St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.126.1 - 5.126.7
Bridging the Technical Competency Gap: An Innovative Approach to High-Tech Education for the New Millennium
Dr. Greg E. Maksi State Technical Institute at Memphis
The traditional public high school is not satisfying the industrial high-tech needs demanded by the highly competitive global marketplace. A “technical competency gap” exists between industry and public high school education. The Mechanical/Industrial Engineering Technology Division of State Technical Institute at Memphis has developed an innovative approach to help “bridge” this technical competency gap. Dual-credit courses, school-to-work programs, college transfer credit, and resource sharing are all involved in the State Tech endeavor. This paper will explain how this innovative approach develops qualified manufacturing technicians and engineers to serve the Memphis community for the new millennium.
The new global marketplace has forced industry to restructure to a more technology-intensive work environment in order to meet the demands of customers and competition. New technologies are constantly emerging requiring companies to hire more highly skilled, well- educated, and technically flexible employees. However, most of our public high schools are not able to meet these New World demands because of their rigid political structure, lack of hi-tech equipment, lack of highly technical instructional expertise, and lack of a rigorous, relevant course curriculum. In fact, seventy percent of our public high school graduates will not graduate from a four-year college or university and will struggle to develop a long-term career of substantial wage growth and advancement opportunities. The traditional public high school system is not satisfying the high-tech needs demanded by the New World, thus creating a “technical competency gap” between industry and public high school education.
Furthermore, the traditional path from high school to college is no longer working effectively. In order to attend college, most young men and women must work at low skilled, low wage jobs taking at least eight years to get a four-year degree and four years to get a two-year degree. For many, the financial burden is too great with the cost of education continuously increasing and the time span too long for their education to be technically relevant in this rapidly changing high-tech New World. The Industrial / Mechanical Engineering Technology Division of State Technical Institute at Memphis (STIM) has developed an innovative High-Tech, Step-By-Step, School/Career Approach which is helping to elevate the high-tech manufacturing skill level of the Memphis and Shelby County labor force. This innovative Step-By-Step Approach can be adapted to other cities and communities. It is a seamless series of industrially endorsed certificate programs centering at the community college level, connecting to the high school
Maksi, G. E. (2000, June), Bridging The Technical Competency Gap: An Innovative Approach To High Tech Education For The New Millennium Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8186
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