Posts Tagged ‘Advanced Technological Education’

Stay Tuned: Classroom Visits

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

For anyone who is wondering what to expect from college courses – whether you’re a student in high school, a parent of a high-schooler, or an adult contemplating a career change and a return to studies– next season, ATETV will take you inside several college classrooms. During the upcoming series “Classroom Visits” you’ll hear from both instructors and students about specific course content and overall educational expectations.

If you automatically think “classroom” means only textbooks and lectures, think again. For example, an ATETV visit to a Biotechnology course finds math content specifically tailored to the laboratory, while core subjects such as cell culturing and molecular biology are taught, in part, through hands-on lab training. You’ll also learn that course work doesn’t end with science and math, as you’ll hear how biotech students are working on projects to help equip them for real-world employment, learning about venture capital, manufacturing quality checks and product marketing, among other things.

During ATETV classroom visits, instructors will describe the qualities it takes for students to succeed in college and will offer advice to help students make the most of their classes, while students share their own firsthand experiences with viewers.

Stay tuned, the new school year is just around the corner!

Stay Tuned: It’s Never Too Early to Get Started

Monday, August 8th, 2011

It’s never too early to start thinking about college and in the new fall season, ATETV will focus on some of the programs and preparations that can help high-school students start paving their way to a successful college experience.

The “From High School to College” series will provide viewers with firsthand accounts from students, teachers and guidance counselors. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Dual-enrollment programs. Did you know that many community colleges offer students the opportunity to take classes while they’re still in high school? Dual enrollment provides a head start on earning credit hours and getting a taste of college life, and ATETV will talk with students and their teachers at various high schools about the experience. In one video for example, we’ll visit a college-level Web Design class where students are simultaneously earning high-school and college credits. We’ll also share resources and information to help viewers learn about dual enrollment opportunities in their communities.

Making the transition.
ATETV will also visit programs like one community college “bridge” program that is helping students make the transition from high-school to college – and preparing them for success in technology and STEM fields. Through the videos and blogs, we’ll also share tips and ideas with students and their families to help with the college-preparation process: where to go for background materials, suggestions for informational interviews and ways that students can start developing the skills and habits that colleges – and employers – value and expect.

Stay tuned – a new season is just around the corner!

Stay Tuned for Tech Tips

Friday, July 29th, 2011

No matter what STEM career you choose to pursue — Information Technology, Precision Agriculture, Marine Technology, or any of the many other options available to STEM graduates — there are many basic skills that are expected of employees.

Next fall, ATETV will focus on these various important aspects of employment through a series of segments called, “Tech Tips”.

Tech Tips will cover the need-to-know information: What certifications do I need to advance in my career? How do I develop the written and verbal communications skills that are critical to every industry? It will also provide critically important reminders — such as the need to keep your online Web reputation professional.

Throughout the season, blog posts will further expand on these and the soft skills that are needed for job success. If the term is unfamiliar, “soft skills” refers to the cluster of personal qualities and habits that employees bring to the job. We’ll talk with human resource experts to learn more about time management, problem-solving skills and the need for flexibility and adaptability in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. And, we’ll provide background tips for putting together a resume, conducting a job search and getting references.

Whether you’re career-hunting, new to the career, looking to advance — or still deciding on a career — you can always use a few tips.

The Definition of a Catalyst

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

ATE: A Catalyst for Success

In the field of chemistry, a “catalyst” is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction. Taking that definition out of the laboratory, a “catalyst” is defined as “a person or thing that precipitates an event or change.”

The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program fits the description.

ATE was developed in 1994 to help prepare technicians for employment in the numerous high technology workplaces that are vital to our nation’s economy. There are now more than 39 ATE centers around the country focused on several broad technological areas including Advanced Manufacturing, Agricultural, Energy & Environmental Technologies, Biotechnology & Chemical Processes, Electronics, Micro- & Nanotechnologies, Engineering Technologies, and Information, Geospatial, & Security Technologies.

Consider:

*During 2009, ATE centers and projects had 6,900 collaborations with industry, business, public agencies, and educational enterprises.

*In that same time period, 85,300 students took at least one ATE-supported course, while another 58,100 participated in an ATE professional development program.

As Dan Welch, Vice President and General Manager of BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards notes of ATE’s catalytic role, “Our training partnership with the [ATE] program is on target to grow by 30% each year over the next 3 years, yet we anticipate a need for a 40% increase in our workforce. The SMART [Southeast Maritime and Transportation Center] is poised to do just that – help us grow our maritime workforce.”

And, Brandon Dixon, who graduated from information assurance programs at 2 CyberWatch member institutions, earning an associate degree from the Community College of Baltimore County and a bachelor’s degree from Capitol College is a great example of how ATE can lead to change: Brandon is now employed as an information systems security engineer at G2, Inc., in Columbia, MD, where he works on virtualization, vulnerability, and exploits.

Check out the new ATE publication, “Partners with Industry for a New American Workforce,” to learn more –you’ll soon find out why ATE has been called a “catalyst for student success and economic development.”

Marine Science Programs – from North to South and East to West

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Ocean

MATE – the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center – is headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California. With the mission of increasing the size of the country’s marine technical workforce, MATE sponsors the annual ROV competition, which brings together students from around the country in a competition to construct remotely operated vehicles – underwater robots – an event that helps participants hone their technical skills and introduces them to the field of marine technology, as we learned in this week’s Episode.

In this week’s Episode, MATE Coordinator Jill Zande told ATETV, “The skills that students learn [as part of the ROV competition] can be applied in many different fields. They can become ROV engineers and pilots or they can choose to use their engineering and their technical skills to support other underwater technology platforms.”

Monterey Peninsula College is an obvious choice for an education in marine technology – students at the Northern California seaside campus can take a variety of classes – everything from Environmental Regulations to Research Diving and Safety – in their pursuit of either an A.S. degree or Certificate Program study in Marine Science and Technology.

But MATE’S Marine Science programs aren’t confined to California; colleges throughout the U.S. – North, South, East and West – provide a wide variety of aquatic programs for ocean-minded students. For example:

In the Northeast, Southern Maine Community College offers students an A.S. degree in Applied Marine Biology & Oceanography. Skills that can be learned through the curriculum – which emphasizes hands-on laboratory and field procedures – can be applied to careers in aquatic research and ecosystem management, with special attention given to collecting and identifying a diversity of marine organisms, conducting oceanographic sampling procedures aboard the school’s own research vessel, and microbiology and chemistry laboratory techniques.

Heading further down the East Coast, New York’s Kingsborough Community College is located on a 72-acre waterfront campus in Brooklyn, and offers a two year Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Marine Technology with a focus on vessel operations. Sample courses include Vessel Technology I and II, in which students are introduced to seamanship theory and the fundamentals of vessel handling through extensive on-board training, including piloting, operating rigging and deck machinery, as well as classes in Marine Electronics and Navigation. Students who have completed this program work in positions such as chief mate, captain, small engine mechanic, assistant manager of a marina, tug crew and mate on a private yacht.

Continuing the voyage south, the Marine Technology curriculum at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina provides students with extensive shipboard experience and a hands-on approach to skills training from its location on the banks of the Cape Fear River. The curriculum prepares students to use and maintain electronic navigation devices, physical and chemical measuring instruments and sampling devices and Cape Fear graduates have gone on to positions in the U.S. Navy, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Lucent Technologies, among others.

Not surprisingly, a number of marine technology programs are based at Florida schools, including Florida Keys Community College where A.S. degrees are offered in Diving, Marine Environmental Technology and Marine Engineering. Located in Key West, FKCC’s program in Diving Business and Technology is especially popular, providing the education and diving core requirements needed for a career as a SCUBA instructor, a dive boat captain, a commercial diver, police diver or scientific research diver, as well as careers in dive medicine.

But, you don’t have to be on one of the coasts to take advantage of marine studies — there are numerous technical programs available in the center of the country for students who are interested in working in and around recreational boats. For example, at Tennessee’s Chattanooga State Technical Community College, a program in Motorcycle and Marine Service Technology provides students with academics in diagnostics and troubleshooting and maintenance of internal combustion engines and the other electrical and mechanical components necessary to the marine services industry. Similarly, at Iowa Lakes Community College, a curriculum in Marine Service Technology prepares students for careers at marinas, national marine corporations, marine manufacturers and personal watercraft dealerships.

Back on the West Coast, Northern Oregon’s Clatsop Community College maintains an active rapport with the U.S. Coast Guard and offers classes in its Maritime Science Department that include Marine Safety, Marine Licensing Programs, Navigation, Charts, Tides and Currents and Boat Handling as well as Marine Licensing Programs and Marine Electronics.

And finally, Saddleback College, located in Southern California’s Orange County offers students a certificate program in Aquarium and Aquaculture Science. Courses focus on the science of rearing and caring for marine and freshwater animals and the chemical, physical and biological environment of the aquarium ecosystems, and at the college’s 4,500-square-foot aquarium facility, students care for species such as corals, jellyfish, urchins, stars, perch and even sharks.

For more examples of Marine programs at colleges around the country, as well as career options available in the Marine industry, click here or check out BoatUS magazine’s comprehensive career guide, “2010-2011 Boat Lovers’ Guide to Marine Trade Schools.”

Ships ahoy!

ATE Central – A Wealth of Information

Friday, October 1st, 2010

This week, ATETV adviser Nouna Bakhiet from Southwestern College in San Diego, described an ATE Program that’s helping to launch students into the Biotechnology field — which is booming in Southern California as well as many other areas of the country. Here’s what she says:

San Diego is a national hub for Biotechnology. Southwestern College started a Biotechnology technician training program in 1999 to serve the minority population of the San Diego South Bay. The program attracted participants seeking jobs as well as transfer students. The students complete a set of rigorous lecture and lab courses to prepare for real-life research internships.

In 2004, the ATE-sponsored BETSI (Biotechnology Education and Training Sequence Investment Project) was launched to bring cutting-edge Biotechnology practices to Sweetwater Union High School District and to train Southwestern College student in the fundamentals of Biotechnology. The BETSI model helps get pre-college students excited about the field and helps position community college students for successful careers as Biotechnology technicians and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors. From high school to community college to the workplace, BETSI is an education and training cascade bringing students from books to the benches of research.

Believe it or not, BETSI is just one of 349 ATE projects and centers at community colleges around the country. Covering a wide swath of subjects and specialties alphabetically ranging from A(AgrowKnowledge: The National Center for Agriscience & Technology Education) to W (Water and Wastewater Technician Training Institute at Bowling Green Community College), the ATE programs are designed to support and inspire educators, students and the general public as they explore the depth and breadth of the Advanced Technological Education Program.

You can find descriptions and links to all of these programs, encompassing nearly 3,000 courses, modules, and activities on ATE Central the ATE’s online portal and one-stop shopping resource. ATE Central’s digital library can help direct users to ATE’s full range of easy-to-use online resources, which include curricula, learning objects and podcasts. The portal also serves as a central communication and support point for all of the many individuals involved in ATE centers and projects and through the site’s collaborative tools and reference materials, enable educators to implement successful projects and mentor new projects.

Take a look, but leave yourself plenty of time — from Nanotechnology to Viticulture and Enology Science (wine making) to Terrorist Agent Control Technology and everything in between, there’s a wealth of information and ideas about Advanced Technological Education programs to keep you engrossed for a very long time!

Coming Up Next on ATETV…

Friday, September 10th, 2010

It’s hard to believe how fast time passes, but it’s been one year since the launch of ATETV!

Since then viewers have “met” a wide spectrum of individuals who described the numerous programs and opportunities available through the Advanced Technological Education programs at community colleges around the country. Along the way we became acquainted with leaders in such emerging fields as Alternative Energy, Biotechnology and Cybertechnology; were introduced to students who were following their dreams studying exciting programs in simulation and video game development and exploring “high-flying” careers in Wind Energy as well as Aviation Technology; and talked with ATE leaders from around the country who told us about the many up-and-coming career opportunities available at community colleges nationwide.

Now, ATETV producers are back at work on 40 new videos. Once again, they’ll be going behind the scenes to visit classrooms, industries and other settings to bring viewers a firsthand look at the many ways that community college programs are leading to good-paying jobs and rewarding futures — and at the same time, filling the many critically important new technology positions that will prove key to our country’s economy, our environment and our future.

For a quick glimpse of one of these new videos, this week we’re sharing video footage shot last month by an ATETV production team at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut. As you’ll see in the clip — and learn more about in an upcoming ATETV video — the college’s Project TLC (Technology Learning Community) provides incoming college freshmen with an accelerated summer preparation program in math and English, along with college readiness skills. The program’s dynamic “learning community” not only provides students with important group settings in which to grow and develop, but also brings in industry speakers to share their experiences and even takes students on industry tours for a firsthand look at today’s real-world employment.

And there’s much more to come! Stay tuned for 40 new ATETV videos to learn about the innovative new educational programs and promising career opportunities that await students at community colleges around the country — it’s shaping up to be another exciting year!

ATETV Episode 47: Industry Offers Opportunities and Incentives

Friday, August 27th, 2010

This week, from directly impacting one student’s experience, to networking and sharing resources in professional learning communities and tailoring community college programs to meet critical hiring needs, industry involvement makes a difference everyday in Advanced Technological Education.

First we meet Andrew Engel, a student with a passion for hands-on electronics and an interest in alternative energy. Andrew is currently enrolled in the Electronics Engineering program at Stark State College where he has found an outlet for both in the Fuel Cell Technology program. Andrew reveals that “Since (I was) a kid boy, (I always) tore stuff apart, tried to fix things.” Guided by industry input, this program translates that childhood hobby to hands-on labs like the DC and AC Circuit Analysis. In this lab, Andrew can continue to do more of what he has always loved to do while preparing for a secure and bright future.

Advanced Technological Education programs offered through community colleges benefit from being part of a large network of expertise and shared resources. In the second segment, we visit one example of a program where curriculum is structured with industry input and faculty are trained to be up-to-date with the skills they are teaching- the National Center for Information and Communications Technologies at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA.

Finally, in the third segment, we see how the close relationship these national ATE Centers and ATE programs at community colleges share with industry professionals is also beneficial to the industries. In the field of Lasers and Photonics Technology, for example, industry is actively seeking to hire more female technicians. Central Carolina Community College offers a special incentive to reach out to more qualified women in response. “One thing that we have is a sex equity grant,” recruiter Gary Beasley tells us. “All females can go to school for free- free tuition, free books. It doesn’t make any difference if they are real poor or real rich. It’s free education. You can’t beat that!”

Nope. You can’t beat that! By collaborating directly with industry, ATE programs at community colleges across the country are able to offer many advantages to students as they prepare them for the high-paying, high-demand jobs of the future.

ATETV Episode 39: Helping to Shape Technologies of the Future

Monday, June 21st, 2010

This week, we look at how Advanced Technological Education programs not only enable students to craft their own futures, but also help them to shape the future of emerging technologies .

We begin with our first segment at Florence -Darlington Technical College, where John Evans, a graduate of the school’s Electrical Engineering program, credits his ATE education with providing him with the valuable first-hand experience that led to his current job as a technician at ESAB Welding and Cutting Center.

As John notes, his everyday work routine includes “a lot of math, a lot of calculating, a lot of formulas in order to [determine] the voltages you need. This [requires a particular] way of thinking and troubleshooting.”

Through his training at Florence-Darlington, including a hands-on internship, John was able to acquire the demanding skill set that the position requires. “If I didn’t go to school, there would be no way that I could just come out here and do what I’m doing now and at [this] level,” he notes. “A person couldn’t come in off the street and [do this job].” Of particular value, he says, was the “double dose” of experience he received throughout his school program, as he gained classroom experience in the mornings and headed off to an internship in the afternoons where he applied the skills he’d mastered in the classroom.

In our second segment, we learn that employers in Alternative Energy fields are also looking to hire well-rounded individuals.

“What I’m looking for is students with initiative and ambition and smarts who are going to fit into areas like technicians and service personnel, and installation personnel,” explains Mark Fleiner of Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems. “[I need] people who have good hands, good minds, who don’t need a lot of direction, who can see things [for themselves] and are willing to [actively] participate, maybe say, ‘Hey, we could do it better this way.’”

Within these numerous Alternative Energy fields — Solar, Wind, Hydrogen, and Fuel Cell Technology, for example — there is plenty of room for students to make their own mark. “These educational programs are very flexible, very adaptable,” explains Diane Auer Jones of The Washington Campus. “[Today's technological education programs] have the ability to really figure out where the workforce needs are for both today and tomorrow and are able to address those needs very quickly.”

And, as we learn in our third segment, one thriving example of alternative energy is Fuel Cell Technology. This efficient and environmentally friendly source of power offers a wide range of applications for our society — and a wide range of career opportunities for tomorrow’s technology students.

As Rolls Royce’s Mark Fleiner notes, “Fuel cells basically can be applied anywhere that power is being used.” So, whether energy is required to move an automobile, to light up a building or put electricity on the grid, or to power a ship or airplane, fuel cells can fit the bill.

The end result: A healthy environmental footprint. “Right now, with our world’s increasing population, the burden on natural resources — crude oil, coal — is [rapidly] increasing ,” explains Pallavi Pharkya of Contained Energy, LLC. “Our [fuel cell] technology would help ease that burden. Energy is a global issue.”

Or, as her colleague Benjamin Emley puts it, “Fuel cells are the future.”

ATETV Episode 26: Growing a Competitive Workforce

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This week, we learn about an agriculture curriculum and an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence that are helping to promote growth — literally and figuratively!

In our first segment, we meet Dan Miller, a student in the GPS and GIS program at Kirkwood Community College who is studying to be a “cutting-edge” farmer.

“I grew up on a farm with my father, and that’s what started my interest in the field of agriculture,” says Dan. And, through Kirkwood’s GPS/GIS program, Dan is preparing to work in in the emerging geospatial technology industry. As one of only a handful of precision agriculture programs in the nation, Kirkwood’s curriculum provides students with courses in computers, GPS (Global Positioning Systems), ArcView and data collection, in addition to agronomy and agriculture economics.

GPS technology has complemented Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for a number of years. “GPS is used in a lot of tractors, but also has a lot of other applications,” notes Dan. “There’s an infinite amount of options to use in the field of agriculture right now. This program has opened my eyes to all of the programs that are available to use in our family farm operation or to help me create my own business.”

Even if Dan decides not to pursue a career in farming, the skills he’s gaining through this program can translate into numerous other careers, including construction, natural resources or other agricultural careers. But for now, Dan says, “Once I graduate my passion is to go back home and farm with my Dad. That’s what I’ve always enjoyed and that’s what I really want to do.”

In our second segment, we visit the South Carolina ATE Center of Excellence at Florence-Darlington Technical College, which has developed proven models and successful practices to improve education — and ensure a competitive, technologically savvy workforce for the future.

“We have worked one-on-one with a number of educators and other organizations around the country to develop practices and strategies that we know will increase the quantity, quality and diversity of engineering technicians and support economic development,” explains Elaine Craft. And she adds, all of today’s education research is pointing to the value of hands-on, inquiry-based learning.

“Without a hands-on experience that puts things in context and forces students to grapple a bit, the information doesn’t stick and students don’t know how to use the information the next time they encounter it,” she notes. At Florence-Darlington, a series of changes that were initially implemented to meet the learning styles of a particular group of students,are now being used to make learning more meaningful for all students.

“We entirely changed the way we approach the first year of study, integrating mathematics, physics, technology and communications,” adds Elaine. “We also have an internship program, so we can now provide students with opportunities to work while they’re enrolled in school.” Known as a “Grow-Your-Own” approach, the internship enables students to “grow up” with an industry during their two years of school, ultimately producing a good match between the graduate and the job.

The South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center (SC ATE) is now working with community colleges and industry partners on improving Engineering Technology programs at two-year colleges not only in South Carolina, but across the country. As this week’s episode demonstrates, today’s technology students can grow and thrive in many different ways!