Smart Advanced Manufacturing Education in the Silicon Valley

A growing number of U.S. companies are finding ways to automate and control how they manufacture products using digital, or "smart," technologies. This manufacturing trend has created an unmet demand for well-qualified technicians in the Silicon Valley region of California. To help address this need, Ohlone College will develop a program in smart advanced manufacturing that offers new courses, certificates, and an associate degree. The program will include pathways and supports for students who might need more help building their math skills. This structure will also be used to help encourage and retain more students, particularly those from underrepresented groups. The program will create learning communities with student cohorts and include internships opportunities that allow students to connect their classroom learning to the technical skills needed for the workplace. The project team will work closely with local industries and organizations to design the program and courses to make sure the necessary workforce skills are included. The project will also expose high school students to advanced manufacturing projects and careers. It is expected that these efforts will help to increase the number of qualified technicians for the smart advanced manufacturing workforce.

This project aims to develop and certify a new program that includes seven new courses, a Certificate of Achievement, and an associate degree in smart advanced manufacturing. The associate degree will have concentrations in the "Internet of Things," Automation & Fabrication, and Prototyping. The program will be designed in collaboration with local manufacturing industries and will feature highly-supported pathways with defined on-ramps aligned with the incoming students' level of preparation. Students will progress through the courses and degree pathways in a block-scheduled, cohort-based learning community that has wraparound academic and social support. This wraparound support will emphasize elements such as study skills development, field trips to industry sites, cohort meetings, and team-building activities. Experiential learning will be integrated into the degree program through internships in a three-credit Work-Based Project course that students will take after they complete their first year of coursework. Outreach to increase the interest of high school students in advanced manufacturing careers will include hands-on projects, design challenges, and demonstrations of techniques and new technologies. Project results, course materials, and best practices will be widely disseminated, including to the Bay Area Community College Consortium and regional hubs in the STEM Core Alliance of the Growth Sector non-profit.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
October 1st, 2019
ATE Expiration Date
September 30th, 2022
ATE Principal Investigator
Rose-Margaret Itua
Primary Institution
Ohlone Community College District
Record Type
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