A NEW TRANSFER PATHWAY FOR INCREASING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Florida Atlantic University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The computer technology and related services industry grew dramatically in the last two decades. Projections for 2002-2012 compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor show that out of the top ten occupations with the most new jobs requiring bachelor degrees, six of them are in computer information technology and related areas. Despite recent job losses, the information technology sector remains one of the five fastest growing industries in U.S. Specifically, in Florida two technology clusters, in the areas of Bioscience and Alternative Energy, are rapidly emerging due to various initiatives taken by the state government. Many new leading industries are expected to establish their facilities in the region, which will generate an increased demand for information technology professionals and related occupations.
In this environment, only individuals that have solid practical experience in all aspects of Information Engineering Technology can provide solutions that are scalable, reliable, effective, and can be mapped into various application domains. Consequently, a large number of specialists are needed who are fully aware of engineering practices, upcoming innovations, and technical aspects of all technologies that were once considered distinct engineering areas. Such a wide background cannot be achieved through certifications that are inherently narrow and limited to one specific technology. Two-year Associates of Science (A.S.) programs have a broader scope, offering training in a particular technology related area, however, they prepare students for entry-level jobs and lack in providing them with an engineering foundation needed for career advancement. In addition, A.S. degrees are designed as terminal, making it difficult for students to return to academia and continue their education.
To address the above needs and challenges, the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has taken the initiative to develop a new baccalaureate program, Bachelor of Information Engineering Technology (BIET), specifically designed to provide a smoother transition into a university program for students with A.S. degrees in a computing related field. The enrollment statistics of Florida Community Colleges reveal a large number of such students, showing the high potential impact of the BIET program. The program is designed to train students and workforce in state-of-art technologies required for successful careers in the areas of information systems management and analysis, database administration, software engineering and programming, internet technologies and web services, data and network security, and system and network administration. It will provide better opportunity for Florida workforce for employment, retention, and increasing earnings and occupational skills. This will improve the quality of the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the workforce.
The BIET program serves two of the strategic goals of both the Board of Governors of the State University System and the Board of Trustees of FAU: (1) increasing access to and production of degrees, and (2) strengthening the information engineering technology workforce in Florida. The paper will include the program content and objectives, growth statistics since conception and potential.
Keywords: innovation, information engineering technology, education.