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ERIC Number: ED556547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 166
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5781-8
Industry Driven Electronic Communication Competencies for an Associate Electronics Degree: A Phenomenological Study
McNeill, Dennis G.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Scholars and professionals alike contend our nation's competitive position and economic growth depends considerably on the acumen of its science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent pool. In spite of current economic conditions and high national unemployment, there is an increasing demand for those skilled in technology and engineering. Within engineering and technology, there is a shortage of properly trained talent to support existing electronic communication technology and engineering (ECTE). This shortage is exacerbated by a gap between what practical skills are needed and what skills are taught in an applied undergraduate electronic technology and/or engineering (ETE) curriculum. Current rapid evolution of ECTE quickly dates the curriculum of many undergraduate ETE programs. This qualitative phenomenological study includes perspectives of curricular improvement in an applied undergraduate ETE associate degree. The specific research purpose was to depict the essence and basic structure of modern ETE professionals' lived ECTE experiences by providing accurate descriptions of essential ECTE structures, as they experienced them. This research contains the ECTE experiences of 11 purposefully sampled applied ETE professionals, from a wide variety of industries, within a sector surrounding Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In-depth personal interviews provided a contemporary snapshot of real-life applied ECTE competencies which associate degree ETE graduates should possess. Interviews were conducted with open-ended questions and data were subsequently analyzed using a modified van Kaam method. Based on the results, a gap exists between the needs of industry and existing undergraduate ETE curriculum. Analysis revealed 12 essential ECTE competency themes and subthemes which should be included in an applied ETE curriculum. Of 12 essential competencies, it was found most applied associate degree ETE graduates lack important ECTE computer related skills and ECTE system comprehension. Curricular decision makers of associate degree institutions should compare and contrast their curriculum with current research findings. Competencies identified as missing should be immediately considered for inclusion. Recommendations for future research include a qualitative study to identify obsolete curriculum that must be removed to accommodate new curriculum. Also, due to the nature of ECTE evolution, a study similar to the current research should be repeated within a decade. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania