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PathTech LISTEN Researchers Share Early Findings

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Researchers conducting PathTech LISTEN (NSF #1801163) interviews have found that most of those who completed technician education programs are “extremely pleased” with the education they received and have found their training to be “100%” relevant to their jobs.

The PathTech LISTEN project is a mixed methods, longitudinal investigation of post-college experiences of alumni from AS/AAS degree, certificate, and license programs. It grew out of PathTech LIFE: A National Survey of LIFE (Learning, Interests, Family, and Employment) Experiences Influencing Pathways into Advanced Technologies (#1501999). Will Tyson, associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, is the principal investigator (PI) of both of these Advanced Technological Education (ATE) targeted research projects. The Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) is a PathTech partner.

More “early findings” from PathTech LISTEN will be shared at the 2020 ATE Principal Investigators Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is Innovation and Impact: ATE for the Future. The significant role that ATE projects and centers play in creating and implementing successful career pathways will be the focus of most sessions. For more information visit the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)'s ATE PI Conference pages.

During the PathTech Listen session at 10 a.m., on October 24, Tyson hopes to generate discussions with ATE principal investigators that will lead to them staying in touch with the researchers and using PathTech findings.   

Categories:
  • education
  • engineering
  • technology

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From the Archive: An Introduction to Engineering

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Accounting for roughly 30 percent of the archived resources stored in the ATE Central resource portal to date, ATE’s engineering-focused projects and centers have long produced a breadth of materials in a variety of high tech industries such as electronics and controls; optics and photonics; materials, marine, or space technologies. Of ATE Central’s archived engineering resources, 83 percent are instructional in nature and well over half are audio or video files. In fact, ATE’s engineering-related projects and centers represent the single largest group of contributors to ATE Central’s audio/video collection. In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we explore some basic engineering curriculum and videos created by the ATE community.  

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  • engineering

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Enhancing Aquaculture Project Innovatively Blends Learning Experiences in Alaska

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Technicians employed at salmon hatcheries in Alaska care for vulnerable salmon eggs and juvenile fish before releasing them into the wild.

The Enhancing Aquaculture project combines classroom and experiential learning. Students will learn from University of Alaska fisheries technology faculty in classrooms and outdoor coastal settings as well as from industry professionals during internships at salmon hatcheries in Southeast Alaska.

In 2019-2020 the new fish pathology and mariculture courses developed with the support of an Advanced Technological Education (ATE)  grant  will be piloted online before they are taught in-person as part of the 13-credit Salmon Culture Semester. Marketing and recruiting efforts are underway for the program that will be offered for the first time in fall 2020 at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) in Sitka. Students who complete the semester will receive an industry-recognized occupational endorsement.

“The industry is 100% behind it. They are excited about it because it is going to bring them employees and trained technicians,” explained Joel Markis, principal investigator of Enhancing Aquaculture: Education for Underserved Alaskan Communities to Promote Workforce Development in Fisheries Industries (1764383).

Categories:
  • agriculture
  • environment
  • science

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I AM ATE Interview with Ann Beheler

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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: Ann Beheler 
Title:  Executive Director of Emerging Technology Grants
Institution:  Collin College
Center name: National Convergence Technology Center
URL: http://www.connectedtech.org/index.php


ATE Central: How did you become involved with ATE?

Beheler: In 2001 I became a Dean at Collin College, and my department had a very small ATE Project. The rest is history. We first proposed and received a Regional Center in Convergence Technology, awarded in 2004, and then proposed and received a National Center in Convergence Technology, awarded in 2012.

ATE Central: Tell us about the goals of the National Center for Convergence Technology.

Beheler: “Convergence” is the term our business team uses for Information Technology and Communications. Originally, the focus was on the changing need for technicians when IP data networking and telephony first began to merge. Now, it often refers to the converged data center. Our Center focuses on four major missions to equip colleges nationally to ensure their students are extremely “workforce ready” for the many high-paying jobs in the Information Technology area. First, we work with our national employer team to predict what “workforce ready” students must know and be able to do 12-36 months in the future; second, we work with over 70 colleges and universities to ensure curriculum is aligned with workforce needs; third, we provide free, employer-driven professional development for IT and Cybersecurity faculty nationally, so they can implement cutting-edge curriculum; fourth, we disseminate our work via webinars, conference presentations, and mentoring other individuals and colleges in a variety of ways.

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Center Builds on ATE Collaborations for Cross-Discipline Autonomous Vehicle Technicians

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Northland Community and Technical College had the nation’s first accredited UAS Maintenance program. With NSF ATE support it has offered faculty professional development, created a UAS Maintenance certificate program, and a UAS Field Service Technician program.

The National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT)—recently funded with a grant (#1902574) from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program—will prepare technicians for careers working on unmanned vehicles that operate on land, sea, or air. The new center’s multi-disciplinary approach will encompass the array of emerging technologies utilized by autonomous vehicles from their composite-material structures to their geospatial-informed navigation systems.

To accomplish his ambitious goals for the new center Principal Investigator Jonathan Beck has partnered with multiple ATE center and project leaders. One of the center’s co-principal investigators is Jill Zande, associate director, co-principal investigator and competition coordinator for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center.

The center’s staff at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, will also leverage industry activity in the Red River Valley and the assets at Northland’s aerospace site, the Minnesota State Transportation Center for Excellence, St. Cloud State University, and the University of North Dakota. The university operates the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, one of six Federal Aviation Administration test sites for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that are also known as drones.

These cross-discipline and cross-state-boundary collaborations add another dimension to the center’s goal of preparing technicians to work with the convergence of technologies that are integral to airborne drones, remotely operated underwater vehicles, and autonomous automobiles.

“What we are doing is training students to be adaptive and nimble, to think outside the box as they look at changing skill sets that will be required over the course of their careers in autonomous technologies. There’s a lot of jobs that are increasing the skills sets that are required … big changes to the skills sets that’ll be required, but modifications to a lot of the existing job titles,” Beck said.

Categories:
  • engineering
  • science
  • technology

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From the Archive: Online Education

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A special thanks to our practicum student, Xiuyuan He, for contributing to this month’s From the Archive blog post. Xiuyuan is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool.

In this month’s From the Archive blog post, we highlight resources on the theory and practice of online education, which may be useful to educators and administrators who are interested in online course development and design. Our first resource offers an overview of selected learning theories, principles of deeper learning, and successful instructional strategies. The second is a collection of presentations from a 2016 committee meeting on online education; this meeting centered on a report published by the Online Education Policy Initiative at MIT. Our last resource is from the Articulated Technological Education Pathways project. It provides an introduction to and tutorial on Moodle, a free, open-source learning management system.

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  • education
  • technology

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Coral Reef Researcher Proud of ATE Impact at 5 Pacific Island Colleges

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Robert H. Richmond, director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has built the marine science skills of Pacific Island college faculty and students with four ATE grants.

World-renowned coral reef scientist Robert H. Richmond says the outcomes from his four ATE project grants, which build the capacity of STEM educators and capabilities of students at five Pacific Island community colleges, are among the most gratifying accomplishments of his career.

“Honestly when I look back and I can see the things that I consider to be the greatest contributions I would have to say NSF ATE programs in the end are probably the most valuable things I’ve ever done. Not all my research colleagues would agree, and I would like to think my research—my research publications—are having an impact. But in the end, when I look at the numbers: I look at the islands. I look at where they start[ed], and where they are today. In reality the bang for the buck has been pretty amazing in terms of where they are,” Richmond said during a phone interview from Hawaii where he the director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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  • education
  • environment
  • science

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Developing UDL Classroom Resources

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Many within the ATE Community are knowledgeable about the importance of creating accessible classroom documents, but even the most experienced among us can benefit from a few practical tips. Those in search of guidance on developing Universal Design for Learning (UDL)-aligned materials may benefit from the resources assembled by the NSF-funded AccessATE project and the National AEM Center at CAST, an AccessATE project partner.

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MVCC Prepares Students for Careers Emerging with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

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After operating “bad guy” drones during a training exercise at the New York State Emergency Preparedness Center, Mohawk Valley Community College students and faculty met with law enforcement officers in fall 2018. Student Annie Born, in red coat in left photo, repairs a small, flight-trainer drone in the right photo.

“There’s a lot of cool stuff going on,” is Tim Thomas’s apt summary of the numerous ways that Mohawk Valley Community College’s (MVCC) overlapping ATE grants address the workforce needs emerging with advances in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which are also known as drones.

For the college’s $557,487 ATE grant (#1800296) to develop five micro-credentials, Thomas, associate dean for Physical Sciences, Engineering, & Applied Technologies, and Bill Judycki, professor of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), followed industry advisors’ guidance to certify short sequences of courses in cybersecurity, GIS, and data analysis, and to strengthen its AAS degree curriculum.

“Micro-credentials are the sweet spot of up-skilling the incumbent workforce,” Thomas said. They’re also a promising vehicle for bringing high school students into the degree program that prepares technicians to pilot, manufacture, program, and repair RPAS as well as analyze the multitude of data the unmanned aircraft gather during flights. A $300,000 Empire State Development Grant the college received in 2015 laid the groundwork for the RPAS degree.

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  • science
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I AM ATE Interview with Tynisha Ferguson

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ATE Central is pleased to announce a new feature in both the ATE Impacts blog and the ATE Central Connection (our monthly newsletter) called "I Am ATE," 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: Tynisha S. Ferguson, MA
Title: Communication & Technology Specialist    
Institution: Florence-Darlington Technical College
Center name: SCATE Center/Mentor-Connect
URL: https://www.scate.org and http://www.mentor-connect.org

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