Online Competency-Based Education of Technicians in Computer-aided Design and Cyber Security
Providing high-quality college education and professional opportunities in rural areas continue to be a national challenge. To help address this challenge, Texas State Technical College will develop and implement on-line competency-based programs in Computer Aided Design and in Cyber Security. The project will focus on serving non-traditional students and individuals living in rural areas, populations that have less access to technical education programs. Project activities will include updating and expanding existing curricula to respond to current industry demands; providing professional development for faculty; providing on-going mentoring and support services for students; developing handbooks for faculty who are teaching the courses; developing a model for on-line competency-based education that can be used in other career and technical fields and by other institutions; and supporting job placement opportunities for graduates. This project will also reach high school students through dual enrollment and, thus, has the potential to increase the number of students seeking academic and career opportunities in Computer Aided Design and Cyber Security across Texas.
Beyond creating and implementing the new curricula, the project is designed to increase connections between students, faculty, the college, and industry. Such connections have the potential to enhance students' educational experiences, expand the capacity of faculty to understand industry needs and opportunities, and increase the placement of highly qualified technicians into high demand fields. Program evaluation activities will assess the curriculum development processes, the success of new industry advisory boards, the retention and academic performance of the students, and rates of graduation and placement into industry jobs. Project results will be presented at academic and professional conferences and submitted for publication.