Hands On Engineering/tradeschool Program

I’m seeking information about hands-on engineering programs where learning happens through projects rather than coursework. There is also interest in hands-on trade school.

All ABET-accredited engineering bachelor’s degree programs will have at least:

  • 1/4 of the course work in math and natural science.
  • 3/8 of the course work in engineering science and engineering design (in many cases, the amount of engineering course work is significantly greater than 3/8 of the total).
  • general education requirements.

There will be no getting around the fact that there will be theoretical content (math, natural science, engineering science) that is necessary to be able to do engineering design projects.

That said, curricular organization differs at different schools. A traditional curriculum starts with math and natural science, then engineering science, then engineering design. While efficient from a prerequisite standpoint, that can cause students to lose interest or not be sure of their interest, since the design part of the curriculum is late. Other schools incorporate some design course work earlier to give students some design experience earlier (even though it may be limited due to not having as much math, natural science, and engineering science course work completed). They will still have major design project courses in senior year.

Thank you. I’m thinking an apprentice or journeyman program is better.

Look at Kettering in Michigan for a co-op type engineering experience. For a engineering tech program look at Purdue Polytechnic. These would be good starts to see the difference of these types of programs.

There are also options in between a full-blown ABET-accredited engineering program, and an apprentice program outside of a college setting.

For example, take a look at the list of programs at Alfred State, in the SUNY system. There are BS programs, BTech programs, and several different kinds of Associate programs (Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Occupational Studies, and Associate of Arts - some self-contained programs and others designed for transfer.). Even thought the school spans both four-year programs, and two-year programs that are more typical of a community college, it has dorms and offers a residential college experience. Even if you’re not interested in the particular college, the list may give you ideas, and you can look at what the different programs offer and require. https://www.alfredstate.edu/academics/majors-list

Regarding engineering technology, a comparison of engineering versus engineering technology can be found here:

There is the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s Engineering Apprenticeship program. It was advertising in May of this year for applicants; deadlines are passed for this year, but perhaps ask them about 2021-2022 opportunities. Try google for “PPPL apprentice hiring”. It seems like New Jersey residency is NOT a job requirement. Also the Labor Department in your state might offer similar schemes.