Strengthening and Sharing a Holistic Technician Education Program Implemented at a Small, Rural, Private College
This project aims to strengthen two associate degree programs, Manufacturing Technology, and Agriculture: Farm Operations and Management. These degree programs are included in Dordt College's Professional-Technical (Pro-Tech) Education initiative. This project seeks to develop, establish, grow, and evaluate new associate of science degree programs that can meet regional workforce demands. These degrees represent a holistic approach to technician education that builds strong technical abilities on a foundation of cross-contextual skills (such as communication and leadership) and character traits (such as a strong work ethic and growth mindset). The overall goal is to equip graduates of these programs with refined technical abilities, as well as an understanding of the cultures of various workplaces and a recognition of the broader set of abilities needed to effectively apply technical skills.
The project has five objectives: (1) Adapt proven, effective educational materials to enhance the AA curricula in Manufacturing Technology, and Farm Operations and Management: Materials and practices from four ATE-funded projects and centers will be adapted to improve five courses and support six industry-validated certifications; (2) Increase value of internship program: Materials, practices, and lessons learned from an ATE-funded project that created an internship model for rural areas will be applied to improve Pro-Tech internships; (3) Develop highly skilled and knowledgeable faculty: Instructor ?externships? will be used to instructor knowledge, resulting in improved course content and activities; (4) Increase leadership capacity and capability: Mentorship by experienced ATE program PIs will help the Pro-Tec team manage growing programs and cultivate industry networks. (5) Foster adoption of the Pro-Tech model: A set of workshops and webinars will introduce other small, private, and/or rural institutions to the Pro-Tech initiative.