Pre-College Education Coordinating
Committee Meeting Notes
Larry G. Nelson Sr.

PECC REPORT - Meeting - 17 January 1999 - Newark Airport Marriott

Discussion :

What should the committee make its focus for the next one to three years? Based on the recommended outcomes of the TLC workshop and tied in with the strategic plans for the Institute - what should be the primary focus and strategies of a precollege program?


IEEE is in a unique position and it should leverage its strengths to bring engineers and educators together to raise the level of technological literacy that results from K-12 education. A two pronged approach is called for in having the engineering community act as a resource and catalyst for education.

The first is working with teachers currently in the classroom (IN-SERVICE). The second, and just as important, is to influence the Education programs in the universities (PRE-SERVICE). One other less easily accessed approach is to work to improve the technical education available at community colleges, since it has been concluded that nearly 50% of future teachers receive their math and science education in community colleges before they transfer to a four-year program.

In working with in-service teachers, a searchable Website was suggested which would serve as a major location for many different resources, including:

This site, TLCNet, would be essentially a directory, linking to other sites where this information was available. It would also use the IEEE regional and technical infrastructure to identify resource engineers, technical guidance, and related activities. The P.E.T. project to train engineers to work with educators would be closely tied in and would result in an informed, available network of engineers.

Very little information is to be originally developed - instead IEEE will identify and research existing sites and materials and oversee a peer review process to determine their accuracy and value to the education community.

The Pre-Service approach is aimed at students in university education programs. The goal of this approach is to improve the level of technical education they receive during their teacher training, so that they can be better teachers of math, science and technology. Again, leveraging IEEE's strengths, the Institute will hold a workshop bringing together Deans of engineering (many IEEE members) and Deans of Education from the same universities. These individuals most times do not even know each other and therefore have no history of working together.

The goal of the workshop would be to open channels of communication so that they can go back to their respective faculty and encourage intra-department course development. The benefits could be mutual. Not only could education students learn more about technical subjects and how technology works, but engineering students would have the opportunity to learn more about the communication and "people" skills that make good teachers.

The key themes of these recommendations are that they involve COLLABORATION. They are not mutually exclusive to either engineers or educators. Rather they require the commitment and strengths of both groups, and as a result, they have the potential to benefit both groups and most importantly, for society at large. Following is a list of benefits for all stakeholders:

For teachers/educators:

  1. Improve their knowledge of technology
  2. Provide resources/aids for teaching
  3. De-isolate them from the community
  4. Offer opportunities for reward/recognition
  5. Help them do their job

For engineers:

  1. Prepare them for working with educators
  2. Improve their image as community leaders and contributors to society
  3. Improve their presentation/communications skills
  4. Help develop a technologically literate society - one that values engineers and developers of technology

Other peripheral IEEE activities, which might integrate with these major plans, will be considered. These include the following: