Project Rationale: The National Science Board’s report The Skilled Technical Workforce: Crafting America’s Science and Engineering Enterprise cites the student enrollment and graduation data gaps and data silos as one of the major hurdles for industry, and community colleges to create the vibrant skilled workforce the country needs. This project has been launched to fill the gap cited in the NSB report about U.S. engineering technology and technician education programs delivered by community and technical colleges. This effort builds on the American Society for Engineering Education’s Profiles of Engineering & Engineering Technology Survey, which focuses on programs at four-year institutions.

Project Goals

This project will develop and test a centralized system to collect student, faculty and institutional data. It will also develop a state-of-the-art visualization system to display and explore this data. These resources are intended to:

  1. Support peer, regional, national, and impact analyses of engineering-oriented technician programs.
  2. Create a taxonomy of the two-year engineering related technology degrees and certificates programs offered nationally
  3. Create a digital directory of engineering-oriented technician programs at 2-Year Colleges
  4. Create an interactive visualization system for impact analyses and performance benchmarking with peer and regional institutions, and national studies on broadening participation
  5. Make the data available to institutional leaders, federal and state agencies, regional business and industry groups, and researchers on STEM workforce issues

Project Value

The proposed project and the information on the Technical Program Data Dashboard (TPDD) from two-year technician programs will provide substantial value to community colleges, industry, and policy makers.

  • Institutions and academic leaders will be able to use the Dashboard data for:
    • Institutionally and state required program reviews
    • Preparation of Self-Studies and accreditation reports
    • Preparation of external funding proposals
    • Presentations to institution’s board of trustees and industry advisory boards.
    • Programmatic resource and needs analysis for program improvements.
    • Student recruitment initiatives for the targeted population
    • Initiate new student support programs for the target student population.
  • Institutions will be able to use the Dashboard data for other institutions to:
    • Determine program availability and gaps in their region.
    • Benchmark their program against other engineering technology programs.
  • State agencies and regional economic groups will be able to use the Dashboard for economic development and talent availability in their region.