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  1. Projects rarely go according to plan, but this is especially true of those that involve multiple institutions and have a significant degree of complexity associated with them. This work relates the experiences an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project around high value manufacturing. The project was a collaboration with a Texas A&M University and Houston Community College. The project comprised three main aspects: 1) the development of a certificate program in high value manufacturing; 2) offering professional development to working professionals in the area of high value manufacturing; and 3) educating teachers about advanced manufacturing with a goal of recruiting theirmore »students into manufacturing careers. This work describes the lessons learned through each of the project aspects. The design of the High Value Manufacturing Certificate Program required close collaboration between both institutions. The issues that arose during this development process included personnel turnover, approval timelines and processes, and agreement on the course content. The authors will relay how they navigated these issues to get the program created and approved. The creation of the professional development program did not involve the community college directly, but was very dependent on recruiting participants. This recruitment proved to be more difficult than the project team expected. The targeting of the professional development program and the development of the curriculum will be discussed. The authors will also highlight the delivery changes they implemented over the two years of the offerings based on participant feedback. The final aspect of the project is the teacher experience with advanced manufacturing. Hosting teachings and determining what content and activities they experience is a somewhat daunting task. The use of an existing University Program and the selection of collaborating faculty will be discussed. Overall, the lessons learned from this project can be an opportunity for new ATE principal investigators (PIs) to learn from the authors’ experiences. It can also help potential ATE PIs craft more realistic and practical proposals.« less
  2. Research shows that there is a growing need for skilled workers in the area of advanced manufacturing; this refers to making use of new technologies and advanced processes to produce products that have high value. More importantly, U.S. government employment data reveals that there is lack of supply of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, it has also been widely cited in industrial literature that there is a concern regarding the job readiness of fresh college graduates and the gaps in skills sets needed to be successful in an industrial setting, especially in the engineering or manufacturing fields. Onemore »approach to bridge the skills gap is to provide customized continuing education to current the workforce as per the industry need. This paper presents a case study of such customized continuing education offered by Texas A&M University for oil and gas industry in Houston, Texas. Specifically, as a part of National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education project, two professional development sessions were organized in the summer of 2018 in Houston targeting the energy industry. Both programs were two-days long and focused on two key aspects of high value manufacturing: manufacturing operations excellence and manufacturing quality excellence. The professional development sessions were focused on materials and inventory planning, production economics, manufacturing quality, non-destructive evaluation, statistical process control, and lean/ sixsigma. The continuing education programs and course materials were developed based on the feedback from the industry advisory board for the Manufacturing Center of Excellence at Houston Community College, which is a collaborating partner on the ATE Grant. As a part of assessment of the programs, industry participants in the both sessions were given comprehensive surveys asking for their feedback on the applicability of the educational sessions. Overall, the participants rated the sessions very highly on the organization and the relevancy of the program topics and learning materials. The participants also felt that they learned new information through these programs.« less
  3. Self-efficacy has been found to be one of the key factors that are responsible for academic success of engineering students. However, there exist multiple instruments for determining the self-efficacy of engineering students and studies conducted in this area in the past have varied significantly in their use of a general or engineering domain-specific constructs. This work investigates whether an engineering-domain specific self-efficacy measurement instrument is required for determining the self-efficacy beliefs of engineering students or whether a general instrument will suffice. Furthermore, this study also aims to investigate the effect of gender, class level, and transfer status of students onmore »their engineering self-efficacy beliefs. Over two hundred engineering students from Texas A&M University and Houston Community College are surveyed on 39 questions divided across 6 distinct self-efficacy instruments. The survey data was then analyzed to determine whether there exists a significant difference in the scores obtained across the generic and the domain-specific instruments. Factor analysis is also performed to explore the interrelationships among the questions belonging to different self-efficacy instruments. The results reveal that there exists a significant difference in the scores across the two types of instruments.« less
  4. There is significant and growing interest in manufacturing; this is particularly true with respect to advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing typically refers to the use of new technologies to make products that have high value or significant value added through the production process. One of the main impediments advanced manufacturing companies cite is the lack of a skilled workforce. This is the result of both a lack of technical skills, but also due to outdated and incorrect perceptions about manufacturing. Manufacturing is incorrectly perceived as low-skilled, dirty, and low paying. The reality is that a significant portion of manufacturing jobs requiremore »advanced technological knowledge and are done in state of the art facilities. One of the more effective ways to increase knowledge about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers is to increase the knowledge of teachers. As part of a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education project, a group of high school teachers was offered the opportunity to work in advanced manufacturing labs with engineering faculty. These projects included additive manufacturing (AM) of ceramics, surface characterization of AM metal parts, and surface alteration. The teachers were tasked with developing lesson plans which incorporated the advanced manufacturing concepts that they had learned. As part of the assessment of the program, teachers were given pre- and post- research experience surveys regarding their perceptions of manufacturing and their views of STEM topics in general; the later data were collected using the validated T-STEM instrument. External evaluation also provided feedback on the usefulness of various program activities. Overall participants found their laboratory research and research facility tours extremely useful. They felt that the program enhanced their excitement about STEM and their laboratory skills. Participants also showed significant increases in their post program technology teaching efficacy, student technology use, and STEM career awareness. In addition to empirical results, project descriptions and program details are also be presented.« less
  5. The importance of authenticity has been examined in various aspects of education; this is especially true in the area of engineering education where most graduates will matriculate to industry. However, the importance of applied and authentic examples could be even more critical in workforce development programs. In these cases, students are often enrolled with a goal of using their acquired knowledge to advance their career or move into a new role. Purely theoretical or stylized examples would not be aligned with the educational goals of these students. As part of a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant, a certificatemore »program in high value manufacturing (HVM) has been developed. The certificate program is a collaboration between a research intensive four-year institution and an urban community college. In this certificate program students will be taking courses in manufacturing processes, design, and other business-related subjects that are pertinent to the manufacture of low volume components that have high materials costs, stringent quality requirements, and critical project timelines. This unique content area requires example that comprise these pertinent aspects of HVM. This is particularly true of the five newly developed courses covering materials, project management, quality, logistics, and computer-aided design. While the analogous courses at a four-year degree granting institution would likely use stylized examples in these courses, this would not be preferable in an applied certificate program. This work discusses the acquisition and refinement of authentic and applied examples that are applicable to the HVM environment. Specifically, the use of industry contacts and the translation of examples into useable and appropriate examples are examined. These examples are detailed and compared to traditional stylized academic content. A methodology for examining student perceptions of these examples is also proposed. A discussion of the importance of authenticity in applied certificate programs is also presented.« less
  6. This paper presents a project framework for the development of an adaptive learning environment to provide a wide range of students with the skills necessary to work in high value manufacturing (HVM) aimed at the energy industry. More specifically, it discusses a HVM certificate program being developed at Houston Community College (HCC) in collaboration with Texas A&M University (TAMU). The aim of the project is to create a sustainable certificate program in HVM that provides multiple pathways for community college students while meeting the critical workforce needs of a vital industry in Texas. The novelty of the certificate program includesmore »innovative pedagogical methods, such as competency-based learning and skills need assessment and provision through online learning modules is presented; this allows students an adaptive and personalized education in this needed area. Upon completion of the certificate program, the community college students will have multiple pathways including: a) an A.S. at the Community College; b) transfer to four year institution; and c) return to industry to join the workforce. By incorporating a new co-educational paradigm between the community college and the university, as opposed to traditional articulation agreements, this project provides a novel pathway for community college students to transition to a four-year degree program. It also incorporates a new method for trying to ensure that community college students who matriculate to partner 4-year institutions receive reverse transfer credit for their associate degrees at their home community college. Furthermore, HVM modules are developed for high school students that are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.« less