical concentration in Engineering Systems Technology AS program at my community college.
That in and of itself is insufficient basis for declaring a program inadequate. When I was in junior college, there were never 30 students in the EET (Electronic Engineering Technology) program. Only about a quarter of the class graduated. That wasn't a reflection on the program; it was a reflection on the students. The material was too difficult for most and they decided to pursue other options.
I also found out that a lot of engineering facilities retired, requiring the program to rebuild supports.
That could a good thing. Bringing in people with different ideas. If they didn't fill the positions, that would be a different matter.
 
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andrewmm

Joined Feb 25, 2011
323
welcome to the world of "management speak"

The advertising of any course, is IMHO, just eye candy,
a sentence might be only a few minutes of the course, or a whole term.

You have to investigate the course in person,
its your money

As for fail rate,
based upon drop out rate, Engineering is one of the hardest courses.
It was 2/3rd drop out rate when I did it in the 70's, it still is ,
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
The Engineering Department has been looking for professors a little over a year now. The majority of classes I have taken are not that incredibly difficult, as it's too generalized and not specific oriented. I'm a bit discouraged with my progress, as I'm already fifty percent complete and I still haven't learned wiring schematics, building integrated circuits, amplifiers, programming languages, and learning all passive components functions and uses besides (resistors, capacitors, and inductors). Experience is the best educator, but still, I can't help feeling that my education is somewhat diluted.

Edit- Apologies if I sound arrogant, but I'm just really concerned that what I have learned is not applicable for technician jobs.
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,419
Wild animals at the first scent or sign of movement do two things.* They freeze. Then they run.

Follow your natural instincts.

*Excluding those who are hunting you.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
94
No school is going to make you 100% prepared to step into a job, there will always be more to learn. Get yourself a copy of the "The Art Of Electronics" and use it for bedside or bathroom reading material, and it should fill in a lot of gaps in your knowledge. If you're half-way through the program, you should complete it and get that diploma.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,745
The majority of classes I have taken are not that incredibly difficult, as it's too generalized and not specific oriented. I'm a bit discouraged with my progress, as I'm already fifty percent complete and I still haven't learned
In most cases, you what you get out of your education is proportional to what you put into it. If you think the classes are too easy, ask your instructors for more challenging assignments.

Maybe your expectations aren't inline with the program you're in. Programming wasn't required for my ASEET program, but I had already learned two programming languages while I was in high school; I took one language as an evening class at the community college at the recommendation of my high school teacher. That was somewhat of a hardship because I was working, but it was well worth the cost and effort.

I learned about designing integrated circuits on the job; a couple years after getting my AS degree. There was a lot of on the job training throughout my career. School taught the basics, how to reason things out, and how to find information. Learning is a life long endeavor.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
While I'm enjoying learning about electronics and practical uses of hardware, it still bothers me that this degree is so limited. The Engineering Systems Technology programs at my community college are not accredited by ABET. How bad is this if a program is not ABET approved and if you want to be Engineering Technician, will this Associates Degree be useless?
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,419
There are two basic reasons a program is not accredited:
1) It is very new. Accreditation requires time (medical schools can be several years); or
2) The program is no good, failed (you will never know), or hasn't tried.

In the first instance,the school may latch onto an accredited school until the requirements are met. For example, a new medical school can be another campus of an existing school. Diplomas come from the existing accredited school at <name> campus.

If I were doing the hiring,#2 is a non-starter, unless the individual has proved himself such that the diploma is meaningless (assuming a license based on a diploma is not required). I would give consideration to applicants from #1 depending on the circumstances.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
Will a non-ABET AS degree kill you if you want to be an engineering technician? It sucks that in Rhode Island the only ABET programs are BS at University level. A Bachelor's in Engineering is not realistic for me, for education level and indecisiveness. For a person with no experience doing actual technician work and just been learning education, how bad in shape will I be when I need to start looking for employment?
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
9,419
Will a non-ABET AS degree kill you if you want to be an engineering technician? It sucks that in Rhode Island the only ABET programs are BS at University level. A Bachelor's in Engineering is not realistic for me, for education level and indecisiveness. For a person with no experience doing actual technician work and just been learning education, how bad in shape will I be when I need to start lookinging for employment?
Kill you? Probably not. But the degree will be close to meaningless in a market with applicants who have the degree.

Frankly, it seems your mind is pretty made up as your push back against reasonable suggestions. Just go try to get a job with what you have. See how that works out.
 

Thread Starter

gbtbtbt

Joined Mar 18, 2020
55
Thank you for the advice everybody. In the last few weeks, I have been pessimistic about my degree and just overall self-worth. I will finish this degree and continue to expand my knowledge in the industry the best I can. Asking around, an apprenticeship sounds like my best bet, as it gives you hands-on experience and gives a perspective of the field.
 
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