Building an Academic Pathway for Industrial Engineering Operations Technicians
Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio, in collaboration with Eastland-Fairfield Career Center and its 16 associated school districts, Franklin University, and key regional industry partners, is developing a new multi-disciplinary academic pathway in Industrial Engineering Technology with a focus in the logistics sector. This project is designing and developing an associate degree curriculum that incorporates engineering, information technology and logistics operations principles delivered through a blended delivery model that integrates a learning objects methodology. Instructional and student support systems are being developed to help establish the optimal environment for student success. The overall project goal is to create a career pathway for industrial engineering technicians with the STEM and subject matter knowledge to support the increasingly complex technology needs of the supply chain sector while providing program graduates opportunities in a variety of industries. The project incorporates a component to inform high school students of the opportunities available in industrial engineering technology including a certificate option. The logistics sector offers career ladders to family-supporting occupations that employ 9% of the regions workforce in central Ohio. Labor data projects that this industry in the central Ohio region is experiencing growth that is expected to increase at 11.8% over the next seven years with over 200 annual openings. This proposal provides students with an associate-degree level career pathway in this critical sector, one for which national research data and local employer input evidence significant need. The high school outreach program enables this curriculum to be available at institutions that have historically been unable to afford the faculty and equipment expenses associated with such a program. Finally, the project focuses on advancing recruitment to underserved populations including minorities, women, and veterans in the region thereby increasing the talent pool for industry and providing these populations opportunities in a high demand, high growth sector. The plans to disseminate the results of this effort will help other institutions in other areas of the country to adopt the program.
The initiatives in this proposal result in a seamless educational pathway for supply chain Industrial Engineering Operations Technicians. The program creates a certificate program accessible to high school students and an Associate of Applied Science degree that incorporate a multi-disciplinary academic foundation in computer science, industrial engineering, and supply chain principles and methodologies. This degree prepares program graduates for meaningful positions in a variety of industries and with several employment-ready exit points. The project deliverables provide a blueprint for other high school and 2 year programs throughout the country. This initiative is designing 2+2+2 articulation pathways, creating a pipeline of technical education from the high school to community college to four-year institutions.