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Board # 105 : Developing a Pipeline for Students from Rural High Schools into Engineering Technology and Mechatronics at a Two-Year College (NSF-ATE Projects)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


James E. Payne Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

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Jim Payne has been with Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College for ten years after retiring from South Carolina State University as Professor of Physics and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. He serves as STEM Program Developer for the College and as a Principal Investigator and project manager. He is currently managing the NSF-ATE RAMP project and a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Scholars project. He also assists with new grant development and serves as a member of the physics instructional team.

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Linda Lawson Payne Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

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After receiving an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Converse College and a masters degree and doctorate from Clemson University in experimental physics, Dr. Payne taught physics and conducted research for 20 years at South Carolina State University. She then assumed leadership for 22 years of a regional STEM center dedicated to improving K-12 education in SC. She currently works as a grant writer for Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, a position she has held since 2008.

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Charles Richard Murphy Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College

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Richard Murphy is the program coordinator for the Electronics Engineering Technology program at Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College. He also teaches PLC programming, instrumentation, and engineering programming courses within the department. He also serves as dean of the Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Division. With an applied science in engineering technology, he spent over 20 years in industry before accepting a position at OCtech in 2008. He is completing a Bachelor of Science in Technology Leadership through Fort Hays State University in May 2017.

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This poster session showcases the successful efforts by Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College to develop pathways for students from rural high schools in South Carolina into post-secondary programs in STEM in the areas of engineering technology and mechatronics. The College has received three National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) awards since 2007. Each of these awards has included as at least one objective related to establishing pathways into the STEM programs at the College. The projects which included extensive collaboration and articulation agreements with K-12 systems in the region were:

1) Diverse Engineering Pathways: Curriculum Innovation and Best Practice for Recruitment, Retention and Advancement of Engineering Technology Majors 2) Curriculum Infusion: A Modular and Online Approach to Train Renewable Energy Technicians and K-12 Teachers 3) Advanced Technological Education in Robotics and Automated Manufacturing Program (ATE-RAMP)

The first project involved developing pathways utilizing dual enrollment from Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses in the area high schools into the Engineering Technology programs at the College. The second project developed and made available alternative energy modules to both secondary schools and colleges. These modules could be incorporated into existing courses or used as components of an alternative energy course. The current project includes professional development in robotics for K-12 teachers, summer camps for middle and high school students, and the development of two courses in robotics that are components of the Middle College curriculum and the College’s Mechatronics program. Specific details of the pathways established or enhanced by each of the projects will be presented during the poster session along with descriptions of outreach activities and metrics showing the success of each project.

Resources to be shared include models of curriculum pathways, programs of study, examples of Middle College programs with connections to STEM education both at the College and at the state and regional level. Information on the e-learning platform that is hosted by the College to provide statewide access to the materials and the system used for producing the online courses will also be shared.

Payne, J. E., & Payne, L. L., & Murphy, C. R. (2017, June), Board # 105 : Developing a Pipeline for Students from Rural High Schools into Engineering Technology and Mechatronics at a Two-Year College (NSF-ATE Projects) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27676

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