Electric Engineering and Me
July 25, 2008 1:00 AM   Subscribe

Is this college faking an Electric Engineering program?

I am currently looking to pursue an undergraduate in electrical engineering while also working full time. There are very few schools that offer schedules that will conform to working full time and MSCD is one of the few schools that offers a program that I can complete with my schedule.

When I first attended the school eight years ago they offered a full EE program including emphasis in areas such as radio frequency (which is specifically what I'm looking to learn). Unfortunately they discontinued the full program and now offer an electrical engineering technology degree. It looks as though the majority of the coursework is comparable to a true EE program however I have a nagging feeling that it's a bunk degree that really won't give me what I need.

My question is geared towards electric engineers and hiring managers for electrical engineers. Would you pass off this degree as trade school quality, would it be considered trade school quality, or is it somewhere in-between?

I am fortunate enough that I am actually employed by a very large telecommunications firm and am actually learning hands on radio frequency engineering that would be marketable even without the degree but am curious as to the total quality of the degree offerred.

Alternate suggestions for EE degrees would also be appreciated provided I can complete the coursework and requirements as a non-traditional adult student in the Denver metro area. My current plans are to attend the vast majority of coursework through MSCD then transfer to CU-Denver if I can manage the time commitment.
posted by Octoparrot to Education (7 answers total)
If I find some time to look at their course syllabi, etc, I'll comment further, but I want to mention two thoughts that may or may not be helpful to you right now...

1.) For my undergrad degree, I started at a community college and then transfered to a more reputable university. Before starting at the CC I made sure that the A.S. (2yr degree) I was about to earn was respected by local universities enough for all my credits to transfer. It turned out that my preferred university had a very close relationship with my CC and routinely snapped up students from the CC. You might ask around if a similar (informal) relationship exists between MSCD and CU-Denver.

I found that starting at a CC did not put me at any disadvantage with my peers at the university, and I now have a M.S. in EE and am working on a Ph.D., so I think I turned out all right. However, that leads to the second thought...

2.) I found the students in the EE program at MY community college to be engaged and motivated. However, I have also taught an EE course at another college that was more geared towards pumping out techs and found the students apathetic and largely ignorant. Their coursework plan looked OK on paper, but I suspect the reality was far different (I only filled in there for a few weeks in the middle of a semester.) So I suggest that if you know anyone who has attended MSCD, you ask them about the culture and quality of their experience.

I'm sorry this doesn't directly answer your question, but I don't have time right now to look at all of the coursework on the MSCD website and I suspect someone with more experience and better judgment will be along to help soon anyway.
posted by no1hatchling at 2:56 AM on July 25, 2008

I'm not sure about what you need to do your job, but on the issue of "bunk" degrees, ask the University about what their accreditations are. Then find a well-known school in the same area and see if the accreditations match. Any college can offer a degree, but typically only degrees from an established accrediting body are accepted as valid.
posted by thebreaks at 5:43 AM on July 25, 2008

It appears to be an engineering technology program, not an engineering degree.
posted by Wet Spot at 6:16 AM on July 25, 2008

ABET has them as an accredited Engineering Technology program, not as an accredited engineering program.


Metropolitan State College of Denver
Denver, CO

Applied Science
Date of Next General Review: 2009 - 10
Surveying and Mapping (BS) [2004]

Date of Next General Review: 2009 - 10
Computer Information Systems (BS) [2007]
Computer Science (BS) [2004]

Date of Next General Review: 2009 - 10
Civil Engineering Technology (BS) [1979]
Electrical Engineering Technology (BS) [1979]
Mechanical Engineering Technology (BS) [1982]
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:10 AM on July 25, 2008

Is the school accredited? and by what accrediting organization?
posted by theora55 at 9:00 AM on July 25, 2008

As an engineering manager I see resumes all the time with technical coursework like this. In general I view them as much of a muchness. If my requirements for a given slot include BS_E, then I rank the tech program graduates as only possibly conforming. It's too hard to tell whether someone's any good from a resume alone, but that's all you get for your first cut. When I stack them in rank order, the tech programs move to the back of the line.

If I were in your position I would do my utmost to transfer to a EE curriculum.
posted by jet_silver at 9:07 AM on July 25, 2008

EET is not the same thing as EE. Do you want to be an engineer or a technician?
posted by sergent at 10:47 AM on July 25, 2008

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