Academic journal article
By Gorham, Douglas; Newberry, Pam B.; Bickart, Theodore A.
Journal of Engineering Education , Vol. 92, No. 1
An Educational Brief
This article provides an overview of how the International Technology Education Association's Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's Engineering Criteria 20Ws Criterion 3 Program Outcomes and Assessment focus on producing secondary school and engineering graduates with an enhanced level of technological literacy and competency. These documents, providing guidelines for pre-college through undergraduate education, are intended to promote improvement in the quality and quantity of engineering students and to enhance the level of technological literacy of pre-college teachers and their students.
While the engineering profession is concerned with the report of the Engineering Workforce Commission of the American Association of Engineering Societies that indicates an overall decline in B.S. degrees in engineering in the last five years , a late 1999 national survey, as reported in the Los Angeles Times, showed 75 percent of parents responded that engineering is more important than business and 72 percent of them responded that engineering is more important than medicine . In addition, technical positions are currently unfilled due to the lack of a workforce with a sustained, if not growing, level of technological competency and a populace with a higher level of technological literacy [9, p. 4-5 and 40-2].
While testifying before the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan reinforced the need for a more technologically literate society when he stated, "The proportion of our workforce that created value through intellectual endeavors, rather than predominantly through manual labor, began a century-long climb. In 1900, only one out of every ten workers was in a professional, technical, or managerial occupation. By 1970, that proportion had doubled, and today those jobs account for nearly one-third of the work force" .
To help address this shortfall, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology's (ABET's) Engineering Criteria 2000's (EC2000's) Criterion 3 Program Outcomes and Assessment  and the International Technology Education Association's (ITEA's) Standards For Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (STL)  are committed to producing engineering and secondary school graduates, respectively, with a higher level of technological competency and literacy and with the motivation, capability, and knowledge-base for life-long learning.
The focus of this article is to:
1) outline the connections between ABETs EC200s Criterion 3 Program Outcomes and Assessment and ITEA's STL; and
2) raise the level of awareness of the potential impacts of STL on engineering education.
ABET is widely recognized as the sole agency in the United States responsible for accrediting educational programs leading to degrees in engineering, engineering technology, computing, and applied science (formerly, related engineering) areas. The ABET list of accredited programs is widely accepted by employers, academic institutions, professional engineering societies, and the professional engineer licensure boards. Furthermore, ABET criteria and processes for accreditation are highly regarded internationally by academic institutions and agencies for accreditation.
ABET recently completed the transition phase to new engineering criteria for accreditation of engineering educational programs, initially and still popularly called Engineering Criteria 2000. These program objectives and outcomes oriented criteria in a framework of continuous improvement were nurtured from the first years of the 1990's, to adoption in 1995. Criterion 3 Program Outcomes and Assessment is evidence of the new focus on what college students are expected to know and be able to do upon graduation from engineering educational programs (see Horizontal listing in Table 1). …