Engineering Technology (ET) is the applied aspect of engineering; it is the profession in which technology, applied science, and mathematics are applied to hands-on engineering solutions. The Associate in Science in Engineering Technology degree program with specialization in Advanced Manufacturing is designed to meet Florida's and Polk County's need for a highly skilled, well-trained, and technically-competent manufacturing workforce, and to meet the challenges of ever changing and increasingly complex manufacturing processes. The AS in Engineering Technology degree can serve as either a terminal degree, or as the first step of a Florida university system 2+2 program leading to a bachelor's degree in a technical area or in management.
The Engineering Technology Program with the Advanced Manufacturing Specialization prepares students with skills in production processes, quality systems, and maintenance awareness for modern manufacturing processes, safety, and automation (including Programmable Logic Controls). It provides students the requisite proficiencies in instrumentation, device networking, and systems functions required by today's manufacturing processes. Process improvements, including total predictive maintenance, lubrication technology, vibration, and alignment, as well as quality work practices utilizing Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma, are also emphasized in the curriculum. This program is designed to develop the technical skills and management competencies needed to advance efficient and effective performance strategies within advanced manufacturing entities.
The ET Program requires an 18-credit Engineering Technology core, a 13-credit Advanced Manufacturing specialization block, 11 elective credits, and 18 General Education credits, for a total of 60 credit hours. The method of instruction used in the ET Program core and specialization courses is referred to as "competency-based individualized instruction." Instead of teaching the course through traditional lectures and laboratory sessions at scheduled times, all of the material is formatted into self-study modules, called "units," that contain both theory and hands-on components. Units provide information on significant applied engineering competencies, components, circuits, mechanisms, and equipment that are widely used in manufacturing facilities. Several units make up a course.
The Engineering Technology lab and classroom facility at the Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center in Bartow consists of high-quality laboratory equipment for numerous hands-on activities that develop the skills required to construct, operate, analyze and program a wide range of circuits and equipment used in this field. Students are assigned to a specific instructor. The instructor monitors the student's progress, grades exams, and determines the final letter grade for each course completed. The assigned instructor also assists students in selecting appropriate courses to progress through the program. Engineering Technology classes are scheduled and are open for enrollment at all times. These classes are independent from traditional fall, spring, and summer terms.
Certain courses in this program require placement at the college level or satisfaction of developmental education requirements in reading, writing, and mathematics.