Posts Tagged ‘technician education’

Stay Tuned: The 101 Series

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

As you’re mapping your future career, there are lots of things to consider. What type of setting do you like to be in? What are your strongest skills? What are the options in today’s job market and what are the educational requirements needed for these jobs?

Next season, ATETV will provide a series of new programs designed to help students and prospective employees answer these questions. The two-part “101 Series” will introduce viewers to five different job sectors – including Environmental Technologies, Lab Work and Manufacturing – and provide an in-depth look at the fields’ educational and course requirements as well as a glimpse of the workplaces, careers and opportunities in these technical arenas.

Think you might be interested in a career in alternative energies for example? The “Intro to the Environment 101” episode will go behind the scenes of a classroom where students are studying environmental technologies – water, wind and solar energy. You’ll watch students conducting experiments using sunlight to generate clean energy. You’ll also visit a college lab where students are learning how water travels through the ground.

Then, in the second part of the Environment 101 episode, ATETV moves from classroom to workplace to see how classroom skills are translated into real-life careers. You’ll visit Environmental Technology employers – the companies that produce water, wind and solar energy — and hear from working technicians how they got their jobs and what their everyday work lives are like.

Charting a career path is exciting and challenging – ATETV’s 101 Series can help provide concrete information and advice to put you on the path to success. Stay tuned.

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.”

Energy Technician Education Summit

Friday, December 17th, 2010
Photo Courtesy of the AACC

Photo Courtesy of the AACC

This week’s Episode of ATETV features the Segment “Gearing Up for the Energy Workforce.” So, it seems particularly timely that the broadcast coincides with the recent National Energy Technician Education Summit, which was held in Washington December 8-10.

Hosted by the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) and the American Association of Community Colleges, the summit brought together representatives from the worlds of education, industry, and government to focus on the ways that community colleges can meet the current and future needs for technicians in the energy sector, an industry propelled by growing demands for alternative energies and a growing need to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

According to a story appearing on the website of the Community College Times, summit participants agreed that a combination of technical skills and “soft skills” are required for the job of energy technician. On the technical side, aptitudes in math, science, data analysis and mechanical and information technology were cited as necessary for the field. And employers at the summit agreed that they also seek employees who possess “soft” skills such as the ability to speak and write clearly, to solve problems, to work on a team, and to think critically.

As Daniel Lance, global training leader for GE Energy Renewables told the Community College Times, “Give me a technician that’s got a good, solid fundamental understanding of electrical theory, power generation, safety and some work experience [and] I can take that resource and teach [him] the specifics of the GE technology that they need.”

Another area of focus at the three-day long event was energy efficiency. As we heard from students and teachers at Sinclair Community College in this week’s Episode, energy efficiency measures begin one building at a time. But, with nearly 5 million commercial buildings in North America, these measures wind up having widespread environmental and economic impact — and create a significant demand for energy technicians who know how to efficiently operate building systems. As New York State Energy Research and Development Authority project manager Kimberlie Lenihan told the Community College Times, “We need whole-building thinkers.”

A summit summary will be posted at the ATEEC web site and the ATEEC will publish a full report on the National Energy Technician Summit next spring. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about alternative energy, energy efficiency and workforce trends for energy technicians, check out additional resources at the Community College Times.

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!