High Impact Technology Exchange Conference
Preparing America's Skilled Technical Workforce
Slides, Handouts, and Other Materials from the 2023 Conference
SIG (open): BILT for the Future: How to Keep Looking Ahead So Curriculum Stays Current with Workforce Needs
The Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model, a structured approach to engaging employers to steer curriculum development and keep programs looking ahead as business needs evolve, has been adopted by 69 institutions in 33 states. This model—which also powers the IT Skill Standards project—gives faculty expert guidance so students learn the future-facing skills they need to be “workforce ready.” Through hands-on exercises, attendees will take a deep dive into the BILT model and learn how they can use it to boost their schools’ engagement with business and industry. The BILT model works with any technical discipline. Attendees should bring their own laptops.
Ann Beheler, PI, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College, Frisco, TX; Mark Dempsey, Assistant Director, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College, Frisco, TX; Pete Maritato, Instructor, Engineering Science/Technology, Suffolk County Community College, Selden NY; Kyle Jones, Chair, Computer Information Systems, Sinclair Community College, Dayton OH; Matt Glover, Co-Founder, Yern, Plano TX; Kim Yohannan, SparkED Education Manager, Alteryx, Boston MA
Build, Hack, and Explore VR Learning in Engineering Technology for Healthcare
Build a biomedical device, hack electronic medical records, and repair a medical device in virtual space with VR headsets. Learn about the newly developed content and activities for engineering technology in healthcare. Receive access to educational content, questions, and activities. Participants will see demonstrations and participate in new educational technology for applied electronics, network security, medical device repair, and more.
Brian Bell, Lead Faculty for Biomedical Engineering Technology, St. Petersburg College, Tarpon Springs, FL
Exposing High School Students to Hands-on Web-Based Dual-Credit Mechatronics Courses
This session will introduce attendees to a project that can give high school students access to four entry-level mechatronics courses at a distance in Nebraska and Minnesota. Attendees will learn the best practices used in delivering hands-on technical courses at a distance utilizing high school instructors as facilitators. The session will also cover the value of utilizing the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model to help sustain the project and best practices for delivering technical coursework online. Participants will see the trainers and observe student activities.
Jerry Muller, Industrial Trainer Coordinator, Enhancing the Independent Mechatronics Technical Curriculum and Creating a New Pathway from Rural High Schools into Mechatronics Careers, Central Community College, Columbus, NE; Dan Davidchik, Mechatroncis and Instrumentation Faculty Member, Enhancing the Independent Mechatronics Technical Curriculum and Creating a New Pathway from Rural High Schools into Mechatronics Careers, Central Community College, Columbus, NE; Doug Laven, Mechatronics Faculty Member, Enhancing the Independent Mechatronics Technical Curriculum and Creating a New Pathway from Rural High Schools into Mechatronics Careers, South Central Community College, North Mankato, MN
GitHub Classroom in the Classroom
Git and GitHub are essential tools in the IT industry. GitHub Classroom provides a way for students to learn these tools with hands-on projects while working in a classroom environment that encourages collaboration and helps ensure academic integrity. This session will introduce attendees to GitHub Classroom and demonstrate how to access and use its features.
David Singletary, Professor, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL; Pamela Brauda, Professor, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL; William Money, Student, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL
Academia-Industry Collaborations to Enhance Workforce Development and Create Microcredentials
This engaging session will include a discussion of best practices for academia-industry collaborations, along with details on the process our project team utilized to develop a digital badge to raise cyber awareness among technicians working in the areas of robotics, automation, and mechatronics (RAM). A demonstration of our free Cyber4RAM badge will be included, along with information about how our badge modules can be employed by others to develop microcredentials for related fields (such as Cyber4EVs or Cyber4Solar).
Evelyn Brown, Director, Extension Research and Development, The Robotics/Automation and Cybersecurity Knowledge Sharing Coordination Network (TRACKS-CN), NC State University, Raleigh, NC; Zackary Hubbard, Dean of Technical Programs, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, NC; Aimee Durham, Chair, Department of Information Technology, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, NC
Using Hybrid Instruction to Increase the Participation of Women and Adult Learners in Diesel Technology
The diesel technology program at Wallace State has launched a hybrid program called Diesel by Distance. This program option combines online theory, live open discussions online, virtual reality simulations for skills trainings, and customized scheduled in-person labs. The flexibility of this program has opened the door for more females and adult learners to continue their education. After students have passed a certain level of competency, we are able to assist with finding in-field employment with one of our industry partners, thus enabling the student to earn a work-based learning credit.
Anna Beard, Diesel by Distance Project Coordinator, Developing and Implementing Hybrid Instruction to Increase the Access of Women and Adult Learners to Diesel Technology Training, Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, AL; Daniel Swindall, Diesel and Diesel by Distance Instructor, Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, AL
The BILT Model: Maximizing Employer Relationships to Make Students Workforce Ready
The Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) model, a structured approach that engages employers to help steer curriculum development and keep programs current with evolving technology, is gaining traction at colleges across the country. This model gives faculty expert guidance so students learn the skills they need to be “workforce ready.” Attendees will learn how they can use the seven essentials of the National CTC’s BILT model in their programs to boost engagement with business and industry. The BILT approach works with any technical discipline.
Ann Beheler, Principal Investigator, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College, Frisco, TX; Mark Dempsey, Assistant Director, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College, Frisco, TX
A Campus-Level View of Faculty and Academic Advisors in IT Programs at Ivy Tech Community College
Collaboration is key to understanding practices at institutions that support students in their pathways. In this presentation, we will share findings from collaborative research from the Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center and faculty members from Ivy Tech Community College’s School of IT. For the last four years, we’ve been engaged in research to better understand student decision-making in these programs. We focus on issues that are common to schools of IT (despite differences in size and resources), solutions to those issues, and the importance of advisor and faculty communication across campuses.
Sam Scovill, Researcher, Rutgers University’s Education and Employment Research Center, Piscataway, NJ; Danette Coughlan, Assistant Professor of Computing and Informatics, Department Chair, Ivy Tech Community College, Evansville, IN
This session will provide an overview of the ISA-TOPE project and will showcase the curriculum developed along with other resources and best practices learned during the course of the project.
Carl Borleis, Director of Program Excellence, Preparing Students for Technical Careers in Autonomous Technologies for Commercial Trucks and Off-Highway Vehicles, Transportation Center of Excellence, Rosemount, MN; Shannon Mohn, Instructor, Preparing Students for Technical Careers in Autonomous Technologies for Commercial Trucks and Off-Highway Vehicles, M-State Community College, Moorhead, MN; Forrest Brownlee, Instructor, Preparing Students for Technical Careers in Autonomous Technologies for Commercial Trucks and Off-Highway Vehicles, Hibbing, MN
ChatGPT: Using an AI-Based Conversational Model in a Traditional Programming Course
Traditional programming courses have relied on students learning coding syntax from examples and other textbook sources. As students learn to write code, they become proficient in the syntax, logic, debugging, and documentation of their code. ChatGPT is a revolutionary method that enables students to generate new code, fix bugs and errors, and learn and write programming languages and computational concepts.
Debasis Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, CyberSecure: Extended Cybersecurity Education, Curriculum and Workforce Development, Award #1700562, University of Hawaii Maui College, Kahului, HI
Community Colleges Co-Operating to Improve Technical Education for Contemporary Students
This session will disseminate and discuss techniques for improving student learning of complex technical subjects such as electric/hybrid vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems. The PIs of NSF grant projects at Minnesota Community and Technical College and Riverland Community College are closely collaborating to improve student outcomes.
Olle Gladso, Instructor, Educating Autonomous Vehicle Technicians, Riverland Community College, Albert Lea, MN; Shannon Mohn, Instructor, Amping Up Today’s Electric Drive Automotive Education, AMPED Technology Certification: Advanced Modules in Powered Electric Drive Technology Certification, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorhead, MN
Illuminating Economic Development in Community Colleges: Lessons From NSF ATE Grants
The Hidden Innovation Infrastructure NSF ATE project studies the role of technician education at community colleges and its relationship to regional economic development. In this presentation, we will review findings from one aspect of the project that looks at how NSF ATE grantees articulate their programs’ relationship with regional economic development. The remainder of the session will be a facilitated discussion aimed at learning more about how ATE grantees interact with regional workforce and economic development, and how we can help each other leverage partnerships in collaboration with these organizations.
Michelle Van Noy, Director, The Hidden Innovation Infrastructure, Rutgers University’s Education and Employment Research Center, Piscataway, NJ; Marilyn Barger, Senior Education Advisor, FLATE, Orlando, FL
Equipping U.S. Manufacturers With a Skilled Technical Workforce: A Competency-Based Approach
U.S. manufacturers consistently cite the lack of a skilled workforce as one of the biggest challenges to advanced manufacturing initiatives. To address this challenge, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute has created RoboticsCareer.org. This free national resource identifies and standardizes the competencies, skills, and pathways required of an advanced manufacturing workforce, and includes training options ranging from apprenticeships to two- and four-year degree programs. Additionally, ARM has developed an endorsement program that recognizes and promotes high-quality robotics training and education. Learn how your institution can leverage these innovative resources to increase awareness of your programs and support your students.
John Zappa, Senior Product Manager, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; Mary Ellen Rich, Certification Manager, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
The Future of Wireless Technology: B5G, 6G, Wi-Fi 7 and 8
This session will explore the next generations of wireless technologies that will be enhanced by machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) as we move through this present decade. Today, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, enablers of Industry 4.0, the key to integrating alternative energy to the grid, and countless other technology innovations are enabled primarily through wireless data transmission. Presently 6G is in the planning stage, as is Wi-Fi 8. This presentation will address these emerging technologies, anticipated timelines, and their targeted applications and will also endeavor to explain how ML and AI will be used in their implementation.
Gary Mullett, Professor and Department Chair, AET, Internet of Things Education Project, Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA
Recruitment and Retention: Strategies That Can Work for You
Diversity, equity, and inclusion, along with broadening participation, are important to educators and employers. Learn about strategies that have positively impacted recruitment and retention of diverse students in technician education classes and programs around the country. These fresh, cost-effective ideas may be just what you need to advance your program now, or that you can incorporate in grant proposal plans. Three experienced technician educators will share what worked for them. You will leave this presentation with specific ideas you can adapt or adopt to increase enrollment and retention in your technician education and related STEM programs.
Esperanza Zenon, Instructor, Grant PI, Advanced Industrial Instrumentation Control Technician Education, River Parishes Community College, Gonzales, LA; Pamela Silvers, Instructor/Co-PI, Mentor Connect Forward: Leadership Development, Mentor-Connect, SCATE Center of Excellence, Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence, SC; Terry Bartelt, Mentor Connect Forward: Leadership Development, Mentor-Connect, SCATE Center of Excellence, Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence, SC
Teaching and Learning Strategies to Foster Student Engagement
The presenter will review teaching strategies and tools he has found effective in increasing student engagement in asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid modality courses. Discussion about how these practices and resources support the Department of Education’s “regular and substantive interactions” guidelines will be emphasized. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the practices and how they can be implemented in their own teaching environments.
Mark Choman, Professor, Computer Information Systems, Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke, PA
Grant Funding Demystified: Exciting NSF ATE Funding Opportunities and No-cost Proposal Development Help
(Repeat of WED 10:15–11:00) NSF ATE Lead Program Officer, Dr. Celeste Carter, will review current funding opportunities, congressional re-authorization of the ATE Program with potential budget increases, and plans for a 2024 ATE Solicitation. NSF ATE proposals are complex and can be daunting for two-year colleges. Understanding the expectations and nuances of this funding opportunity contributes to proposal success. Mentor-Connect’s comprehensive no-cost help for prospective two-year college grantees (customized mentoring options, technical assistance, resources specific to ATE proposal development, and STEM faculty leadership development) is often the key to success. Mentor-Connect has assisted 234 colleges with a 71 percent funding rate for those new to ATE.
Elaine Craft, PI, Mentor-Connect Forward: Leadership Development and Outreach for ATE, Florence-Darlington Technical College, Florence, SC; Dr. V. Celeste Carter, Lead Program Officer, NSF ATE Program, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, VA
PathTech LISTEN: Mixed Methods Longitudinal Investigations of Students in Technician Education
PathTech LISTEN (DUE #1801163) is a partnership between the University of South Florida (USF) and the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE). This session will present results from multiple waves of in-depth interviews tracking short-term educational and career outcomes of community college alumni sampled from PathTech LIFE (DUE #1501999), a national survey of advanced technology students conducted in 2017/2018. This session will report on their degree completion, work history, transfer, and educational attainment. Overall, we found that study participants had a wide range of jobs primarily related to their fields of study with several pursuing four-year STEM degrees.
Will Tyson, Associate Professor, PathTech LISTEN: Mixed Methods Longitudinal Investigations of Students in Technician Education, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Data Center Operations (DCO) as an Emerging Engineering Technology Discipline
Data centers are large, centralized clusters of computing hardware. Enterprise and economic activities that rely on Internet services require significant data center infrastructure to ensure continuity of services. To provide these services, data centers require significant capital investment, ongoing operational maintenance, and a trained engineering technician workforce. As computing continues to move to the cloud, the data center industry is slated to grow significantly over the next decade. This presentation will introduce data center operations as an emerging discipline, focusing on the growth patterns of the data center industry, the skills required for technicians, and postsecondary curriculum and outreach strategies.
Josh Labrie, Director NOVA SySTEMic, Expanding Regional Capacity for Training in Engineering Technology and Data Center Operations, Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas, VA; Chris Russell, NOVA IET Project Manager, Northern Virginia Community College, Manassas, VA
From Evaluation to Action: Using Evaluation Findings to Improve Your Project
Evaluation is a powerful tool that can help inform project goals and activities, identify areas for growth, and guide decision-making. After providing a gentle introduction to evaluation, this session will review different ways that evaluation findings can be leveraged, whether you are in the proposal development stage or have already started your grant. Attendees will strengthen their knowledge of evaluation, identify ways that evaluation findings can be harnessed in proposal development and all phases of a project’s implementation, and walk away with relevant EvaluATE resources to support ATE proposals and evaluations.
Valerie Marshall, Research Associate, EvaluATE, The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Starting a Project to Address Diversity, Increase Enrollments, and Meet Industry Needs
The ACABT grant is well into its first year and just starting to get rolling. Working with community-based organizations and industry and internally at the college has been challenging, but it is all starting to come together. This presentation will cover the efforts of Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to bring project information to underserved areas of Milwaukee. These efforts include (1) finding and working with CBOs, (2) understanding funding mechanisms for scholarships and grants (local, state, and federal), (3) reviving industry relationships that provided letters of commitment two years old, and (4) recruiting efforts (and challenges) for workshops hosted in the community to market the opportunities.
Ted Wilinski, BAS & Sustainability Instructor, Access to Careers in Advanced Building Technology (ACABT), Milwaukee Area Technical College, Oak Creek, WI; Bonnie Griffin, Coordinator, NSF ACABT Grant, Access to Careers in Advanced Building Technology (ACABT), Oak Creek, WI
Beyond the Count: Assessing and Evaluating Partnerships
Determining how to effectively evaluate the industry partnerships that inform our work can prove challenging. What metrics should we use? What methods support analysis of individual relationships as well as aggregate efforts? How can results best be shared? How might assessment improve alignment between partner interest and program need? Join The Rucks Group and Working Partners for an overview and demonstration of one such tool that shows promise, and to learn more about peer efforts, successes, and challenges around partnership evaluation. Through presentation and discussion, attendees will gain a greater understanding of evaluative approaches that support and deepen productive partnerships.
Mary Slowinski, Principal Investigator, Working Partners Project & Workshops, Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA; Julia Siwierka, Director of Research and Evaluation Services, The Rucks Group, Dayton, OH; Rachael Bower, co-Principal Investigator, Working Partners Project & Workshops, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Crafting Clear and Concise Logic Models for Successful ATE Proposals and Evaluations
Logic models are a powerful tool that can visually communicate a project’s goals and intended outcomes. Grant proposals and evaluation plans can greatly benefit from the inclusion of a clear and concise logic model. This presentation will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the essential elements of a logic model and how to develop their own. Throughout the presentation, attendees will be shown examples of ATE logic models and how they have been used successfully. Participants will leave with practical tools for creating their own logic models and integrating them into ATE proposals and evaluation plans.
Lyssa Becho, Principal Research Associate, EvaluATE, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI; Megan Lopez, Senior Research Associate, EvaluATE, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Identifying Needed Math Competencies: Where We Are, Finding a Pathway Forward
The goal of the Needed Math Project is to improve the alignment of the mathematics taught in community colleges with the mathematics necessary for manufacturing technicians. The project so far has involved research that informed a large-scale survey of more than 10,000 company personnel and two-year math and technical faculty. Our purpose in this session is two-fold: (1) We will report on the survey results, discussing where there is consensus and where there are differences between survey respondents. (2) We will ask participants for input to guide future project activities that best serve the math-related needs of our students.
Lisa Seidman, Adjunct Instructor, Faculty Emeritus, Needed Math, Madison Area Tech College, Madison, WI; Marilyn Barger, Senior Educational Advisor, FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education), Tampa, FL
Online Simulation and Visualization Tools for Science and Engineering Curricula
This session will discuss the application of online simulation and visualization tools for teaching, research, and collaboration in the areas of nanotechnology, material science, environmental science, electrical engineering, biological sciences, physics, chemistry, photonics, and more. Tools include 26 Remote Access Instruments in Nanotechnology (RAIN) nodes for accessing visualization instruments; 500+ tools at nanoHuB for simulating nanotechnology processes; PV modeling and simulation tools—PVGIS, SolarGIS, PVWatts, PVsyst, and RETScreen for designing PV systems; interactive simulations at Phet for Physical sciences and math; and CompuCell3D & Physicell—and flexible modeling and simulation platforms for biology, tissue engineering, and viruses such as COVID-19. Best practices and experiences at GVSU with X-ray characterization using XPS and XRD will also be presented.
Ahmed Khan, Fulbright Scholar/President, World Learning Inc., Washington, DC/Radiance International, Oak Brook, IL; Dr. Atilla Ozgur Cakmak, Assistant Professor of Engineering, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. Sala Qazi, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica, NY
The Data Science House We BILT
The BILT (Business and Industry Leadership Team) process is an indispensable component of developing academic curriculum for technical programs to ensure these programs meet industry needs for regional employers. This session will present a look back at the development of our two-year data science program, including how we used our local BILT. The session will also provide cautionary tales to avoid mistakes, missteps, and blunders when constructing a new program as part of a grant.
Pamela Brauda, Professor, DataTEC, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL; David Singletary, Professor, DataTEC, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL; Gina Baker, Student, Florida State College, Jacksonville, FL
RING: Introducing Cybersecurity Curriculum Into High Schools in Hawaii
RING (Regions Investing in the Next Generation) is a free online high school cybersecurity course that offers engaging content specifically for rural students, homeschool students, and students attending schools without existing cybersecurity programs. RING is structured for high school students, grades 9-12. The curriculum has been developed through the National Security Agency’s RING program grant to the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). University of Hawaii Maui College is part of a coalition of colleges across the U.S. supported by funds from the NSA to teach RING to high school teachers and students.
Debasis Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, CyberSecure: Extended Cybersecurity Education, Curriculum and Workforce Development, Award #1700562, University of Hawaii Maui College, Kahului, HI
Virtual and Hybrid Labs and Remote Collaboration Platform for Energy-Efficient Building Technologies
This hands-on session will present an innovative technology-rich blended learning environment for energy-efficient building technologies and IoT education and professional skills training. It will incorporate adaptable cloud-based virtual laboratories (v-Labs), augmented reality (AR) technology, synchronized collaborative online platform (SCOP), and other components that can be connected and coordinated with physical equipment at college laboratories. V-Labs enable students to perform authentic workplace tasks online using digital copies of actual devices, explore relevant equipment and processes, and, in this context, study pertinent theoretical subjects and acquire troubleshooting skills. Making students comfortable with equipment and process workflow and boosting their job-related understanding prior to hands-on work dramatically enhances their performance at college labs and during on-site training. Participants will learn how to modify and adapt virtual labs and associated resources and integrate them with their own curricula. Participants will also learn how to use SCOP for interactive remote teamwork practice and with online courses.
Yakov Cherner, Co-PI, The Internet of Things Education Project #1801090, Advanced Tools for e-Learning (ATeL), Swampscott, MA; Gary Mullett, PI, Professor and Department Chair of Applied Engineering Technologies Department, The Internet of Things Education Project #1801090, Springfield Technical Community College, Springfield, MA