SMT007 Magazine

SMT-July2016

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62 SMT Magazine • July 2016 There is something very wrong here. A de- tached and segregated educational system has caused a lack of proper academic preparation for some of our current, technically based in- dustries. For example, the high-tech product assembly industry has gone through a transfor- mation from labor-intensive to high-tech auto- mated assembly processes. The people who in- habit the ivory tower have largely ignored this evolution. The exodus of jobs in the U.S. from these production operations that are staffed with ill-educated personnel has produced a flur- ry of anger and activity—a public drum beat to identify the cause and fix it. Previous Jumping off the Bandwagon columns have identified some popular misconceptions about what got us here that are currently en vogue—red herrings that distract from the core issue. While these factors may contribute to the issue at hand, the root cause is our traditional educational system and production organiza- tional structure. Post-secondary schools have not been responsive to the changing landscape of the modern electronic product assembly op- eration—they really can't, considering the lack of real-world experience of most of the faculty. Regardless, we have tasked the perpetrator with solving the problems they have largely created! Learning for learning, which the perpetrator is best at, has totally dominated the educational system and learning for earning has been ignored for the most part. Last month, we discussed the high-tech educational business. But instead of using the traditional caste system model with the fac- ulty and administration considered in the up- per stratum and the students as subservient, we turned things upside down. We posited a model that held the student as the customer, with the faculty and administration in a service provider role to their student-customers. What makes the post-secondary school/ student relationship even more unique is how uneducated the customer is—in more ways than by Tom Borkes THE JEFFERSON PROJECT The STEM Trap JUMPING OFF THE BANDWAGON

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