Practical matters: Rowan, RCBC launch 3+1 engineering tech programs

Rowan University and Rowan College at Burlington County announced a pair of so-called “3+1” degree programs in engineering technology, aimed at meeting the demand for workers who can apply science and engineering concepts in a practical fashion.

The two degrees, in electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology, will be offered at RCBC’s Mount Laurel campus as part of Rowan’s new Engineering Technology Department — itself part of the university’s Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering.

Engineering technologists work on applying advanced technological skills to process, product and system concepts developed by, or in conjunction with, engineers.

“Rowan Engineering is committed to developing programs and credentials that prepare individuals to meet the workforce demands of tomorrow,” Anthony Lowman, dean of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, said in a prepared statement. “The American Society for Engineering Education and federal labor data project increasing demand both regionally and nationally for engineering technologists, and we and our partners at RCBC are eager to meet that demand.”

Students in the programs will earn an associate degree and bachelor’s degree, spending three years at the community college and then a year at the university.

“Rowan has made a commitment to develop novel pathways and create educational opportunities for our state and region that strengthen our economy,” Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said in a statement. “The Engineering Technology programs illustrate what is possible when partners come to the table to do the hard work of reforming our education system.”

RCBC began offering junior-year courses in January 2017, making it the first community college in the region to do so, it said.

“We are certainly proud of early results, and are overwhelmed when we hear about students who are heading off to medical school without any debt, or about those working adults who have returned to college after many years because of the opportunities 3+1 programs provide,” RCBC President Michael A. Cioce said in a statement. “Those powerful stories give us inspiration to continue to work with Rowan University and leading employers to develop more 3+1 programs in growing fields.”

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