Preparing Students for Advances in Transportation that Utilize Alternative Energy Sources
In partnership with the ATE Center for Advanced Automotive Technology (CAAT), other ATE Centers that focus on transportation or energy, and regional and local employers, Rio Hondo College in California will further develop and offer a newly created Electric/Hybrid/ Fuel-Cell Technician Associate Degree. The project will build on the expertise and partnerships the institution has developed with local schools, companies, Workforce Investment Boards (WIB's), the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD), the Governor's Green Team, and the California Energy Commission. It will create and evaluate improved models for work-based learning tools to assure students are more successful and to increase diversity in the technical work force. The project will integrate high-performance electronics, computer management skills, and advanced technology diagnostic skills that make students highly employable while assisting the diverse high school population in the service area served by the college. It will encourage students to continue their education and attain two and four year technology degrees.
The project will develop a clear and defined pathway that will allow articulated high school students from diverse backgrounds to enter a new form of automobile and energy technician training. It will also create the career pathway to an Associate of Science degree that is transferable to articulated universities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas of Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering, degrees not commonly associated with the automobile technician in the past. The project will integrate a high-performance STEM based energy curriculum using innovative teaching strategies at the college and high school and university partners. It will track students in the new Hybrid/Electric/Fuel-Cell Technician program to assure that they graduate with sufficient learning and work experience to qualify for employment as an Electric/Hybrid/ Fuel-Cell Technician and will use manufacturers' supported industry certifications and technical training for faculty. Industrial partners will provide internships and supervised work experience for technicians that allow graduates to be successful when they secure employment. The project will demonstrate significant improvement in the STEM learning using interdisciplinary and applied approaches to areas of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Problem solving and technical skills will be enhanced by this curriculum as it will integrate work-based skills, clearly defined career pathways, and stackable certificates that industry demands from employees. A Summer Energy Academy for 13 year old students brings teachers and students together to build and test the latest alternative energy technology.