2015 National Conference on Technical Education Indianapolis, Indiana

ATEA Journal, Spring 2015 | Go to article overview

2015 National Conference on Technical Education Indianapolis, Indiana


Plenary Session I

Dr. Sandra Krebsbach Executive Director of ATEA

Centers of Excellence are building relationships and connections with state of the art content. These are key networks that are positively effecting technical education. The session has both state funded and federally funded centers through TAACCCT grants.

Moderator: Mary Kaye Bredeson, Executive Director of the Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, Everett Washington

The Center of Excellence is a team and a shared facility that provides leadership, best practice, research or support and training in specified area. The Washington State Center of Excellence concentrate on sectors, develop strategies, open up communication and connect industry with the community and technical colleges. Centers were a response to the need for building the future workforce and training the incumbent workforce in the rapidly changing industry technology.

Ten years ago in the State of Washington the 34 community and technical colleges were functioning in silos each guarding their curriculum. The Washington Legislature in 2003 asked colleges to apply to be a Center of Excellence based on industries around them. The result was 10 Centers of Excellence were formed: Information and Computing Technology, Global Trade and Supply Chain Management, Allied Health, Marine Manufacturing and Technology, Agriculture, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Clean Energy, Homeland Security-Emergency Management. Each center was located in the "backyard" of a major employer such as Microsoft, Amazon or Boeing and paid attention to direct service and the supply chains that served them.

Centers of Excellence have stakeholder Advisory Committees; they report to the college president; work plans go to the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges every 2 years; and there is an annual assessment. They are a resource and a convener for their sector across the state. Colleges with Centers are to be a resource for the other colleges to the extent that the college's name is not in the title of the center.

In 2009-2010 Boeing was ramping up to hire 11,000 workers. The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing connected those colleges that could provide a workforce with those employers. So it is connecting labor, business, and educators to get students into jobs.

Connie Beene, Director of Federal Initiatives, Kansas Board of Regents, Topeka, KS

In Kansas the Board of Regents governs state universities and coordinates community and technical colleges which have their own boards. The Board of Regents works to initiate projects and convenes partnership projects across the state. They do not drive the projects but convene the colleges to develop strategies, projects, and initiatives for program alignment driven by business and industry. One example of an initiative is the diesel tech programs with the Kansas Department of Transportation for maintenance. The need was identified and the program grew over a two year period and now other departments have maintenance contracts with technical colleges.

The Kansas Board of Regents works with colleges to recognize employers. Employers want access to the students but also appreciate being recognized and thanked. Kansas has a 3 Tier process of recognition dependent on activities: supporter, partner or champion. The faculty knows who the partners are so the nominations come from the campuses. Nominations are on the website and The Board of Regents send a signed and framed certificate of recognition to the colleges who present the award. Colleges get an extra copy of the certificate to display. It is very successful.

Kansas has created a joint position between the State Dept. of Education and Board of Regents to provide data on the connecting points between K-12 and technical education to create career pathways. …

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