A Six Year Review Of New Course Development In Electrical Engineering Technology At Northeastern University In The Area Of Industrial Control Systems Reveals Successes And Failures ? A Case History

Jerome Tapper, Francis Dibella, Walter Buchanan
2007 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
In 1998, a new and innovative course concept was developed at the School of Engineering Technology at Northeastern University to address the need to modernize its electrical engineering technology program. During this time, the concept of the "lecture-lab" venue was conceived and utilized in the development of an Industrial Control Systems cadre of courses. Until this time, no such educational venue had existed at Northeastern. In order to develop such a new and innovative program concept,
more » ... rces would be needed that were extremely expensive and well out of the reach of normal department budgets. In order to acquire the appropriate resources necessary to realize such a new program, corporate sponsors would be needed to assist in this matter. Major well-known corporate industrial control systems component manufacturers were approached for resource support for this program. Since the initial concept was conceived, two major courses have been developed and implemented over the past six years with several others being considered as cross-disciplinary platforms. This paper chronicles the progress and continued development of this program as is has evolved during this period. Of special value and interest here are the lessons learned from developing such a program and its affect on the engineering technology student population in terms of the program's acceptance, popularity, worthiness and future. This paper specifically chronicles the evolution of the program with respect to curriculum, student successes and failures, student relationships with industry in terms of coop experiences, and after graduation employment. Over the past several years, many conference papers have been presented on various aspects of this program's development and are used for reference in this paper. Current Program Status Today, the Electrical Engineering Technology program at Northeastern University is extremely successful. With the inclusion of state-of-the-art courseware, such as its Industrial Control Systems courses, the program has become among the most popular at Northeastern University's School of Engineering Technology. Evolution from an experimental technical elective course to an impressive required two-course sequence is a testament to its extreme popularity due to it being powerfully relative to current industry requirements and needs. In fact, this relationship is the key to its great success. Students from both the full-time day and part-time evening programs take this course sequence, which according to one of those students is... "....two of the most, if not the most intensively industry related courses, I have ever taken." Electrical Engineering Technology Student Page 12.113.2
doi:10.18260/1-2--1578 fatcat:h6kbavdnxra65ol447oomltnoi