Asee peer logo

Board 101: Assessing Educational Pathways for Manufacturing in Rural Communities: An Investigation of New and Existing Programs in Northwest Florida

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Marcia A. Mardis Florida State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Marcia A. Mardis is a Professor and Associate Dean at Florida State University's College of Communication & Information and Associate Director of the Information Institute. Author of numerous publication and recipient of over two decades of federally funded research grants, Dr. Mardis' work focuses on professional identity creation, educational text and data mining, and technician education improvement.

visit author page


Faye R. Jones Florida State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Faye R. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information. Her research interests include STEM student outcomes and the exploration of student pathways through institutional research.

visit author page

Download Paper |


To build the nation's skilled technical workforce, the demand for entry and middle-skill professionals in technical fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is increasing. The alignment between educational programming and job requirements for STEM-oriented technicians is essential for establishing career pathways that produce high-quality middle skills professionals for technology-rich fields. Building on prior research on rural Florida’s information technologies career pathways, in this National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technician Education (ATE) targeted research project, FSU researchers are investigating alignment among educational opportunities, employer needs, student readiness and new employee experiences in Advanced Manufacturing (AM) and test the usefulness of tools and processes developed to assess such alignment, focusing on the opportunities and challenges in Florida’s rural areas. Researchers constructed and are iteratively refining an AM Body of Knowledge (BOK) for analysis and community engagement. The quantitative and qualitative mixed methods research design combines content analysis and text mining using the BOK with surveys, and interviews/focus groups. The research team is applying text mining approaches to identify the match between syllabi learning outcomes, industry certification requirements, state curriculum frameworks, and job postings. In interviews and focus groups, researchers are qualitatively assessing the employers’ competency expectations and new professionals’ job experiences. These analyses will build capacity among rural stakeholders to strengthen and expand their technical workforce.

Mardis, M. A., & Jones, F. R. (2019, June), Board 101: Assessing Educational Pathways for Manufacturing in Rural Communities: An Investigation of New and Existing Programs in Northwest Florida Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32167

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015