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STATEMENT OF ISSUES

ECEDHA has developed a strong and well-utilized array of programs and services for ECE department heads and faculty members. As the only organization dedicated to serving the needs of ECE academic leaders, ECEDHA plays a valuable role in providing opportunities for educational growth and encouraging best practices to enhance leadership and educational skill sets within the ECE academic community.

The ECEDHA leadership has identified several issues important to the ECEDHA mission that warrant action in addition to ECEDHA's current activities:

NATIONAL NEED FOR STRONG ECE DISCIPLINES

The need for strength in the electrical and computer engineering discipline goes beyond filling a workforce demand. Key industries—such as computers, communications equipment, medical devices, and electronics—as well as critical infrastructure—including communication networks and the electric power grid—depend on deep expertise in these areas.

CENTRAL ROLE OF ECE IN OVERALL TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP

Progress in virtually every technical field depends on the contributions of electrical and computer engineers. Electricity is the energy source of choice for everything from medical implants to ocean liners. Computers in a variety of forms provide the brains for smart phones, smart grids, and a host of smart instruments, not to mention their use in modeling and simulating various phenomena.

ECE PROGRAMS ESSENTIAL TO INNOVATION AND COMPETITIVENESS

In addition to preparing the next generation of engineering professionals, ECE faculty are at the forefront of engineering research in their fields of expertise, contributing to the advances that lead to innovation. In their dual roles as educators and researchers, they are essential to maintaining their competitive position of the companies that hire their students, support their research, and retain them as consultants.

GROW ECE ENROLLMENTS

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for electrical and computer engineers will grow over the next ten years.[1]  Recent data from the American Society for Engineering Education indicates that enrollment in ECE declined by 15% in the ten-year period from 2003 to 2012.[2]  A growing student body is necessary to meet the need for qualified professionals in these disciplines.

ATTRACT TODAY'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST STUDENTS TO ECE

Many pre-college students and their parents fail to appreciate the importance of electrical and computer engineering, and the potential rewards of pursuing studies in these fields. This causes well-qualified candidates to overlook ECE, diminishing the applicant pool for ECE programs and denying bright students the opportunity of a rewarding career in this area.

 


[1] “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” Bureau of Labor Statistics, (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/).

[2] B. L. Yoder, “Engineering by the Numbers,” American Society for Engineering Education, (http://www.asee.org/papers-and-publications/publications/11-47.pdf).

 



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