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From the Archive: Workplace-Based Learning in the ATE Fields

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In the 2017 ATE Annual Survey conducted by EvaluATE, supplemental questions submitted by the Working Partners Project inquired about industry/college partnerships within the ATE community. Data showed that 11 percent of respondents employed workplace-based learning models at their respective institutions. Other more common partnership models included the use of advisory boards (26 percent), curricular development and review (17 percent), program support (14 percent), and instructional support (13 percent).

For those programs that offered internships, apprenticeships, co-op learning, job shadowing, and other workplace-based learning opportunities, respondents reported a variety of benefits, including better preparedness of graduates as they transition into the workplace and more meaningful ties with industry partners. For this reason, this month’s From the Archive blog post calls attention to some of ATE Central’s archival materials surrounding workplace-based learning within ATE. 

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  • education

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Report Suggests Ways to Expand Undergraduate Research Experiences; Supplemental ATE Grants Available

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Community College Undergraduate Research Experience Summit Report Cover

The proceedings report from the Community College Undergraduate Research Experience Summit is now available on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) website. http://www.aacc.nche.edu/URESummit The report contains recommendations for scaling and sustaining undergraduate research experiences (UREs) at two-year colleges, developing partnerships for UREs, ensuring equitable access to UREs in STEM, and measuring the impact of UREs.

The summit’s planning committee defined UREs as experiences that use the scientific method and/or the engineering design process to promote student learning by investigating a problem where the solution is unknown to students or faculty. Examples of UREs currently offered by community colleges include course-based research, internships, STEM design challenges, independent studies, honor projects, competitions that blend technical academic and technical skills, and mentored research that is part of a larger project.

The recommendations were developed during facilitated small group discussions and a deliberative process that involved the 120 thought leaders in attendance at the summit, which was convened by AACC with support from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program on November 20 to 22, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

In March 2020, ATE announced new funding for novel UREs developed by principal investigators of active ATE grants.  Proposals for supplemental funding are due May 15.

The report also features the stories of six individuals whose research experiences as community college students profoundly influenced their STEM career paths.   

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  • education
  • science
  • technology

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I Am ATE: Elodie Billionniere

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In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.

Name: Dr. Elodie Billionniere

Title: Associate Professor

Institution: Miami Dade College (MDC)

Project Name: Dade Enterprise Cloud Computing Initiative (DECCI)

URL: https://www.mdc.edu/cloudcomputingcenter/

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Billionniere: At the time, I was following hi-tech trends and the latest report was about cloud literacy as an absolute must-have skill to acquire for upskilling or reskilling. Although I am already familiar with the concept of web services, I attended an immersion day on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud technology and I recognized, immediately, an opportunity for an academia-industry partnership. After further discussion with AWS Academy leadership, we reached a common goal: to prepare underrepresented minorities for the multitude of cloud industry careers emerging in the computing and information technology fields. As I was having these conversations with AWS, the NSF ATE solicitation was forwarded to me by my department chair. The stars lined up in my mind and I moved forward with great confidence in my grant proposal idea. With ATE, I could solidify an industry partnership with the leading cloud provider, while providing resources, funds, and support to build today's talent with future skills. This project would not have been possible otherwise.   

ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of your project.

Billionniere: The program is designed to provide fast-track cloud training for students and professionals in Miami-Dade County, while strengthening existing career pathway programs at Miami Dade College.As such the project aims to (1) provide faculty professional development to certify faculty members in cloud technology utilizing project-based learning methodology; (2) create an academic pathway in partnership with industry cloud leaders that aligns a college credit certificate in Enterprise Cloud Computing to associate and baccalaureate degrees in information systems technology; (3) increase recruitment, retention, and graduation of students in the newly developed certificate program; (4) develop a K-16 pipeline by offering a Cloud 101 summer high school bootcamp for traditionally underrepresented populations that will result in industry certification and dual enrollment pathways; and (5) advance knowledge about student success and degree attainment in technology fields to improve retention of (STEM) students at Hispanic-serving institutions. 

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  • education
  • software
  • technology

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Mentor-Connect Offers Second-Chance and Moving-Up Mentoring

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http://mentor-connect.org

Mentor-Connect has expanded its mentoring services to help faculty whose first Advanced Technological Education (ATE) proposals were declined and to assist any principal investigator of a New-to-ATE small grant who is preparing a larger ATE project proposal.

May 1 is the deadline to apply for free Second-Chance Mentoring and Moving-Up Mentoring.

Both mentoring programs give faculty the opportunity to write proposals with guidance from educators who have years of experience developing ATE grants. All Mentor-Connect mentors “have a real sense for what should go into a proposal. We can communicate that to the people who have less experience and don’t really know the kinds of things that reviewers would be looking for,” said Osa Brand, the Mentor-Connect senior staffer who leads the two new initiatives.

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  • education
  • science
  • technology

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Select STEM Education Resources for Earth Day

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Image of the Earth from space.

April 22, 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth day, which was founded in 1970 to combat climate dangers and catalyze “a new way forward for our planet.” In honor of this celebration we thought we’d share some earth and environmental sciences resources that may be of interest to ATE PIs and staff seeking to create interactive, environment-centered curriculum and educational activities. Do you have some favorite STEM sites or online resources you’d like to share with the ATE community?  We’d love to help – email us at info@atecentral.net!

Calculate and compare carbon intensity with electricityMap.

This open-source, interactive map compiles electricity data to show the carbon intensity of electricity consumption in different regions based on how that electricity was produced. Users can toggle the map to show the real-time wind and solar energy potentials around the world and to account for electricity imports and exports, and they can select individual regions to see more detailed information about each region's electricity sources and carbon emissions. This map provides an excellent visual aid for discussions on energy production and sustainable fuels, and  instructors may use the resource to propel student discussions on the differences in energy production and consumption indexes around the world. 

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  • education
  • environment
  • science

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Erika Cuellar Finds Happiness in Manufacturing

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Erika Cuellar demonstrated her manufacturing skills at the 2019 ATE Principal Investigators’ Conference.

Less than a year after earning a Machine Technician Level II certificate from Housatonic Community College, Erika Cuellar happily declares, “I live, breathe, and die manufacturing.”

Cuellar is so positive about the advanced manufacturing program at Housatonic, she has persuaded her sister to enroll in it. Cuellar’s husband was the first in the family to go through the accelerated nine-month certificate program. He is now a manufacturing engineer who specializes in making prototypes. “You leave that program, and you have a career,” she said.

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  • technology

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I Am ATE: Thomas C. Tubon, Jr.

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Image of Thomas C. Tubon, Jr.

In this feature ATE Central continues our "I Am ATE" series, which showcases an ATE PI, staff member, industry partner, or other ATE stakeholder. We are excited to help spread the word about the wonderful people who are at the core of the ATE community and the innovative work everyone is doing.

Name: Thomas C. Tubon, Jr.

Title: Faculty, Biotechnology Program / PI, NSF ATE Cell & Tissue Manufacturing Coordination Network / Co-PI, NSF ATE InnovATEBIO National Center

Institution: Madison Area Technical College

Center Name: NSF ATE InnovATEBIO Center

URL: https://innovatebio.org/

 

 

ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Tubon: In 2009, I started my position at Madison College as a faculty member in the Biotechnology Program. Under the mentorship of emeritus faculty and seasoned NSF ATE Grant PIs Dr. Lisa Seidman and Dr. Jeanette Mowery, I was given the opportunity to learn about NSF and the ATE programs by way of the NSF Bio-Link National Center for Biotechnology. My first experience with the NSF ATE came shortly after I was on-boarded at Madison College, with an opportunity to work on an NSF-funded project to support workforce education for post-baccalaureate students in Biotechnology. The following year, we were awarded funding from NSF ATE to develop a related program in Stem Cell Technologies, which I served as a Co-PI and subsequently transitioned to PI during the course of the grant term (DUE 1104210). This success of this project was followed by a second funded proposal in 2015 to disseminate our education and workforce development curriculum in Stem Cell Technologies nationwide (DUE 1501553).  I currently serve as the Principal Investigator for the NSF ATE Coordination Network Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing of Cell and Tissue-based Products, which was funded in 2018 (DUE 1801123). This October, our team was awarded funding for the NSF ATE InnovATEBIO National Center for Biotechnology, headed by Dr. Linnea Fletcher at Austin Community College.

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  • education
  • science

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Farm Manager Uses Prior Teaching Experience to Bring Applied Research into Classrooms

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As farm manager Rob Thomas uses his recently acquired advanced agriculture technology knowledge and teaching skills.

Rob Thomas was a high school technology teacher for nearly five years when he decided he missed working year round on his family’s Western Pennsylvania hobby farm.

To switch careers to agriculture Thomas knew he would need more specialized knowledge. So he searched nationally for an associate degree agronomy program; he did not want to earn another bachelor’s degree. He enrolled at Northeast Community College (Northeast) in Norfolk, Nebraska, in 2017, he said, because it “had one of the best curriculums I saw in the country.”

His next two years of learning were punctuated with stints as a summer intern on the college’s 500-acre farm and part-time work as a teaching assistant and agriculture tutor. His plan had been to look for an agronomy job in Pennsylvania and work on his family’s farm on weekends.

But in May 2019—the day before he graduated from Northeast with two associate of applied science degrees in agronomy and precision agriculture—Thomas was hired as the college’s farm manager. It’s a job that amazingly matches his skills and interests.

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  • agriculture
  • education
  • science
  • technology

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From the Archive: Attracting Veterans to Your ATE Program

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Are you looking to expand your outreach efforts? Have you considered creating new promotional materials that appeal to underserved populations? Most ATE grantees welcome the opportunity to work with female students, persons with disabilities, Veterans, and underrepresented minorities, though reaching these and other underserved populations is not always easy.

In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we are highlighting materials that may aid you in your efforts to reach one such underserved group: service members and Veterans. Our first resource describes how to customize three-fold and four-fold brochures to appeal to every branch of military service, while the second is a more overarching approach to Veteran outreach. Our final resource provides some helpful tips and best practices in reaching your desired audience. Even if your ATE program differs from those described in these resources, you may well be able to adapt OP-TEC’s InDesign files, find useful facts or photos to re-purpose, or discover inspiration to design your own brochure.

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  • education

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Zoom Meeting Continues Conversations Started at CC Undergraduate Research Experience Summit

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Christina Lee, a Pasadena City College student, completed biotechnology tasks at Oak Crest Institute of Science.

Jared Ashcroft was so excited about the Community College Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) Summit that he attended in November, that he has set up a Zoom meeting on January 8 to continue the conversations about expanding research opportunities for community college students.

The Zoom meeting 6373293038 (https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/6373293038) begins at 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) on Wednesday, January 8.

It is open to anyone interested in the topic. Ashcroft says that whether three or 100 people attend, he hopes the meeting will lead to other conversations and, perhaps eventually, other in-person meetings.

 “To me it’s more of a national conversation—like how do we support each other at community colleges? How can we maybe leverage different [undergraduate research] programs that are really successful?”

Ashcroft was one of a dozen educators affiliated with Advanced Technological Education projects and centers who participated in the URE Summit on November 20-22, 2019, in Washington, D.C. He is a chemistry professor at Pasadena City College where he and Veronica Jaramillo, an instructor of natural  sciences, mentor the Early Career Undergraduate Research Experience (eCURE) program.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) convened the summit of 130 thought leaders—community college and university educators, students and graduates, as well as representatives of government agencies and non-profit organizations—to examine the role of community colleges in building, implementing, and sustaining undergraduate research experiences in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and workforce preparation. The summit was organized with support from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program.

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  • science
  • technology

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