Forum examines changing needs of technologists

By Faculty of Engineering, January 23, 2008

    Murray Elston, president and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association; MaryLynn West-Moynes, president, Mohawk College; Art Heidebrecht, executive director, McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership; Cheryl Jensen, vice-president, Technology, Apprenticeship & Corporate Training, Mohawk College; Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, Research and International Affairs, McMaster University. Photo courtesy of Faculty of Engineering.
More than 100 employers, government officials and educators met in Hamilton on Tuesday, Jan. 22 to help chart the future of an innovative partnership between McMaster and Mohawk College.

Participants in Education Next: A Forum for Advancing Technology Education provided input for building on the success of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership.

Launched in May 2006, the partnership is the first in Canada to offer an accelerated path for working technologists, internationally trained professionals and high school graduates to earn both a college diploma and university degree in technology.

"We need the technicians and technologists who know how to make things work better," said keynote speaker Murray Elston, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, speaking in regard to the future of clean energies.

The Bachelor of Technology Partnership recently introduced a new two-year degree completion Energy Engineering Technologies program addressing the changing needs of the energy sector.

"Two compelling reasons are driving the partnership," noted MaryLynn West-Moynes, president, Mohawk College. "They are the changing needs of employers and students who want to get jobs and make a difference."

A series of breakout sessions were held to get ideas and input from participants. Topics included energy engineering technologies, training for internationally educated engineers and technologists, continuing technology education, educational and career pathways in engineering and technology, and employment issues for students and graduates.

"A tremendous amount of work has been completed to take the concept of the McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership and make it a reality," said Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, Research and International Affairs, McMaster University. "Those involved from both Mohawk and McMaster are to be commended for their commitment and dedication to this initiative."

The McMaster-Mohawk Bachelor of Technology Partnership offers three study options. The University Degree-Completion Program meets the needs of college diploma graduates and internationally educated professionals who require Canadian credentials and experience. The Four-Year Diploma/Degree Program is designed for entry directly from high school. The Certificate/Diploma Program is for engineers, technologists and internationally educated professionals working in industry.