Division Update Engineering & Technology


[ Music ]>>Hi, I’m Deborah Bird
with the Engineering and Technology Division.>>Hello I’m [inaudible] from the Engineering
Technology Division.>>Deborah Bird: We’re
working with our division to move our technology in
our educational pedagogy into the 21st century to
develop 21st century skills and we’re doing that through a
range of innovative programs. We’re working particularly on
articulation with high schools and creating a number
of pathways that high school students can
make an effective transition into the engineering
and technology division.>>Once students come to
campus, we want to make sure that they’re well prepared to
engage in a college level work. In particular, in our division, we do much of what they call
career technical education. So there’s a lot of problem
solving, teamwork skills, even working with many
sophisticated technology of which the students
need to be prepared to manage and to undertake. So we have summer jams in
which students start beginning to get acquainted with the
level of thinking and activities that undertake a lot of the CTE
type of industry and courses.>>Deborah Bird: And the
summer jams are designed to be a lot of fun. One of the things we’re actively
trying to promote is the idea of a cohort model where students
come in together and form teams, do a lot of group or team work. It’s project based learning
so it’s really hands on problem solving with a lot of real world kind
of problems to solve. The classes are run very
much on a need to know basis with technology so that
they’re not specific to a particularly software
or a particularly technology but everything is introduced
as a problem solving tool. So technology is used as a
means to an end in a live, just sort of design and
technology environment.>>And to make sure that
we’re addressing the industry, we actually do certify many
of our programs in here. For example, automotive
technology program is certified as well as the solar
technology certifications. The students can get to
work in the solar industry and we’re looking into even
NIMS [assumed spelling] which is a metal
working industry for — excuse me certification,
for certification of working in the manufacturing
realm as well as a society of manufacturer engineers
who certifies design and electronics type of work
in engineer and technology. So we align ourselves to
these national certifications to make sure that we are
addressing the objectives of industry through a very — our programs here
within the engineering and technology division.>>Deborah Bird: One of the
great things about the programs that we’re offering
in the engineering and technology division, is that
they lead to rewarding careers and career in technical
education fields are one of the fastest growing areas
of employment in the country. And we’re finding that
students who are graduating with certificates and degrees in these fields are
highly employable and are earning higher on
average incomes than many people who are progressing to
four year institutions. So this is an area of growth
that we really want to develop at PCC because it’s really
offering an excellent career building strategy
for our students. With stackable certificates,
they can come in and earn a certificate in
a particular area in less than a year or two years,
go out, work in the field, and then come back and
further their education. So this becomes part of a
lifelong learning strategy. And the way we’re developing
this in a specific pilot program at the moment is the
design technology pathway. And this was introduced
last year. We’re graduating our
first students this — at the end of this
spring and it’s using all of those project based
learning cohort models and we’re integrating it
with math and English. And that’s a specific strategy
that has really paid off in research and is proving
to be very successful here. That finally students can
go through the pathway, learn the strategies of
design which are applicable in many different disciplines,
not just in the design field. They’re developing
technological literacy which is highly important in any
field that the students might go into to but they’re also
finding that their English and their math classes are
integrated into these things and concepts of design
and technology. So everything is reinforced. They’re learning across a number of different classes
simultaneously. So that’s proven very effective
and then there’s a second level to the design technology pathway
which is the fabrication lab or the fab lab as we call it.>>And so the idea with the
pathway that addresses math and English and textualization
[assumed spelling], as the students progress through
certificates, we would want for them to achieve their
degree, their Associate of Science degree
which is a broad field that engineering technology
which includes electronics, manufacturing, fabrication,
production, and CAD design, computer design and
such that we’re planning to have our first robotics
class in which students design and produce the full robot from
the ground up without a kit. And that’s going to be
the first in our division. The idea is that students
progress, get their degree, Associate Degree, and if
they would like to continue with transferring as an
engineering, the pathway allows that where they continue
with the math and general education
requirements to then transfer out as an engineering major. So the idea that it’s
a continuous pathway from the contextualization
of English and math, making sure they’re college
ready, college prepared, have them transfer to
be our ultimate goal. If they choose to be, otherwise
of course, going to work and coming back to fulfill their
pathway dreams is also available at any time for them
to just come back in and continue with their journey. The fabrication laboratory
is meant to support this whole pathway where students will continuously
be going and designing and producing, operating
equipment to fulfill their projects in
using very high tech equipment which is industry
accepted and again, a lot of the design
still happens here in the United States. Mass production manufacturing
may not but definitely the prototyping
and the ideation is still here and students need to be well
prepared to be able to interface with this high technology
to design their ideas.>>Deborah Bird: So the
fab lab includes, you know, obviously computer labs, CAD
software but also 3D printing and laser cutting which are
becoming standard prototyping technologies in the
design process. We’re also using
vacuum forming, casting, and also integrating the fab lab into our existing
resources with machine shop. So students can start
out working with small easily fabricated
prototypes and can work up to some larger
scale production as they become more experienced and as they progress
through the pathway. The great thing about
the fab lab also is that it integrates
students across a number of different levels in the
program and what we’re seeing is that peer to peer learning and mentorship is a really
vital part of this process. And it’s part of the
group kind of structure of a successful design
organization and these kinds of organizations are what
we’re seeing increasingly in the workplace. So the skills that
students are developing through design problems
and producing prototypes in a fab lab in a cooperative or
collaborative manner is the kind of experience they’re going to
have when they go out to work. So we’re trying to develop
these 21st century skills, the ability to communicate
effectively, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration,
creativity, and an ability to adapt to change because
ultimately the thing we’re finding is that technology
is moving so quickly. Society and work is
changing so quickly that we can’t realistically
anticipate what our students will be encountering in the workplace even
a decade from now. So ultimately our
goal is to train and to develop these skills
in students to enable them to succeed whatever comes along
and to adapt and become flexible and then, you know,
remain valuable members of our society and
our workforce. [ Music ]