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Five Things We Heard at NCPN

Staff from the National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) recently attended the National Career Pathways Network’s annual conference which was held in-person (in Atlanta) for the first time since 2019. We delivered a presentation – entitled “Employer Strategies for Managing Successful Employer Councils” – on the essentials of successfully implementing the BILT (Business and Industry Leadership Team) model to strengthen the relationship between educators and employer councils. You can download the slide deck here.  The CTC grant’s Principal Investigator, Ann Beheler, hosted a number of other workshops and panel presentations at NCPN explaining the BILT model in more detail.

ATE program booth in the exhibit hall of the NCPN conference.Aside from that, the National CTC attended a few other sessions and keynote presentations. Below are a few of the more interesting and memorable statements and perspectives we heard.

1. A lack of digital literacy not only limits one’s earning potential, it can also limit one’s access to services (i.e. if you’re not comfortable going online, then you may not be able to apply for a better job or request essential benefits).

2. If a college can’t make itself relevant and responsive, it may go the way of Kodak and Blockbuster. Don’t let others argue that they can do what you do better, faster, and cheaper. In other words, an 18-month curriculum change cycle may not be as responsive as the market needs. Don’t fall into the “we’ll be okay” trap.

3. More and more, there are questions about the value of a $100,000 education that only delivers a $40,000 salary.

4. If your students don’t know about a program, how can you get enrollments? Ferris State started a “Diesel Days” event to showcase its heavy equipment program, bringing together high school students, employers, college faculty, with hands-on looks at the vehicles and equipment. The enrollment grew 200% in two years as a result.

5. Nine concepts have been identified as “key” for quantum information system learners. This list comes from a February 2022 report from the White House and includes…
* Mathematics of probability, vectors, algebra, trigonometry, complex numbers, and linear transformations to describe the physical world via quantum mechanics
* The description of a quantum state
* Quantum measurement outcomes and applications
* The quantum bit, or qubit
* Entanglement and superposition
* Coherence and decoherence
* Quantum computers that solve certain complex computational problems more efficiently than classical computers
* Quantum communication using entanglement or a transmission channel, such as optical fiber, to transfer quantum information between different locations
* Quantum sensing using quantum states to detect and measure physical properties with the highest precision allowed by quantum mechanics

The National CTC also had a presence in the conference exhibit hall as part of a joint booth promoting the National Science Foundation’s ATE (Advanced Technological Education) program.

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