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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Infusing photonics to increase enrollment in electronics engineering technology
Author(s): Chrys A. Panayiotou; Fred P. Seeber

Paper Abstract

During the last 15 years most of the electronics engineering technology programs across the nation have experienced a constant decline in enrollment. Today’s high school students do not seem to consider a career in electronics engineering appealing enough to commit to a field of study in desperate need of new students. They still associate electronics programs with the electronics section of a department store; televisions, stereo systems, DVD and VCR players, and other disposable electronics. While the downward trend continues across the nation, Indian River Community College (IRCC) has been able not only to stop it but to reverse it by attracting a new generation of students. By introducing high school students to new and emerging technologies, their perception of established degrees has changed and their interest has been stimulated. Photonics is one of those technologies capturing students’ attention. IRCC, a partner college in the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), with the assistance of other colleges like Camden County College which already offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Photonics, has created a Photonics specialization under the Electronics Engineering Technology program. The targeted marketing of this new specialization has led to an increase in enrollment of 50% in 2005, 80% in 2006, and for 2007 it is projected it to be over 100%. An interesting comparison can be made concerning enrollment at colleges with a full AAS program in photonics like Camden County College and IRCC which uses photonics as an enabling technology. This analysis could lead to a new approach in restructuring engineering technology degrees with the infusion of photonics throughout many technology fields. This presentation will discuss the plan of action that made possible this initiative at Indian River Community College and new program directions at Camden County College, Blackwood, New Jersey.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9665, Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, 96650R (3 June 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.2207320
Show Author Affiliations
Chrys A. Panayiotou, Indian River Community College (United States)
Fred P. Seeber, Camden County College (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9665:
Tenth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
Marc Nantel, Editor(s)

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