Identification of Core Competencies for Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering Technology

Source: Journal of Engineering Technology, Spring 2022, Volume 39 Issue 1, pg. 42-55


  • Tracy L Yother
  • Sergey Dubikovsky
  • Timothy Ropp
  • J Mark Thom
  • Peng Hao Wang
  • Thomas C Hagovsky
  • J Michael Davis
  • Don Barnes


The Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering Technology (AET) program at Purdue University is an ABET-ETAC accredited, practitioner-based education system. AET holds at its core a principle that technical competency empowers people, enables diverse opportunities, and promotes the ability for graduates to lead across a wide variety of jobs in aviation, aerospace, and space industries. To accomplish AET's mission, graduates are prepared to stand at the intersection of engineering science, business, and technology. In this context, various competencies arise when the subject matter excellence needs of the AET program are overlaid with the literature regarding the "soft skills" needed for interpersonal communications, personal maturity, growth, and improved safety for the success of the industry. The purpose of this paper is to examine, evaluate, and identify competencies using a modified Delphi method for competency-based education for AET graduates. A complete dissection and reconstruction of the AET curriculum, including individual course content was done in the summer of 2018. This total reevaluation allowed for a close examination of the course and curriculum goals for the entire program. This provided for a realignment of the program with external stakeholders, the Federal Aviation Administration, the industries served by the AET program, and the ABET, Inc. accreditation organization. The AET faculty used a modified Delphi method to identify six preliminary competencies: leadership, subject matter excellence, communications (verbal and written), teamwork, ethics, and individual resilience.

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