Due to ABET accreditation requirements and industry expectations, integrating technical standards into Engineering Technology (ET) curricula is crucial for student success. However, previous studies have shown that faculty report access and knowledge challenges in working to integrate standards into ET course content. Additionally, academic librarians have long acknowledged there are many issues with providing access to standards to campus users, such as high costs and extensive digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. The purpose of this study is to conduct an environmental scan of library websites at institutions with ET programs to investigate library-provided access to standards and to survey ET faculty members about their contemporary standards education approaches and practices. A key finding is that ET students at larger schools are much more likely to have access to standards online, with 82% of libraries at institutions with over 15,000 students subscribing to standards online versus only 46% of libraries at institutions under 10,000 students. Additionally, the results show there is a disconnect between library-provided access to standards (58% of libraries provide online access) and ET faculty members’ use of academic libraries for standards access (28% report using standards through the library). More education about technical standards is needed for ET faculty members working to integrate standards into curricula. Standards developing organizations (SDOs) should consider investigating ways they can offer educational opportunities for faculty, provide specific case studies and examples of how standards could be implemented into various ET courses, and if they are not already doing so, offer free or low-cost solutions for faculty to obtain standards for use within a course.
standards, engineering technology, information literacy, libraries
Date of this Version
Phillips, Margaret; McPherson, Paul B; and LeClerc, Danielle, "Engineering Technology Programs and Technical Standards: Investigating Library Access and Course Integration" (2023). Libraries Faculty and Staff Scholarship and Research. Paper 273.