Developing an Industrial Maintenance Technician Pathway to an Advanced Technology Degree
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission predicts a 7.5% annual growth in Mechanical Engineering Technician jobs and a 10% annual growth in Industrial Machinery Mechanic jobs. To help meet these needs, this project will develop an Industrial Maintenance Technician pathway to prepare engineering technicians who have electromechanical experience. This project will develop a Business and Industry Leadership Team with representatives from electromechanical and manufacturing industries to ensure the pathway meets the needs of local employers. With this guidance, faculty will update the existing curriculum, acquire new instructional equipment, and provide students with flexible access to the existing fabrication laboratory. These changes are expected to raise enrollment, retention, and graduation rates of Engineering Technology and Electronics Technology students. Through targeted outreach and mentoring, this project also aims to increase the percentage of female students seeking technical certificates or degrees.
The goal of the project is to increase and broaden participation in the college's technology degrees to meet the local demand for electromechanical technicians. The specific aims designed to achieve this goal include: 1) implementing a new industrial maintenance technician pathway to increase student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates; 2) developing a flexible learning lab to meet student needs; 3) expanding industry involvement to promote career paths for students; and 4) assessing success of the project and disseminating project outcomes and lessons learned. Curriculum improvements will include developing courses in non-destructive testing and industrial robotics, and revision of courses in motor controls, programmable logic controls, and hydraulics and pneumatics. The new pathway will use stackable credentials that allow entry at each level of the pathway, thus serving students who need specialized training to immediately enter the workforce and students who need to start with the basics. The nationally recognized training track of Certified Production Technician will be embedded as a vital first step. With the Business and Industry Leadership Team in place, industry partners will be intimately involved with the program?s design, and will enrich the program by providing speakers, industry tours, and other resources. The results of the project, curriculum, and pathway will be disseminated with regional and national partners.