Advanced Technological Education ·

Welcome to the ATE Central Connection! Published the first Monday of each month, the ATE Central Connection is meant to disseminate information to and about ATE centers and projects, providing you with up-to-date ATE news, events, reminders, as well as highlighting new centers, projects, and resources. In addition, we will also highlight an educational topic with complementary resources found within ATE Central to help illustrate how ATE resources can be used in the classroom.

We want the ATE Central Connection to be a valuable tool; please e-mail with any suggestions about how to make the ATE Central Connection more useful for you or to suggest any information you would like to see in an upcoming issue.

In This Issue

Science Student

Featured Resources in Transfer Pathways

From National CyberWatch Center:

Transfer Pathways in Cybersecurity Education: Challenging Routes, Promising Practices, Possible Improvements

This 18-page resource was written by John Sener and identifies several varieties of transfer pathways to cybersecurity degree programs. "This paper also identifies some promising or potentially exemplary practices related to transfer pathways, both in general and related to cybersecurity education in particular, and concludes with a proposal for improving the transfer pathway system for cybersecurity education students. The resource includes a table of contents and the following sections: Context: The Challenging World of College Transfer Credit, Varieties of Transfer Pathways, Dual Admission: The Cooperative Route, Promising and Potentially Exemplary Transfer Practices, Improving Transfer Pathways for Cybersecurity Education Students, Acknowledgements, and References. This resource is available free for download.

From Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: A Summit:

Developing Supportive STEM Community College to Four-Year College and University Transfer Ecosystems

This paper, commissioned by the 2011 summit on Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape, describes the challenges to creating effective transfer pathways for students in STEM fields. Author and Associate Professor Alicia Dowd recommends the following approaches: (1) Create regional think tanks and research centers, called Evidence Based Inquiry Councils (EBICs), involving STEM faculty, deans, and department heads in geographic clusters of two-year and four-year colleges and universities to invent, experiment with, and evaluate innovative curricula, pedagogies, and assessments of student talents and learning. (2) Provide financial resources to transfer students by fully funding Pell grants, creating a STEM work-study program through the HEA Reauthorization, and establishing public and privately funded STEM transfer scholarships and Individual Development Accounts, giving EBICs oversight of the selection of students to benefit from these resources to engage them in rethinking admissions criteria and talent identification strategies.

From The CalWomenTech Scale Up Project:

Transfer Students: Lessons Learned over 10 Years

This paper from the ASEE 2014 Conference shares "lessons learned from two successful programs for transfer students in engineering and computer science." The most recent program featured had a graduation rate of over 95% with more than 60% of students being female or an underrepresented minority. Dr. Mary R. Anderson-Rowland shares the strategies that she has learned from running these successful programs in the areas of financial support, academic support, time management and logistics, social resources and support, graduate school, and gender and ethnicity.

Pew American Jobs Screenshot

Community Connection

New from Pew: The State of American Jobs

This ninety-five-page report, The State of American Jobs, from the Pew Research Center touches on a lot of valuable data for the ATE community related to the changing economic landscape, workers’ ideas about their own commitment to retraining and honing their skillsets, and how workers view the role of higher education as part of this process.

The report begins by examining changes in the American workplace, helping to pick apart the socio-economic factors at the core of this evolution. A significant focus of this section is the shift in job opportunities away from those that need manual or physical skillsets and towards those that require high levels of social or analytical skills. Not surprisingly, employment opportunities are much greater for those with more experience and job preparation (whether from education, training, or life experience).

The second section of the report explores how Americans assess the job situation today and prospects for the future and the third focuses on how Americans view their jobs. Again, there is a variety of interesting data as well as analysis and conclusions in these two sections. For example, most Americans feel that while there still aren’t enough good local employment opportunities, the situation seems better to them than during the worst of the Great Recession. Another takeaway: most feel that their standard of living is as good or even better than their parents, and they feel optimistic about the next generation’s chances of doing the same. Turning to how American’s feel about their jobs, most feel their jobs are secure, highly educated workers are among those most happy in their job situations, and Americans are divided on the issue of living to work or working to live (whether jobs provide a sense of identity or just a living).

The final two sections are related to skills and training needed to compete in today’s economy and the value of a college education. These sections should prove especially useful to ATE community members, offering some compelling findings:

  • Half of those workers surveyed responded that interpersonal skills are critically important to their job.
  • About a third feel they don’t have the education or training they need to get ahead in their workplace.
  • Americans as a whole believe that college should be more about workforce-relevant skills and knowledge acquisition and less about personal or intellectual growth, however the more education respondents had, the more inclined they were to disagree with this finding.
  • Of those who went to college (both two and four-year institutions) 62% felt that the college experience helped them grow, both personally and intellectually, 53% felt that college helped open doors for them in finding a job, and 49% felt that their education provided them with skills and specific knowledge that would prove useful in the workplace.

There are a lot of reasons to dig into this latest report from Pew – it’s chock full of tables, data, and analysis provided in an easy-to-digest format. Readers will understand more about how workers view their needs for ongoing training, what sectors have had the most rapid employment growth, and what knowledge and skills Americans believe are most critical for their own long-term success in the marketplace. While some of the findings will already be part and parcel of the day-to-day experience of those in the ATE community, many are noteworthy and much of the data may be useful for presentations, research, grant writing and reporting, as well as in the classroom.

Readability tool screenshot

ATE Success Tips: Websites

How readable is your website?

It’s sad but true: a relatively small number of website visitors actually read all of the content on a website. The rest are scanners and skimmers, on the hunt for some quick and relevant details. Website readability is an important component of making sure both audience groups leave your site feeling satisfied. This can include keeping sentences, lines, and paragraphs short, offering sufficient anchors for easy scanning, and making sure that written material is presented at an accessible reading level. The Readability Test Tool offers one quick and easy resource to help with this last aspect. Users can test all or part of a web page, or copy and paste specific sections of text. Readability formulas then help users gauge exactly how easy it is to read the submitted material. This is an especially useful tool for ATE projects and centers looking to make lasting impressions on the industry partners, prospective students, and other visitors to their website.

AACC 2016 Fact Sheet

Did You Know?

According to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), there are 1,108 community colleges in the U.S. 982 are public, 90 are independent, and 36 are tribal.

ATE Events

Ongoing Events
Eng M-STEM 2016 Owasso, OK
Eng STEMTech Conference Philadelphia, PA
Upcoming Events
Bio/Chem Biotechnology Education with a Focus on Careers at the Portland NSTA conference Portland, OR
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - Georgetown, TX Georgetown, TX
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - Millbrook, NY Millbrook, NY
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - NC Dobson, NC
Gen 2016 Leadership Seminar in Science & Technology Policy Washington, DC
Mfg FABTECH 2016 Las Vegas, NV
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop - Dobson, NC Dobson, NC
Info Effective Strategies for Job Placement Online
Ag/Env Wine Chemistry Workshop - Austin CC - TX Georgetown, TX
Gen Writing in the Disciplines Workshop in Texas San Antonio, TX
Eng ACTE's CareerTech Vision 2016 Las Vegas, NV
Ag/Env Wine Sensory Analysis Workshop - Santa Rosa, CA Forestville, CA
Mfg Spindle Probing Teacher Workshop Auburn, Maine
Mfg 4-Axis CNC Milling Workshop Online
Info AACC Workforce Development Institute Newport Beach, CA
Eng SPIE Photonics West San Francisco, CA

For more events, please visit the ATE Central Events page or, if you have any upcoming events that you would like posted on ATE Central or in the ATE Central Connection, please submit them online.

To add a continuously-updated list of ATE and STEM education events to your website, use the ATE Event Widget.

News & Reminders

We enjoyed meeting you at the 2016 ATE PI Conference!

This year’s ATE PI Conference was another great success – we loved reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones! We look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the coming year. We’re here to help by answering your questions about the ATE community and connecting you with other grantees and resources, so please feel free to use us as an ongoing support system.

Get involved with NSF’s Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).

The National Science Foundation invites teams of community college students to participate in the third annual Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC). Teams will submit innovative STEM-based solutions for real-world problems across three themes: Maker to Manufacturer, Energy and Environment, and Security Technologies. All entries must be received during the competition submission window, from October 17, 2016 to February 15, 2017. More information can be found on the challenge website.

Archiving your deliverables with ATE Central is now easier than ever!

Upload your curriculum, professional development materials, or other deliverables created with ATE funding directly to the ATE Central resource portal via the new archive submission form.

Is your project/center on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media site?

If so, please make sure we've found that site and added it to the ATE Social Media Directory. Having your social media presence linked through the directory will help ensure that interested parties can find you online. In addition, if you currently publish a newsletter, please let us know, as we will be adding links to newsletters to the information available on ATE Central.

Can CWIS software help support your project goals?

CWIS is open source software, created with NSF funding, that can help your project or center showcase resources online. It's free and very easy to use. The latest version (CWIS 3.9.1 beta) was released on and is available for download on the Scout site. Please email if you have any questions or would like a quick tour of its features!

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