945 Views
  1. Christine Delahanty
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-delahanty-7107547/
  3. Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Bucks County Community College
  1. Susan Herring
  2. http://linkedin.com/in/susancherring
  3. Executive Director
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Bucks County Community College
  1. Eric Parker
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-parker-48b479229/
  3. Web Content Specialist
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Bucks County Community College

Increasing the Number of Workforce Ready Engineering Technicians in Southeast...

NSF Awards: 1902075

2022 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

Bucks County Community College (Bucks) is aware of the growing and urgent need for workforce ready technicians to fill numerous industry positions. Our NSF ATE grant #1902075 entitled, "Increasing the Number of Workforce Ready Engineering Technicians in Southeastern PA” is a collaboration between Bucks credit and non-credit sides of the college, and Drexel University as our four-year partner. This grant focuses on workforce readiness of engineering technicians to prepare them for the Future of Work. We are accomplishing this by including our Center for Workforce Development (CWD) certifications as additional pathways into our occupational engineering technology (ET) major, enhancing manufacturing experiences within the major, and embedding soft skills training and career exploration throughout our ET program. We have restructured our ET major to make it more cross-curricular to accommodate diverse industry needs, and to require a greater business aspect. Within this restructuring, we have created courses in different modalities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to increasing awareness of STEM education to underrepresented groups through K-12 STEM-related outreach initiatives, and are in the process of establishing a plan to recruit such groups into our technician education programs. In addition to the services already in place at Bucks, development of our recruitment plan includes professional development sessions of faculty and staff, discussion sessions at national conferences, Professional Learning Communities, special convenings of students, and outreach initiatives to school districts with a higher percentage of underrepresented groups. 

This video has had approximately 104 visits by 69 visitors from 52 unique locations. It has been played 59 times.
activity map thumbnail Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2022 STEM For All Video Showcase (28 posts)
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 9, 2022 | 06:18 p.m.

    Hello everyone! Welcome to our STEM for All video. My name is Christine Delahanty. I am the Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering and a professor of engineering, engineering technology, and physics at Bucks County Community College https://www.bucks.edu/academics/department/stem/engineering/ 

    The primary focus of this ATE project grant at Bucks County Community College is to increase pathways for students into our technician education programs.  We are accomplishing this through enhanced curriculum that includes workforce development certifications for college credit, more flexibility within technical electives, employability skills training, manufacturing within engineering design, and development of a plan to recruit students from underrepresented groups into our programs. We are honored to be able share our strategies as part of the STEM For All Video Showcase for the benefit of community colleges nationwide.

     

  • Icon for: Elaine Craft

    Elaine Craft

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 10:01 a.m.

    Creating ways to convert non-credit learning to credit towards academic credentials has long been a challenge for community colleges. Kudos to the work of this project in identifying ways to do this that help students, the college, and employers!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 10, 2022 | 12:49 p.m.

    Thank you so much Elaine! I really appreciate your feedback and kind words. We are very excited to be able to offer these credit pathways for students who have earned valuable industry-related credentials. 

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer
    May 10, 2022 | 01:20 p.m.

    Providing pathways into technical programs has been an issue that has needed to be studied for some time.  How have your industrial partners helped you in developing both the appropriate accounting of prior experience and the development of courses leading to successful employment in the industry?  I am a co-PI on an ATE-funded project to determine the mathematical competencies actually used by technicians in the manufacturing workplace by looking at scenarios of what they do.  We find that the standard mathematics course(s) required by the college can be barriers to student progress toward a degree.  What is your experience in helping students through these institutional barriers?     

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 11, 2022 | 11:04 a.m.

    Hi Gerhard,

    Thank you for the excellent questions. We actually work quite closely with industry as we enhance our current programs and develop new ones. In addition to our engineering technology program, we collaborated with Dow Chemical to implement an Advanced Technology major that fulfills the requirements for students who are seeking national apprenticeships. This major does not have the mathematical rigor of engineering technology major, but includes the mathematics necessary for industry jobs as was specified by Dow. Both majors also include business courses and employability skills training. Both majors were reviewed by our industry advisory board before sending them to the curriculum committee. We communicate with our Industry Advisory Board throughout the year. They send us their employee needs, and we ask them questions on how we can better prepare our students for work at their companies.

    Math is continually a barrier to success for many students in these majors. We are very dedicated to assuring the best possible learning experience in math for our students. Students who do not achieve the appropriate math level have the chance to polish up their skills using an online platform called Aleks, and then retake the exam. We also have an online fast Track math course that allows a student to brush up on the skills that they need to reinforce to achieve a higher math level. We have an Academic Success Center where we offer both face to face and online tutoring. A students chooses which modality is best for them. In addition, we have a STEM Learning Center where faculty are available for students if they need help in our STEM subjects. We offer a lot of support for our students in our credit programs that help to streamline their path to success. 

  • Icon for: Carmen Caiseda

    Carmen Caiseda

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 12:34 a.m.

    This is a wonderful student support structure with an exemplary communication with industry!  I would like to join the conversation about math and its challenges in our contemporary world.  I am curious to know if you have identified other areas that are particularly challenging for students in both majors.  

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 14, 2022 | 04:22 p.m.

    Hi Carmen,

    This is a very interesting question. Math is our greatest challenge with many of our students who seek STEM majors. Another issue we have found with respect to the math is that many students have trouble applying the math to word problems such as those in physics ad engineering. Strategies to help with this include writing down what you are given and what you need to find. Making a chart to see what the missing quantity is. Writing down the formulas to be able to better identify the equation(s) needed to solve a problem. Multistep or multi concept problems are also a very big challenge for many students. 

    Yes, we have identified other challenges for many students. We have found that students are afraid of failure and have a hesitancy to address open ended problems. Failure, troubleshooting, and fixing are the essence of engineering and engineering technology. Fear is a big factor with some students not being able to apply the math to word problems. They are afraid to start! We have developed presentations on addressing fear of failure, and how to make students more comfortable with failing and fixing. I emphasize in my laboratory classes that failure is part of the process of completing the lab, and that they are expected to troubleshoot and to devise solutions to problems. The atmosphere in my classroom is welcoming, and I expect students to ask questions. Students work in teams and solve problems together, and I make sure they have fun. I am so happy to see their faces when something doesn't work and they figure out how to fix it, and then get the correct measurement or output. I tell my students to document everything, and that I want to see their thinking. 

    Students also have problems visualizing in some of the engineering and engineering tech. courses that require spatial skills. I have conducted research into how early spatial development is connected to self-efficacy, and encourages STEM careers. This is another very important area to address at the K-12 level. 

  • Icon for: Majd Sakr

    Majd Sakr

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 01:33 p.m.

    Excellent work that is very much needed.  What percentage of the training can be done remotely?

     

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 11, 2022 | 10:53 a.m.

    Hello Majd! Thank you for your question. Here is a reference to a paper we published on teaching students in a remote world. 

    Delahanty, C., Herring, S., Timby, T.A., & Genis, V. (2021, July), Education in a Remote World: Focus on Workforce Readiness. Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37002

    We presented this at the 2021 ASEE conference, and our flexibility with respect to different modalities was inspired by the pandemic. 

    Our workforce development certification programs were taught in a hybrid format that is discussed in our paper. This worked out very well with the lecture part taught in an online format, and the hands-on training part taught face to face. We were very careful with protocol too during the pandemic to keep everyone safe. The outcomes were very successful as the job placement rate of > 90% was the same for totally face to face and for the hybrid format. 

  • Icon for: Aileen Owens

    Aileen Owens

    Education Consultant
    May 10, 2022 | 03:46 p.m.

    A wonderful idea. I'd love to learn more about how to make this transfer to other communities as well. Now we have a successful model to follow. Thanks for leading the way!

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 11, 2022 | 10:56 a.m.

    Thanks so much Aileen! We will present our model at the 2022 ASEE Conference NSF Grantees poster session. Our poster includes details on the credit curriculum where students can apply their workforce development certifications. 

    Here is a reference that we published on our model. We presented this at the 2020 ASEE Conference:

    Delahanty, C. M., Genis, V., Herring, S., & Timby, T. A. (2020, June), Enhancing Workforce Readiness of Engineering Technicians Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2—34579

  • Icon for: Margie Vela

    Margie Vela

    Facilitator
    CEO & President
    May 10, 2022 | 10:33 p.m.

    This is a great model! Articulation agreements for courses and programs are such a HUGE challenge for all institutions and yet are critical for providing access to higher education and STEM.

    I have a few questions:

    1. What is time to completion for the non-credit certification and what time frame are students investing beyond this for their associate degrees?

    2. Is there potential to develop these types of articulation agreements for students who have earned their associate degrees to continue into 4-year programs in a seamless manner?

    Kudos for providing access! This is amazing work!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 11, 2022 | 08:54 p.m.

    Hi Margie! Thanks for the feedback. The non-credit certification programs in metalwork training and industrial maintenance are approximately 8 weeks long. The placement rate in industry for graduates is >90%. These students can also earn 12 college credits for these programs. The associate degrees in engineering technology and advanced technology are 61-62 credits.  The associates degree program is designed to be completed in two years. However, it may take longer if the student needs to take prerequisite courses or they go part time. Some employers also offer to pay tuition, so that is an added benefit to these graduates. 

    We have articulation agreements with several four year institutions for engineering technology, and are updating these agreements as part of our ATE grant. As part of this, we will investigate the certification programs and how they might transfer into the four year schools to allow for a seamless transition. 

  • Icon for: Dorothy Bennett

    Dorothy Bennett

    Director of Creative Pedagogy
    May 11, 2022 | 10:03 a.m.

    This sounds like a great model program. Wondering if you can say more about the kinds of students you are attracting into this program and their motivations for going for the degree programs.  Is that push coming from industry?  From the students themselves who are only getting certified to get a job?  Very curious about any research you are doing about student motivations for pursuing both technical education and a broader STEM degree.

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 12, 2022 | 08:46 a.m.

    Hi Dorothy,

    Thank you for your insightful questions! The answers to your first questions are from Susan Herring, our Executive Director of Workforce Development:

    The kinds of students we are attracting are unemployed and underemployed adults – ages 18 – 55. They are looking for solid employment and career opportunities. We have single parents, re-entrants, people leaving retail/hospitality industry, students who started college and didn’t finish, and even some 4-year college graduates who decided they didn’t like their chosen profession or can’t find work in it. These students may not think they are ‘college material’ but find success in our pre-apprenticeship programs and get the confidence to continue their education – with an apprenticeship, On the job training, and/or higher ed. Currently our employers are desperate for technicians – and the 12-week program is sufficient to get the person hired and continuing to learn on the job. However, as the workplace tightens up, and more seasoned workers retire, we believe there will be an added push by employers to encourage manufacturing technicians to seek a degree in order to take on positions of higher responsibility.

    Since this articulation is relatively new, we have not conducted any formal research. However, our Industry Advisory Boards have indicated that they want students to continue to advance in their education, and some of our companies have offered our former students tuition money to continue. We are very excited about this.

  • Icon for: Dorothy Bennett

    Dorothy Bennett

    Director of Creative Pedagogy
    May 12, 2022 | 09:30 a.m.

    Thank you so much for your thoughful response. This is very exciting indeed!  I think far more attention needs to be spent on the population you describe and really looking forward to hearing more about your work as it progresses.  

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 12, 2022 | 09:31 a.m.

    Than you Dorothy! Yes. I agree. I really appreciate your valuable feedback. 

  • Icon for: Maia Punksungka

    Maia Punksungka

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2022 | 01:12 p.m.

    This is great work that your team is doing! Your work also seems to be in line with our IES grant project, which aims to look at the role of community colleges in promoting students' technical and basic skills (e.g., read/writing, math, problem-solving) for the workforce. Our study noticed that one of the reasons why students have difficulties with obtaining the technical skills necessary for them to complete their programs is because they also lack the basic skills. In your program, what type of assignments or pedagogies are used to ensure students are obtaining both technical and basic skills needed for the workforce? Additionally, can you speak to non-academic supports that you provide to students who may be struggling to get through the program? 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 13, 2022 | 09:48 a.m.

    Hi Maia,

    Thank you for your feedback and excellent questions. Not surprisingly, we have found that math is a big barrier to success for our students. Students in the workforce development programs are offered the math necessary to succeed in their certification program. They are monitored throughout the program to assure that they are successful. For the math within the credit side, I am reiterating my response to Gerhard:

    Students who do not achieve the appropriate math level have the chance to polish up their skills using an online platform called Aleks, and then retake the exam. We also have an online fast Track math course that allows a student to brush up on the skills that they need to reinforce to achieve a higher math level. We have an Academic Success Center where we offer both face to face and online tutoring. A students chooses which modality is best for them. In addition, we have a STEM Learning Center where faculty are available for students if they need help in our STEM subjects. We offer a lot of support for our students in our credit programs that help to streamline their path to success. 

    Also, within assignments, we make sure that students get the practice thy need with the math, and we also provide numerous resources on Canvas for them. Our faculty discuss common mathematical challenges that students face, and we reinforce those skills through discussion and assignments. 

    Within laboratory within Workforce Development and our credit side, students are trained and educated utilizing instrumentation and equipment that helps to make them more workforce ready. The lab exercises require troubleshooting skills and experimentation in a positive setting. This helps to reduce their fear of failure. 

    Some of our non-academic resources we have include our counseling center, disability office, career services and transfer services Depts., veterans services,  services for diversity and inclusion, and we have therapy dogs come to campus during more stressful times, such as midterm and finals weeks.

  • Icon for: Tim Podkul

    Tim Podkul

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Advisor
    May 12, 2022 | 04:03 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work on this project. Responsiveness to the workforce is so critical for growth and student retention! It makes their education, and the steps along the way very applicable. I am curious if the opportunity exists for students to work while they are also going their credentialing possible? Do employers refer current employees to the program, or is the role of the workforce to advise on skills needed and then receive the students on the back end of their credentialing?

    Additionally, I am working on a credentialing initiative in NC. One challenge we face is understanding how we can provide a better infrastructure across the CC system so we can think about stackable certifications and illuminating paths to "level up." I would be very curious to know if this is something you have thought about, and if so, how it works. Thank you!

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Christine Delahanty
  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 13, 2022 | 05:24 p.m.

    Hi Tim! Thank you for your questions! Here is a response from our Executive Director of Workforce Development, Susan Herring: 

    If a student is struggling in math, we actually refer them to the college’s tutoring center. That said, our instructors will also spend extra time with the student and do all possible to increase achievement level. What helps is having two instructors working with the students - so while one is teaching the other may be able to work one on one with the student needing extra help. 

     Regarding employment, there are plenty of opportunities for students to work part-time while getting credentials. Coordinating job openings and student interest during a set timeframe is the challenge - one that is a work in progress for us.

     The employers advise on curriculum, offer tours, and then hire our graduates. However, the college also offers customized training to assist employers in upskilling their incumbent workers. In addition, the state of PA offers grant funding to employers to help offset the cost of training their employees.

    We do offer stackable credentials in several forms including prior work experience, military training, high school NOCTI exams and relevant courses, and certifications, like the Center for Workforce development certifications that streamline into our engineering technology program for college credit. We also offer digital badges for a very wide variety of credentials on both the workforce development and the credit sides of the college. This provides an opportunity for students to build skills and advance or "level up" and also to display these credentials in their e-portfolio. We are still assessing the outcomes and benefits of this for students. Our Industry Advisory Board indicated that credentialing in areas relevant to what they do at their companies is valuable to them. We recently created a badge for CSWA SolidWorks training, and are developing a badge for FAA small UAS certification. 

  • Icon for: Theresa Robinson

    Theresa Robinson

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2022 | 05:37 p.m.

    I love this work.  Highly relevant

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 14, 2022 | 08:16 p.m.

    Thanks Theresa! I really appreciate your positive feedback.

  • Icon for: Rita Hagevik

    Rita Hagevik

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2022 | 06:24 p.m.

    Thank you for providing a great pathway to so many students in your area! This is just great! 

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 14, 2022 | 08:17 p.m.

    Thanks Rita! Yes, I am very excited about our collaboration with workforce development and being able to create a pathway for their students in the excellent program they have that align with local industry.

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer
    May 14, 2022 | 11:58 p.m.

    I am curious about the support for students in college mathematics classes.  Is this support to pass the standard classes like algebra which include mathematical topics and concepts, difficult for students, that support understanding the structure of mathematics or are useful for some topics in calculus, but are not needed by technicians.  In addition, statistics which may be more useful for technicians may only be a small part of the standard course.  How are the courses made relevant to students?  

    To which industries do your completers go?  What do they do there?  

  • Icon for: Christine Delahanty

    Christine Delahanty

    Lead Presenter
    Area Coordinator of Science and Engineering
    May 15, 2022 | 07:13 a.m.

    Hello Gerhard! The support for students provided by our Academic Success Center https://www.bucks.edu/academics/asc/ and our STEM Learning Center https://www.bucks.edu/academics/department/stem... is course and topic specific. If a student in a technician training program is struggling with a certain concept or concepts say in their math course for technicians, the tutors and faculty provide support for those concepts. The support is for any level of math from very basic concepts to highly advanced courses such as calculus and differential equations, and is student specific. Students can make appointments with both Centers, and the STEM Learning Center has walk in help as well. There is face to face and online help and the student will choose what is best for them. A student can bring in their work and discuss it with the tutor. The Centers are very careful not to divulge information that is part of an assessment, and the instructor would provide the centers with materials that the tutors should not provide help with such as graded homework or other types of assessments. However, they can provide assistance with general concepts related to the assessment such as fractions, decimals, scientific notation etc. 

    Statistics is required in both our engineering technology https://www.bucks.edu/catalog/majors/stem/engin... and our advanced technology https://www.bucks.edu/catalog/majors/stem/advan... programs. The need for this course was indicated by industry, and statistics is also included as part of BS degree programs in engineering technology. We conduct an in-depth investigation of the pedagogy that is appropriate for each of our programs whether it is through workforce development, credit occupational or credit transfer. For workforce development and occupational programs, our industry advisory boards play an important role in assisting with the development of the programs. We also review relevant curricula at our partner four year institutions and seek consulting from them as we develop these programs. Our programs then go through a rigorous process of review by our curriculum committee before being approved. 

    In addition, we are communicate regularly with both our partnering companies and four year institutions to assure that our curricula is consistent with local, evolving societal needs. We also review programs nationally and investigate statistics for changes and trends. This helps to assure that our programs are up to date and consistent. 

    Graduates of our Center for Workforce Development (CWD) training programs, such as industrial maintenance and metalwork training https://www.bucks.edu/workforcedevelopment/ are employed directly by companies local to our campus, who are also our industry advisory board (IAB) members. Our CWD has over 70  IAB members and a placement rate of over 90%. We are also proud to say that our CWD programs are grant funded, so most of our CWD students, which are mostly displaced workers, attend free of charge. 

    Our CWD graduates work as technicians at these IAB manufacturing companies. Now that they are able to transfer their certifications into our credit programs, we hope that they  will be able to advanced in their careers by earning an AAS degree. Our IAB members have indicated that they want their employees to advance in their education, and some will offer tuition assistance; so the pathway we have created for these CWD graduates encourages further education, which is consistent with industry needs. We will assess progress of our new pathways in the coming terms. 

  • Icon for: Gerhard Salinger

    Gerhard Salinger

    Facilitator
    Former Program Officer
    May 15, 2022 | 01:47 p.m.

    Thank you

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Members may log in to post to this discussion.