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Mid-Life Pursuit of Technical Degree Leads Woman to New Career as College Educator

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Colleen Day (second from right) and Caryn Truitt (far right) presented results from their survey of cybersecurity students during the student poster session at the 2018 ATE Principal Investigators Conference. Day earned an associate degree at Highline College and is now teaching at Renton Technical College. Caryn Truitt is a student in the cybersecurity bachelor’s degree program at Highline. Amelia Phillips (first on left), professor of computer information systems and computer science at Highline College,  and Simone Jarzabek (second from left), computer information systems instructor at Highline, shared information about the International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational (ICCDI) Competition during the ATE conference’s showcase session.

Three years after enrolling in Highline College’s networking associate degree program, Colleen Day is teaching networking as a tenure-track faculty member of Renton Technical College in Renton, Washington.

The mid-career change is still a bit of a surprise to Day who was initially seeking an associate degree. She thought this credential would help her get a networking job with a medium or large business. She had taught herself networking skills while running several small businesses, but other employers were not convinced she had information technology skills.  

Amelia Phillips, professor of computer information systems and computer science at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, noticed Day’s computer skills and teaching talents during her first semester at Highline in 2015. “She was in my Networking Intrusion Detection class and my Linux Administration class, and she was helping the other students. That’s what it was. I could see. She would figure it out, and then she would figure out what the other students needed … students help each other, but not at that level,” Phillips said.

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From the Archive: Education and Careers in Renewable Energy

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A special thanks to Rachel Flynn for contributing this month’s From the Archive blog post. Rachel is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool.

Daniel Burman had a prosperous career in real estate but was left unhappy and unfulfilled. In his ATE Success Story, Burman explains how he went to school to obtain an associate degree in applied science for photovoltaics. This, in turn, enabled him to make a career change that allows him to work in the renewable energy sector, make a good living, and find a fulfilling career as a solar energy contractor.

In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we’re highlighting the work of three ATE projects and centers that support the education of technicians working in the renewable energy industry. Resources featured include a webinar that discusses the employment trends in clean energy jobs, a report that considers the educational needs of technicians working in the renewable energy industry, and a renewable energy technology curriculum that trains students in four different certificate programs. For more information, explore the links provided below. To find more resources in the ATE Central portal related to education and careers in renewable energy, try browsing by ATE Area: Agricultural and Environmental Technologies -- Energy technologies.

Now Hiring: The Growth of America's Clean Energy and Sustainability Jobs Webinar

This webinar, provided by the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Support Center (CREATE-SC), was presented on May 12, 2017, in consultation with the Miester Consulting Firm. This webinar highlights the state of employment trends and the potential future developments in renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors and summarizes major advances in other sectors. The webinar includes an introduction to the growth of sustainability jobs and provides information on the following five sectors: renewable energy, energy efficiency, public sector, private sector, and advanced vehicles. 

For more archived resources by the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education Support Center (CREATE-SC), visit the ATE Central Archive.

Preparing Energy Technicians for the 21st Century Workforce

This 40-page report, provided by the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), documents discussions from the 2010 National Energy Technician Education Summit, which was held in Washington, DC and was supported by the National Science Foundation. The report provides recommendations from energy experts and stakeholders from across the country for the facilitation of energy technician education in the U.S. The discussion centers on past and projected industry needs, financial opportunities and constraints, and enhancements to the technician educational programs that provide the energy industry with their workforce. 

For more archived resources by the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), visit the ATE Central Archive.

CERET Curriculum

These curricular resources from the Career Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET) project include program and course information for certificates offered at Madison Area Technical College. Information is provided for the following certificates: Bioenergy, Wind Energy Technology, Renewable Energy, and Photovoltaics. Each resource includes a certificate description, admission requirements, requirements for completion, program courses, curriculum, and career potential. 

For more archived resources by the Career Education in Renewable Energy Technology (CERET), visit the ATE Central Archive

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DeafTEC Shares Top Ten Things Student Veterans Would like Faculty to Know

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Veterans enjoy Saddleback College graduation ceremony.

As part of its effort  to bring more people who are deaf and hard of hearing into the STEM workforce, DeafTEC’s Project Good to Go works with California community colleges to provide resources for faculty who teach large numbers of military veterans.

“Hearing problems—including tinnitus, which is a ringing, buzzing, or other type of noise that originates in the head—are by far the most prevalent service-connected [disabilities] among American veterans,”  according to the Office of Research and Development of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  

The list of Top Ten Things Student Veterans Would like Faculty to Know was developed by DeafTEC, the Technological Education Center for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, to raise educators’ awareness of the challenges student veterans face on college campuses and to share universal design for instruction practices that benefit veterans and other students.

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2018 ATE Principal Investigators' Conference

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From October 24-26 the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), with support from NSF, will hold the 25th National ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The annual conference offers a chance to share, collaborate, learn, and meet with other innovative members of the ATE community, including PIs, select project and center staff, and NSF program officers. ATE Central is particularly excited about this year’s meeting; after all, ATE only turns 25 once!

Along with other projects and centers, ATE Central is gearing up to host and assist with a number of events at this year’s conference. In getting ready to head to DC, many of us will be double checking website material, creating handouts or workshop material, and generally making sure that our project and center information is up to date. A number of ATE Central services and tools may be helpful in your efforts, as you get ready for the 2018 Conference:

  • ATE Impacts 2018-2019: 25 Years of Advancing Technician Education. This year the new ATE Impacts book launch was received by the community with an exorbitant amount of enthusiasm. Whether you received free copies of the book to promote your project or center’s efforts and need more, or you never got around to ordering some but would like to push them out on your campus or to industry partners now, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Visit the order form on the ATE Central site to place your order, or stop by booth #002 to pick up extras at the PI Meeting. 
  • PI Meeting App. Plan which sessions to attend and track your PI meeting experiences with the annual PI meeting app. The 2018 app (available for iOs and Android) and companion website are designed to help attendees make the most of their conference experience. Conference participants can use their phone, tablet, or internet browser to create a personal schedule, stay up-to-date with the agenda and speaker lineup, search the attendee directory, and more. There's even an app video that shows users how to navigate through the options and use its features. 
  • Resource/Project/Center Records. Now is a great time to look at the description of your project or center and its resources on ATE Central. Let ATE Central know if you have new resource URLs, a new project description, other social media outlets, or a website we should know about. We can best support and amplify your efforts when we have up-to-date information about your project or center and its deliverables.
  • Activity Reports. ATE Central sends out quarterly Activity Reports that communicate data about project and center presence and usage of project and center deliverables on the ATE Central site. You are free to use this information however you wish. It is our hope, however, that the activity reports will support and inform your ongoing outreach efforts.
  • Events. Now is a great time to update your upcoming events. In addition to posting these on your website or through various social media outlets, make sure all your events are on the ATE events calendar. If you notice your event does not appear, please submit it here.
  • Archiving. The ATE Central archiving service is available to all ATE projects and centers as part of the support provided to the ATE community in executing data management and digital curation efforts. Having an archiving plan in place means that your hard work will have longevity beyond the course of your project or center’s funding period. We are committed to working with projects and centers to help with plans that work for everyone and encourage you to contact info@atecentral.net to develop an archiving plan tailored to your needs.
  • Outreach Kit. The ATE Central Outreach Kit can help projects and centers come up with an outreach plan or some specific outreach ideas. Leading up to the PI meeting, the communication section of the outreach kit might be particularly helpful: it includes tips on creating a mission statement and designing key messages so you can get the word out about your project or center.

Whether this is your first time attending the PI conference or your tenth, you can look through past conference presentations and even view videos on the AACC website.

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Principal Investigators Encourage Faculty to Utilize ATE Program

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Environmental health and safety technicians practice with simulated hazardous materials during ATEEC environmental education programs.

As the Advanced Technological Education program marks 25 years of existence within the National Science Foundation, three community college educators who were among the first cohort of ATE principal investigators (PIs) were asked to reflect on the program’s evolution and their experiences as STEM leaders.  

The three ATE program veterans—Ellen Kabat Lensch, Elaine L. Craft, and David Harrison—urge all community college STEM educators to utilize the many instructional resources and professional development opportunities created and offered by ATE projects and centers. (Visit ATE Central for program-wide information and links, and to access the database of ATE materials for use in specific fields and technologies.)

The principal investigators also encourage two-year college faculty members to consider how their ideas for improving STEM technician education align with their institutions’ strategic goals, and then explore the ATE program solicitation (http://nsf.gov/ate) to see if their ideas meet the criteria for ATE funding.

There is not much time before this year’s October 15 deadline for proposals. But it is never too early to begin preparing a proposal for next year. ATE proposals are next due October 3, 2019 and October 1, 2020.

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From the Archive: Cybersecurity

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A special thanks to Rachel Flynn for contributing this month’s From the Archive blog post. Rachel is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool.

With the increasing demand for knowledgeable, skilled cybersecurity technicians in the United States workforce, ATE projects and centers are creating materials that discuss and explore the ways in which educational programs can meet this need. What some may not realize, however, is the variety of industries in which a cybersecurity technician’s skills can be put to use. In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we’re highlighting the work of three ATE projects and centers that have supported the education of technicians working in various sectors of the cybersecurity industry. Resources featured include a series of presentations focused on the topic of autonomous vehicles, with an emphasis on the cybersecurity and ethical concerns surrounding this technology; a community college course for students who are preparing to enter the information technology field of healthcare; and a report that details the results of an effort to map cybersecurity curricula to the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework 1.0 Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). For more information about these specific resources, explore the links provided below.

2016 CAAT Conference: The Road to Autonomous Vehicles

This resource contains five presentations from the 2016 Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT) Conference—The Road to Autonomous Vehicles. This conference took place on May 6, 2016 at Macomb Community College's South Campus in Warren, MI and was co-sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and the Design and Manufacturing Alliance (DMA).

The conference theme, The Road to Autonomous Vehicles, addressed the many complexities involved in the development of automated and connected vehicles, including the infrastructure needed to support these high-tech vehicles. Speakers discussed the many legal, insurance, and cybersecurity concerns that must be addressed by the industry and government before full implementation of autonomous vehicles can occur. The conference included a keynote presentation on "The Challenges to the Future of Mobility" by Jeff Klei, President, NAFTA Region, Continental Automotive Divisions, and three Tech Talk Sessions on the challenges, infrastructure, and cybersecurity of automated and connected vehicles. Finally, Robert Feldmaier gave a talk about the current state of CAAT.  

For more archived resources by the Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), visit the ATE Central Archive.

Topics in Healthcare Info Tech

River Valley Community College, in association with the Program Development in Cybersecurity with Focus on Business and Healthcare Concepts project, has developed a 4-semester program to prepare students for working in the Information Assurance (IA) field with a focus on Cybersecurity and Healthcare IT. Courses are intended to prepare students for assuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems and networks in healthcare settings, where scheduling, storage of images, filling prescriptions, billing, and more are handled and stored using information technology.

This course focuses on topics in healthcare information technology and asks students to consider the Information Technology requirements that command uniquely qualified IT professionals to ensure the security of the Healthcare IT systems. In completing the course, students will be able to: 1) Understand and explain the behavior of a Healthcare organization, 2) Understand, explain, and apply the regulatory requirements of a Healthcare organization, 3) Understand, explain, and evaluate the normal operations of the “Healthcare Business,” 4) Evaluate the Healthcare IT system for security, privacy, and confidentiality, 5) Apply security, privacy, and confidentiality concepts to the Healthcare IT system, and 6) Understand and evaluate the normal operations of a Healthcare IT system.

For more archived resources by the Program Development in Cybersecurity with Focus on Business and Healthcare Concepts project, visit the ATE Central Archive.

Collaborative Curriculum Taskforce: Study of the Cybersecurity Workforce Framework Mapping to Academic Courses

This report, from the National CyberWatch Center, outlines the results of a mapping effort performed by the CyberWatch Curriculum Task Force of cybersecurity curricula to the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework 1.0 Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs). The goal of the study was to build a taxonomy of courses and to identify how the courses aligned with the KSAs specified within the framework, identifying gaps in academic courses and how those gaps could be addressed. This comprehensive 253-page PDF report includes the following sections: Purpose, Methodology, Data Collection, Data Mapping, Analysis, Constraints, Findings, Conclusions, and Recommendations for Further Research. The Bulk of the PDF comes in the Appendices, which include Participating Schools, Courses Mapped, the Mapping Survey Instrument, Coding Instructions, and the Pivot Table. 

For more archived resources by the National CyberWatch Center, visit the ATE Central Archive.

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SMART Future Project Builds on Previous ATE Grant

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Andrew Kott, left, uses industry-grade equipment and a small-scale simulation of an automated distribution center in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Mobile Manufacturing Lab to teach rural high school students about Industry 4.0 concepts and the Industrial Internet of Things.

Andrew Kott is the “perfect technician” to teach rural high school students about automated warehouses and supply chain technologies, according to Shamus Funk.

As principal investigator of the Smart Manufacturing and Resources for Transforming the Future (SMART Future) project, Funk hired Kott to teach students and to work with high school teachers in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Mobile Manufacturing Lab.

“Students respond well to him,” Funk said, citing Kott’s youth, energy, and knowledge. Kott worked in industry after earning a two-year machine tooling diploma at Chippewa Valley Technical College in 2012. He’s currently taking courses to earn a bachelor’s degree in education.   

Laughing modestly about the compliment, Kott said, “I enjoy what I’m doing; I’m enjoying sharing this information with the students and seeing them grow.”  He credits the students’ engagement to the mobile lab’s “cool equipment.” For the SMART Future project the lab has been equipped with robotic industrial arms, a CNC vertical mill, a laser engraver, laptop computers, and a small-scale simulation of an automated distribution center.

The project’s goals for the high school students include having them demonstrate mastery in automation, networking, programming, and supply chain technologies to qualify for industry certifications and/or college credits. The project’s other ambitious goals include devising a sustainable system to gauge its impact on students’ career paths.  

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Video Presentations from the 2018 STEM For All Video Showcase

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This May, 713 presenters and co-presenters shared their videos that showed projects that are centered around STEM education. The showcase, which was funded by NSF and encompassed 214 video presentations, explored a plethora of diverse fields that involve teaching, research, and career pathways in STEM.

Many of the submitted videos focused on integrating STEM into young children’s lives and education. One such video, “STEM in the Playscape: Building Knowledge for Educational Practice,” submitted by a team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati, explores STEM concepts in relation to nature-based play in early childhood settings. The presentation shares how much of an impact a “playscape” can have on the burgeoning mind of a child, and how exploring the “science of living things,” can impact concepts such as inquiry skills and spatial cognition in children. 

“S-POWER Engineering Pathways for Transfer Students,” submitted by Claire Duggan of Northeastern University and Massachusetts Community College, explores the impact of a grant from NSF for transfer students from under-represented groups who are studying energy. S-POWER (Student Pathways Opening World Energy Resources) seeks to address two primary concerns: low persistence rates of under-represented transfer students in STEM-based programs and the need to train a new generation of students to work in STEM-based disciplines. 

The ATE community was represented in this video showcase. One such video, “A Peek at iCREAT Project’s Multi-Disciplinary Courses,” by PI Shamsi Moussaka and Co-PIs Giuseppe Sena, Susanne Steiger-Escobar, and Marina Bogrod at Massachusetts Bay Community College, looks at how classes on STEM topics such as coding and robotics can impact students from underrepresented groups. 

The STEM For All Video Showcase is a great resource for ATE projects and centers in terms of the diverse settings in which STEM-based principles and theories can be applied. This showcase, which is an annual event, provides a great example of how STEM concepts can be integrated into a multitude of settings and is an inspiration for teachers, researchers, and students alike. Visit the video hall to view the full archive of the 2018 showcase. 

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Contextualized Math Course Aims to Break Barriers to STEM Careers

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Indian River State College graduates Tyrone Joseph (left) and Hykeem Spencer (right) were among the students who successfully completed the contextualized math course developed by Kevin Cooper (center), principal investigator of the Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training (RCNET).

The high percentage of students who succeeded in the contextualized remedial math course that the Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training (RCNET) created for students in the electric power technology program  at Indian River State College (IRSC) has led college leaders to broaden its reconfiguration of college-level algebra.

This fall 150 engineering technology students—most of them new to the program at the Fort Pierce, Florida, community college—will take the redesigned math course that teaches trigonometry, statistics, and algebra in the context of STEM technician careers. The new course replaces the college-level algebra course that has historically stymied students, particularly African-American males.

“This is one of the few things that has moved the needle,” said Kevin Cooper, referring to the increase in enrollment and persistence of minority students in the electric power technology program at IRSC. Cooper is principal investigator of RCNET and assistant dean of Advanced Technology at IRSC. Before a highly engaged audience of 50 educators, Cooper talked about how to eliminate math as a barrier to entry and success in technical fields on July 25 at the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) in Miami, Florida.

Cooper, an RCNET industry partner, and students talk about the contextualized math course in this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU5aUQZN73M

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From the Archive: Workforce Education at our Community Colleges: What Works?

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In addition to the STEM curriculum and professional development materials that ATE grantees create in large volume, some members of the community also conduct research, compile reports, and share their findings with the broader STEM community. In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we highlight the work of three ATE projects and centers that have produced insightful publications that address such areas as program evaluation, educational reform, and recruitment and retention of minority students. These resources represent only a few of the assorted research reports, articles, and best practice guides created by ATE grantees; for more reports, check out the links below or try browsing our reference materials by resource type.

A Framework for Evaluating Implementation of Workforce Education Partnerships and Programs

This 10-page research brief from SRI International covers research on community college workforce educational implementation in five industries and geographic regions. This research resulted in the Workforce Education Implementation Evaluation (WEIE), “a framework for evaluating hard-to-measure aspects of the design, development, and delivery of workforce education partnerships and programs." The brief contains information about the rationale for the WEIE approach, how it works, the labor market context, partnership quality found in the research, identifying the roles of the partners, monitoring of the four key partnership strategies, information about research methods, and the implications of the WEIE framework. 

For more archived reports by Community College Partnership’s Instructional Impacts, visit the ATE Central Archive.

Career Pathways for STEM Technicians

This 307-page Career Pathways for STEM Technicians PDF book offers a practical solution to America's technician shortage in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Career Pathways for STEM Technicians was written and compiled by Dan Hull, Executive Director of the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), with twenty-two contributors, including eight chapters from different STEM technology fields.

The book presents a solution to two problems: 1) there are not enough technicians to support continued technological innovation or to staff the organizations that could improve America's security and economic position in the world; and 2) there are not enough adequate educational opportunities for students interested in entering careers as technicians. This book "outlines the need and presents information required for an educational reform that will prepare more young people for meaningful and exciting careers in numerous fields that employ lasers and optics technology."

To learn more about by Career Pathways for STEM Technicians, visit the ATE Central Resource Portal.

Minority Recruiting and Retention Executive Summary

This 8-page report, created by the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC), provides a summary of strategies and best practices for recruiting and retaining under-served student populations. These strategies and best practices were pulled from a variety of websites, reports, and articles and organized into clear categories. This resource was designed to provide an at-a-glance overview of ways a program can strengthen recruitment and retention.

For more archived resources by the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC), visit the ATE Central Archive.

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