HI-TEC is about a month away and the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) and the Convergence College Network (CCN) are well-represented this year with five panels and workshops as well as a convening following the event.
- First up, Ann Beheler from the National CTC will be giving a Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) presentation on Wednesday, July 19 at 10:15 a.m. discussing the differences between the traditional “business advisory council” approach vs. the National CTC’s proven successful business “co-led” program. As regular readers of this blog know, the National CTC believes an engaged BILT is an essential cornerstone to any successful program. BILT members meet quarterly and provide feedback on job skills to make sure curriculum aligns with workforce needs. This session will be joined by four members of the National CTC’s BILT: Mercedes Adams (NetApp), Matt Glover (Le-Vel), Tu Huynh (Comerica), and Glenn Wintrich (recently retired from Dell).
- On Thursday, July 20 at 8:15 a.m., David Keathly of CCN Partner University of North Texas (UNT) will speak on their Bachelor’s of IT (BAIT) degree program, which accepts community college credit hours that are not usually accepted by four-year universities. Before, students frequently had to start over as their workforce class credits might transfer but wouldn’t satisfy or cover a particular course for their chosen major program of study. This BAIT program, accredited by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) through 2021, is one of only a handful of IT/engineering programs in the country that accepts workforce courses. This session will provide more information about the program itself as well as how to become a partner so students outside of UNT might benefit.
- Following that, on Thursday at 9:15 a.m., Rajiv Malkan and Bruce Caraway of CTC partner Lone Star College will speak on “Integrating Data Visualization and Communication Tools in the Curriculum.” Data visualization and analytics allow an organization to interact with data to identify business trends and insights. As more data is generated, understanding and presenting data in a meaningful way are becoming an in-demand skill. Rajiv and Bruce will demonstrate the data visualization tool PowerBI/Tableau and how tools such as Slack are being used in the classroom to foster honest, organic, and spontaneous conversation with our students.
- Then at 11:30 a.m., Bill Saichek, from CCN member Orange Coast College, and Brian Nelson, from CTC partner college, Lansing Community College, will speak on how “Teaching the Internet of Things Has Just Become Far More Interesting.” Last year, Bill and Brian demonstrated that IoT devices can be incorporated into a curriculum using cost-effective technologies such as media distribution, lighting, and environmental controls. The IoT explosion has led to new developments in easy-to-use and easy-to-program microcontrollers. This session will continue the discussion of how the IoT can be integrated into your curriculum and focus on exercises in programming microcontrollers using Samsung Smart Things, Amazon Echo, and Raspberry-PIs/Arduinos.
- Finally at 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Ernie Friend of CTC Partner Florida State College of Jacksonville, will speak on “Strategies for Grant Success.” This session – as it’s being led by a grant writer and an IT program manager who have been developing grants together for over ten years – will present useful strategies to help gain strong internal and external support and secure funding to establish and grow your grant.
In addition to the preceding CTC and CCN panels, HI-TEC will be an extremely valuable resource with even-more “can’t-miss” panels from CTC affiliates and partners.
- Ann Beheler of the National Convergence Technology Center, along with Joe Ippolito from the Education Development Center and Gordon Snyder of the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC) will be presenting on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. on a new Social Media grant that is currently piloting the use of social media to boost enrollment in technical programs. The session will share the project’s findings, describing what worked and what didn’t, and how other colleges can learn from the experience. Presenters will share planning guides that colleges can use to develop their own social media recruitment strategies.
- In addition to presenting with Ann on Social Media, Gordon, who served on our National Visiting Committee (NVC) , will also deliver a panel on “Cultivating a Precision Agriculture Technology Program” on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m., “Integrated Photonics Manufacturing” also on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. and finally, “Successful Job Placement for Technician Graduates: Strategies and Resources,” Thursday at 8:15 a.m.
- Pamela Silvers, who spoke at the CTC Diversity Summit this past February, will present at two panels: “Increasing Female Enrollment in STEM Programs” on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. and “Ensuring YOUR Classroom is Invitational to ALL Students” on Thursday at 1:45 p.m.
- At 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, there will be a Centers Collaborative for Technical Assistance (CCTA) panel presented by all the CCTA leads: Marilyn Barger, Florida Advance Technological Education Center (FLATE); Elaine Craft, South Carolina ATE National Resource Center (SCATE), Michael Lesiecki, Maricopa Advanced Technological Education Center (MATEC); Elaine Johnson, Bio-Link National Center as well as Ann Beheler from the CCTA. The CCTA was created in response to a request from the Department of Labor (DOL) to the NSF to have ATE Centers provide technical assistance services to DOL TAACCCT grantees. This particular session will focus on managing grants, providing tools and strategies to help new grantees navigate the tricky waters of project management.
- Celeste Carter, Program Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), will be speaking on “Engaging Students in STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship” on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. Celeste will also be leading two panels on Thursday: “Help with Securing a First, or Next, NSF ATE Grant” at 10:30 a.m., as well as NSF funding opportunities at 11:30 a.m.
- And finally, Dell EMC’s Kimberly Yohannan, who has also served on our NVC, will speak on how academia and Dell EMC can partner to help students prepare for IT careers on Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
For details on all these panels and more, click here.
Following HI-TEC, there will be a free DOL and NSF Workforce Convening open to all HI-TEC conference attendees on Friday, July 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This convening will focus on writing competitive NSF ATE project grants. Specifically, this session will feature extensive Q&A opportunities to help you refine the ideas you have and preliminary grant proposal work you have started. To get the full benefit from this session, it is highly recommended that you view CCTA’s 4-part webinar series on the best practices and tips for writing a competitive NSD ATE project proposal. These webinars included: Grants and Innovation – A Great Match; Grant Proposal Resources, Roadmaps and Timelines; Developing Stakeholder Partnership Internally and Externally for Successful Grants; and Final Tips for a Competitive Proposal. Each of these webinars has a follow-up Q&A, which is available online here.
All together, HI-TEC is going to be a 4-day information-packed event from beginning to end. There is still time to register now here.