AET is Sweeping the Region!
In 2004, the Applied Engineering Technology (AET) Program had its humble beginnings with a partnership between Delaware County Community College and Montgomery County Community College. Other partners included Drexel University and the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center. The idea behind the program was to take the standard two-year to four-year collegiate pathway and expand it to include juniors and seniors in high school. High school students could earn up to 16 college credits and apply them to their two-year associate degree, completing a semester's worth of courses before they graduated. They would then continue on to one of the community colleges and eventually enter the workforce as a trained engineering technologist and/or continue in the pathway to complete the four-year degree. Originally, there were three high school partners, Upper Darby, Coatesville Area Senior High and Bucks County Technical High School. Now, five years later, the program has expanded to include all of the high schools in Delaware and Chester Counties, and selected high schools in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. It has also added the Community College of Philadelphia and has expanded its university options to include Drexel, California University of Pennsylvania, Widener University, and Penn State University, with DeVry University and Neumann University poised to join the effort. Basically, it has now become a regional effort!
Today, more and more students and their parents are beginning to realize the valuable role played by the community college in providing a strong educational base for our future engineering technologists, as they aspire to earn the four-year degree. Also, parents, in particular, are realizing the tremendous savings available by taking advantage of the “pathway”. In the past, opportunities like this were not available to the technically oriented student. At best, they completed the associate degree and were on their own. Now, students who are in search of a dynamic career opportunity and who aspire to achieve the four-year degree can take advantage of the AET Career Pathways Program and extend their education to one of the several universities available to them.
AET is here to stay. As our society moves toward becoming more and more sophisticated in terms of goods and services, we are going to need more and more technically trained workers to take the place of the outgoing generation. The high school diploma is not going be enough to provide business and industry with the highly technically-skilled talent to replace those who are leaving. AET is developing the talent of our high school graduates who are seeking to capitalize on their skills and abilities in a field of study, which is poised to take our society to the next level of global competition.