Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Joint Arizona Consortium - Manufacturing and Engineering Education for Tomorrow
In partnership with universities and industries in Arizona, Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) set up a program that provides post-graduate level education for engineers, and involves new approaches to updating the manufacturing/engineering workforce. Since conventional graduate/undergraduate curriculum programs fall short of meeting advanced-level manufacturing/engineering educational needs, the consortium established its own innovative training program. Members of the consortium include Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of Arizona, Allied Signal, Boeing, IBM, Motorola, and RMSC.
Known as the Joint Arizona Consortium - Manufacturing and Engineering Education for Tomorrow (JACME2T), this program provides an excellent model for collaboration between industry and universities, and offers career-long, professional learning for graduate engineers and technical professionals who work in manufacturing and product development. JACME2T’s courses use innovative and pertinent methods of delivery, making them affordable and accessible. In addition, the program encourages participants to take charge of their own ongoing education. Industry engineers are directly involved in curriculum development as well as program instruction. Some of JACME2T’s courses are designed to prepare practicing engineers for career redirection, caused by defense conversion and corporate downsizing.
JACME2T uses a novel, educational design approach to develop a set of curricular modules, which focus on the educational needs of industry and have sufficient academic character to earn graduate credit, if desired. A module consists of a set of related, educational experiences that may include graduate courses. Individuals who complete modules are awarded certificates that can be applied toward graduate degrees or can stand alone as recognition of significant educational achievement. The modules are organized around particular industry-driven needs for specialized, advanced training in specific technical areas. Typical courses include JMP Fundamentals; Strategic Product Development; Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) Project Management; Object Oriented Analysis; C++ Language Fundamentals; and Rapid Prototyping.
The consortium’s organizational structure and methods of operation are designed to bridge the cultures of the academic and industrial communities. A policy board, comprised of executives from each of the participating companies and the deans of the universities, directs the organization. An industry technical advisory board helps define the training needs and delivery approaches. Industry and academic members work together to develop marketing strategies and delivery systems, and to form learning and competency teams. There are seven learning and competency teams: Design; Environmental; IPPD; Manufacturing Processes; Software; Instrumentation and Testing; and Continuous Improvement.
Major accomplishments of the JACME2T consortium include shared courses with Arizona State University and University of Arizona, a statewide Master of Science program, one-credit modules, certificate programs, and the delivery of courses/programs over the Internet. As of 1998, 116 courses have been offered, and nearly 2,000 students have participated. This program is a true collaborative partnership between industry and academia, which can serve as a nationwide model. Methods are being developed to extend the impact of JACME2T nationally, through various electronic networks, companies, and organizations, as well as an outreach effort for small- and medium-sized businesses.
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