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Free Curriculum Pilot: Multi-Level Robotics Courses


A student manipulates a robot arm.

The Clemson University Center for Workforce Development has developed a four-track robotics digital learning package to deploy to partner institutions. Through Fall 2022, the center will be piloting robotics curricula for the high school, associate, bachelor, and master levels, including courseware in virtual reality simulations, video lectures, open text, and interactive assessments. 

The center is looking for instructors to participate in a free pilot program using the curricula, to provide feedback on the courseware in the form of instructor and student survey responses. The first 25 instructors to register for the pilot program with 10 students or more will receive an honorarium. 

There is no deadline to apply. Interested instructors should fill out the course access request form or contact the center for more information about the curricula.

NSF to Invest in Future Manufacturing Through 22 Projects Nationwide


A man in an orange safety vest and hardhat examines an advanced manufacturing process on a factory floor.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded more than $30 million in research grants and project seed grants as part of the Future Manufacturing program. These awards are intended to promote U.S. competitiveness in transformational manufacturing, including biomanufacturing, cyber manufacturing, and eco manufacturing. 

The research projects, which include four-year colleges and universities, community colleges, and corporations, will “investigate areas to transform the predictability, security, reliability and efficiency” of advanced manufacturing. 

Read more about the awards and the grantees in this announcement from NSF.

Google Will Make Four Career Certificates Available to Community Colleges


A man does online coursework on a tablet with a cup of coffee nearby.

Google announced recently that it would make its career certificates available for free to community colleges in the U.S. These certificates, which cover information technology, data analytics, project management, and user experience design, are intended to support workforce development of highly in-demand digital skills.

The certificates have been recommended by the American Council on Education as equivalent to 12 credits or 4 full courses at the undergraduate level. The state of Connecticut will offer for-credit courses using Google’s IT Support Certification for the Spring 2022 semester.

Read more about the announcement in this article from CNBC.

Microsoft to Support Cybersecurity Training Efforts at Community Colleges


A man in a dark room does coding on dual computer monitors.

Microsoft recently announced an initiative to support cybersecurity workforce training at community colleges across the country. The software company will reportedly provide scholarships or other financial assistance to 25,000 students over the next 4 years and support instructor professional development at 150 community colleges, in addition to free curriculum materials.

The efforts come in the wake of recent high profile cybersecurity breaches, such as the SolarWinds attack, that have alarmed policymakers and companies. 

Read more about the announcement in this article from Reuters.

AccessATE Tip Sheet: Workplace Communication for Blind & Low Vision Employees


A person on a laptop codes in alt text for a photo of a tree.

Industry contacts may express concerns about communication with potential hires who are blind or have low vision. Read through this tip sheet on Workplace Communication for Blind & Low Vision Employees from DeafTEC and AccessATE for helpful hints and resources to prepare you to discuss these topics with industry partners and advocate for your students.

This resource describes advice for one-on-one conversations and group communication, especially in settings such as meetings or video conferences. Readers interested in learning more can check out this blog post on Best Practices for Alternate Text from AccessATE.

AccessATE supports the work of the NSF-funded Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects and centers in making the materials and activities they develop more accessible for all students and faculty, including those with disabilities. The project aims to increase awareness and understanding of accessibility requirements and provide guidance, tools, and support that offers solutions and helps achieve compliance with accessibility standards.