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R. Garibay Jiménez, G. Correa, G. Mata Hernández

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
As a matter of a Learning Experience in Higher and Further Education and the fulfillment of University-Industry Cooperation projects, we submit this paper about the development of a distance education program for graduated engineers currently working, or interested, in the automatic control and instrumentation field. By mean of this academic program the students have been able to update their professional knowledge and skills on this specialized engineering field.

Since the year 2008, the Control and Robotics Engineering Department, of the Engineering Faculty in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), has been working on a project for the professional development of graduated engineers, obtaining a teaching methodology that links the theoretical knowledge of the subjects with teaching techniques that enable the understanding, synthesis and analysis of the issues under study, on the basis of the modern information and communication technologies (ICT's).

The development of the academic program has been supported by several groups of experts from the knowledge areas to be treated, advisors with expertise in distance education teaching mode, engineers with experience in application control systems development, multimedia and graphic designers and support staff to manage and maintain the educational platform used.

At the beginning of the project a diagnostic test for 150 people was designed and implemented, for searching the subjects and their required level of knowledge. Tested students later participated in the distance education program Diploma on Control, Automation and Instrumentation Systems in Power Plants.

From this experience the Faculty of Engineering has built up its distance education program with a certified Specialization in Automatic Control and Instrumentation, which currently is being revised for approval by the various Academic Boards of the University.