Hands-on Technician Training (HoTT)
South Arkansas Community College will redesign three foundational advanced manufacturing courses in Process Technology and Industrial Technology, and offer them in a hybrid format. These courses will form the foundation of a new one-semester Certificate of Proficiency that can lead directly to an entry-level job or establish a foundation upon which students can stack additional credentials in the Industrial Technology or Process Technology degree tracks. The courses will incorporate industry-driven, competency-based learning outcomes and integrate employability skills, complemented by open labs with industry-specified hands-on activities and assessments. The project will address industry's need for qualified technicians and industry's desire for more hands-on training and integration of employability skills into coursework. The flexible scheduling built into the hybrid course model will afford students new educational opportunities and offer students a flexible schedule so they can meet family obligations and address financial concerns. Although the region has varied industries that offer well-paying jobs, industries have not been able to hire enough qualified technicians who meet workforce needs and there is a need to educate more advanced manufacturing technicians and raise their skill levels to meet the needs of regional and state-wide employers.
The Hands-on Technician Training (HoTT) project will allow industrial technology students to earn an industry-acknowledged, employment-ready Certificate of Proficiency (CP). Students will complete a shared-core, one-semester certificate that qualifies them for entry-level technician jobs or for continued studies in either Industrial Technology or Process Technology toward an associate of applied science degree. Professional development for faculty will occur through mentoring, local industry cooperators (externships), and committee involvement with national advocacy organizations such as the North American Process Technology Alliance (NAPTA). Videography and posting of lectures and relevant online-available resources will be developed, embraced by time-constrained students, and evaluated by appropriate testing. Open laboratory sessions will similarly appeal to busy students (and industry), provide necessary time for immersion in proper hands-on practices, and mirror equipment and system qualification protocols commonly utilized by industry.