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Building a Student-to-Workforce Pipeline for 21st Century Cloud Industry Careers

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Workforce Preparation at the Two-year College

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

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Paper Authors


Elodie Billionniere Miami Dade College Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Elodie Billionniere is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at Miami Dade College (MDC). She has helped MDC secure over $3 million in federal funding the past three years for STEM and emerging technology education programs as well as a collaborative high tech learning hub, Cloud Computing Center, with the aim of providing further opportunities to minoritized populations to meet workforce needs. With industry partners, she has been instrumental in the creation of new educational pathways in Enterprise Cloud Computing, which are unique in the state of Florida. She is the Lead Faculty for these programs. She holds several industry certifications, including PMP, ScrumMaster, AWS Certified Solutions Architect, and AWS Certified Big Data. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University.

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Lawrence Eric Meyer Jr Miami Dade Community College Orcid 16x16

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Mr. Lawrence Eric Meyer is an Associate Professor Senior in thte School of Engineering and Technology at Miami Dade College (MDC). He has been working as the Co-PI on the Dade Enterprise Cloud Computing Initiative (DECCI) cloud grant providing cloud educational opportunities to high school and minority underserved populations. He assisted in the creation of MDC’s current cloud curriculum and has been awarded a $600,000 ATE NSF grant to create an advanced cloud degree program for upskilling and reskilling the regional workforce. Holding AWS Solutions Architect and Developer certifications, along with Azure and Google cloud he is leading the effort into multi-cloud implementations for education in DevOps and Data Analytics.

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Cloud migration has accelerated and companies around the world are investing their technological future with the cloud. Given the growing industry demand for cloud related skills, Miami Dade College partnered with the industry leader in cloud computing solutions Amazon Web Services (AWS). In conjunction with AWS, we developed a new cloud-based learning curriculum designed to provide an academic gateway for the next generation of computing technicians to meet local and national workforce demands. The recruitment population focused on predominantly minoritized and low-income populations. This certificate-based curriculum is designed as stackable for both the successful completion of a College Credit Certificate and/or an Associate of Science in Networking Technology with a concentration in Enterprise Cloud Computing.

The curriculum was developed in alignment with industry needs and utilizes high impact educational practices. The cloud computing programs prepare students to potentially earn an academic credential and globally recognized industry certifications at the entry (college credit certificate) and associate levels. Ensuring students are offered the highest standard of training, faculty members completed professional development in cloud computing, earning industry-recognized credentials to become AWS-accredited instructors. The current cohort of faculty certified to teach in the AWS Academy is the largest group of certified instructors in the academic arena.

The inclusion of industry standard certifications from major cloud providers allows for consistency of program evaluation and instructors assessment of student work and course comprehension. The net effect of these certifications is not only earned degrees, but employer ability to validate prospective employee skill and knowledge outside of an academic environment.

This paper presents the approach followed in developing in-depth, project-based learning opportunities using cutting-edge technology for the new academic pathway in cloud literacy and the program outcomes. A discussion on the best practices and lessons learned while implementing the first year of the program is included.

Billionniere, E., & Meyer, L. E. (2021, July), Building a Student-to-Workforce Pipeline for 21st Century Cloud Industry Careers Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36764

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