Pennsylvania College of Technology
Revamping Engineering Design Technology Curriculum with SOLIDWORKS Education Edition
PREPARING STUDENTS FOR EMPLOYMENTBy implementing SOLIDWORKS Education Edition software as its foundational engineering design teaching tool, Penn College is better preparing students for employment after graduation because it is matching the skills that the college teaches with the requirements of industry. “We knew that we needed to move from 2D to 3D to better prepare our students, and our placement experience has shown the vast majority of employment opportunities require SOLIDWORKS experience,” Miller notes. “The students took to SOLIDWORKS right away—they suck it up like a sponge—and immediately began creating complex designs using 3D parametric modeling,” Miller adds. “We’ve always had strong placement numbers because manufacturers have experience with the quality of our graduates. Even though many companies are willing to invest in training for top-notch recruits, our focus on SOLIDWORKS has allowed many of our students to go right into industry and integrate themselves much faster than if they didn’t acquire SOLIDWORKS skills.”
MORE EXTENSIVE TOOLS FOR COMPLETING CAPSTONE PROJECTSThe move to 3D design improves the accessibility of advanced engineering tools like finite element analysis (FEA). These integrated tools not only provide additional skills but also help students complete increasingly complex capstone design projects, a requirement for graduation in their final year. “With the integrated FEA tools in SOLIDWORKS Education Edition, we can expose students to structural, fluid flow, and kinematics analysis techniques, which can come in handy for perfecting capstone project designs,” Miller points out.
CSWA AND CSWP CERTIFICATION OPPORTUNITIESIn addition to standardizing on SOLIDWORKS software as its required design platform, Penn College has embraced the use of SOLIDWORKS certification examinations in its courses. It provides the dual benefits of assessing a student’s proficiency with SOLIDWORKS and providing skills certifications that are widely recognized by manufacturing companies. The college uses the Certifi ed SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) test as the fi nal exam for its initial SOLIDWORKS course and also makes the the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP) exam available to students who want to improve their level of certification. “[Dassault Systèmes] SOLIDWORKS makes these exams available to students at no charge,” Miller says. “With SOLIDWORKS certification, we’re documenting that students have the skills that industry demands, which gives them a leg up when competing for jobs.” Based on feedback provided by graduates seeking employment, Penn College soon decided to replace the Autodesk Inventor package as its foundational platform with SOLIDWORKS Education Edition software due to greater demand for SOLIDWORKS skills in industry. By moving to SOLIDWORKS as its primary platform, Penn College has increased employment marketability of its graduates; provided students with opportunities for industry recognized certifications; added integrated structural, fluid flow, and kinematics analysis capabilities; and given students more extensive tools for completing capstone design projects
Revamp the college’s engineering design technology curriculum to better prepare students for employment and careers in industry.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Education Edition software as the foundational design platform for engineering design technology coursework.
- Increased graduate employment marketability
- Added integrated structural, fluid flow, and kinematics analysis capabilities
- Provided students with opportunities for industry-recognized certifications
- Gave students more extensive tools for completing capstone design projects