Asee peer logo

Board 160: Resources and Partnerships for Community College Engineering and Technology Programs

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


Karen Wosczyna-Birch Connecticut College of Technology/Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing

visit author page

Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch is the Executive Director and Principal Investigator of the Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing, an National Science Foundation Center of Excellence. She is the State Director for the College of Technology, a seamless pathway in technology and engineering from all 12 public community colleges to 8 public and private universities. Dr. Wosczyna-Birch has expertise with both the recruitment and persistence of under represented populations, especially women, to pursue careers in engineering and technological disciplines. She has presented at numerous conferences throughout the United States and was an invited speaker at the international Gender Summit in Belgium in 2016.

visit author page


Wendy Robicheau Connecticut College of Technology-Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing

visit author page

Wendy has been Project Manager with the College of Technology – Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing since 2012. In that time she has developed a passion for making middle and high school students, faculty and counselors aware of the educational and career pathways that are possible in STEM and manufacturing through various outreach programs. She enjoys organizing outreach initiatives such as student symposiums, counselor workshops, and any other opportunities to spread the word about career pathways in STEM.

Wendy has published and presented papers for the IEEE Integrated STEM Conference as well as other national conferences through her work with the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Program. She has also participated in Women in STEM initiatives such as the CWEALF Girls and STEM Expos as well as their Roundtable Discussion on the Retention and Success of Women in STEM and enjoys participating in this important movement.

Currently, Wendy is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Student Development in Higher Education at Central Connecticut State University with the goal of creating initiatives that expand students’ knowledge of educational and career pathways in STEM. Her focus is on students from populations that are typically underrepresented in STEM fields, including females.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing (RCNGM), a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence, was created in 2004 with funding from the National Science Foundation’s DUE - Advanced Technological Education Program to educate manufacturing technicians with necessary skills required by industry. The Connecticut community colleges under the RCNGM continuously partner with other community colleges, universities, and industry in New England and at the national and international levels to provide support and expertise to students and educators in engineering and technology programs.

The RCNGM is overseen by a the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities' (CSCU) College of Technology (COT), a consortium of all twelve public community colleges in the State, eight public and private universities; technical and comprehensive high schools; and representatives from industry. Eight of the community colleges have new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers (AMTC) that were recently expanded through a US Department of Labor grant. The COT began in 1995 through state legislation to create seamless pathways in engineering and technology from certificates and A.S. degrees to B.S. degrees. The pathways have multiple points of entry and exit for job placement and stackable credentials for degree completion, including national certifications that have increased enrollments and created program stability. The COT is led by the Site Coordinators Council that meets monthly and consists of faculty and deans from all member institutions and representatives from industry and government. The Council identifies and reviews new programs based on industry needs. This model led to the NSF funding in 2004 to create the RCNGM and the award of New England Board of Higher Education’s 2012 State Merit Award.

One focus of the RCNGM is program and curriculum development in order to produce a skilled workforce in response to industry needs. The RCNGM has conducted a biannual survey of manufacturing workforce needs in Connecticut, which educators use to identify curricular needs and to support funding proposals for programs. One community college was able to use the survey to create new programs including an additive manufacturing certificate to be offered in its new manufacturing building that includes a metal 3D printer. The RCNGM also partners with other NSF grants and entities such as Manufacturing USA Institutes, specifically with three of the institutes working to create collaborations among government, academia, and industry. In 2018, the COT and RCNGM were able to develop and implement an expedited process for replicating existing technology programs among all twelve state community colleges. A new Manufacturing Technology Instructor Position was also created in response to the need for experienced technicians as instructors in community colleges manufacturing classrooms and laboratories.

The RCNGM also produced DVDs profiling students who completed RCNGM programs and work in manufacturing companies. The Manufacture Your Future 2.0 and the You Belong: Women in Manufacturing DVDs are distributed nationally to high school and community college educators, counselors, and administrators to increase knowledge of career opportunities in manufacturing.

Wosczyna-Birch, K., & Robicheau, W. (2019, June), Board 160: Resources and Partnerships for Community College Engineering and Technology Programs Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32281

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