12 Frequently Asked Questions about the Profiles of Community & Technical Colleges Survey
American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
October 26, 2023
What is the Profiles of Community & Technical Colleges Survey?
The Profiles of Community & Technical Colleges Survey collects information about engineering technology programs in the United States not captured in other national surveys.
Why is this survey being conducted?
The majority of U.S. engineering technology programs are delivered by community and technical colleges, also referred to as two-year colleges, but there is no source of detailed data on community college engineering technology and technician programs for the country. Without data on enrollment, graduation, faculty, industry partners, and other key dimensions of engineering technology and technician education we do not know the scope and impact of these programs. Equally important, the lack of detailed data limits the ability of higher education institutions, including community and technical colleges, as well as employers, policy-makers, non-profit associations, and funders to create the vibrant skilled technical workforce that the United States needs to compete globally.
Who is providing the funding to administer this survey?
A National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant provides funding for this targeted research project. An abstract describing this grant, numbered 2000587, appears here.
Who is conducting this survey?
This research project is led by the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) located at 1818 N Street N.W. Suite 600, Washington DC 20036.
How many colleges are being invited to participate in this survey?
ASEE is inviting approximately 40 community and technical colleges identified from the entire universe of two-year institutions in the United States to participate in this inaugural administration of the Profiles of Community & Technical Colleges Survey. The sampling universe for this study includes all community and technical colleges in the United States that have at least one active engineering technology program awarding certificates or associates degrees, according to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Information gathered from these engineering technology and adjacent programs will enable us to better understand engineering technology and technician education offered by community and technical colleges in the United States.
Why is my college being invited to participate in this survey?
Your college meets the requirements of offering at least one active engineering technology or adjacent program that awards certificates or associates degrees. In addition, your college’s engineering technology program may be accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET), which is of special interest to our research. We have also invited non-ABET accredited institutions to participate in the study to provide a robust set of engineering technology programs in different regions of the United States in this inaugural administration of the survey.
What are potential benefits for my college participating in this survey?
Institutions completing the survey will get first access to data about community and technical college engineering technology and adjacent programs in the United States. These data could be used for many purposes including developing new programs, conducting program review and program improvement, and applying for grant funding. There may be particularly important reasons for ABET-accredited institutions to engage in this survey as these data may help institutions explain the unique features of their engineering technology programs relative to other similar programs in their region or state, or across the nation.
What do the survey questions focus on?
The survey has specific sections that ask your college to describe its engineering technology or adjacent programs and associated personnel, with contact information. The major sections of the rest of the survey focus on Section III, Program structure; Section IV, Industry recognized credentials; Section V, Enrollment; Section VI, Completions; Section VII, Faculty; and Section VII, Other information. Data gathered in each section provides valuable insights into your college’s engineering technology programs such that, added together, there is a comprehensive picture of what your college’s engineering technology programs look like, who teaches and who enrolls, and what outcomes these programs are achieving.
How do you suggest my college complete this survey to get you the most accurate and timely information?
Community and technical colleges are structured differently across the United States so there is no one way to complete the survey, but most institutions do have a program director (or directors) leading their engineering technology programs. To assess who needs to be involved in completing the survey at your college, we suggest the program director(s) begin the survey process by reviewing all the survey questions and considering who within the college is best positioned to answer each question thoroughly and accurately. The primary respondent may be the program director(s), but it may also be important to involve other units in completing the survey, such as institutional research. Whoever on your campus is asked to respond to the survey should use the official survey template and instructions to provide data according to the official format, which will ensure accurate and useable responses. We also advise your college designate one individual to act as a point person to submit the survey responses to ASEE, and also seek information from ASEE if questions or concerns arise. It is also important that everyone involved in the survey process is aware the deadline for return of the survey to ASEE is no later than December 1, 2023.
Will my college’s data be shared with the public, and if so, how will it be shared?
Yes, your college’s data will be published in a state-of-the-art visualization system that will enable your college and other institutions across the country (and the world) to search for information on engineering technology programs in the United States. You can find the current version of the ASEE dashboard here. When ASEE’s survey data collection and analysis is finished, this dashboard will be updated and publicized for wide-spread distribution and use.
When will results of the survey be published, and who will see the results?
We anticipate completing this project by July 31, 2024, but some survey data may be published prior to that time. We will notify you when the dashboard is updated, and we will also encourage you to share this information with others in your college and with other colleges in your network.
How can I get help if my college has questions or needs assistance to complete this survey?
The quickest way to get your questions answered is to email email@example.com.