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Creating Pathways to Stackable Credentials in Robotics: Meeting Industry Needs by Manufacturing a Community College and University Partnership

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Two-Year to Four-Year Transfer Programs: Best Practices

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

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Paper Authors


Mark Bradley Kinney Bay de Noc Community College

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Mark Kinney became the Executive Dean for Business, Technology, and Workforce Development in July of 2012, but first came to Bay College as the Executive Director of Institutional Research and
Effectiveness in February 2009. Prior to that, Mark served as the Dean for Computer Information Systems and Technology at Baker College of Cadillac and as the Chief Operating Officer and network administrator at Forest Area Federal Credit Union. He has taught a wide range of courses in the computer information systems discipline and holds certifications in both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. Mark has a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in
Computer Information Systems from Baker College, as well as a Bachelor’s in Business Leadership and an Associate’s of Business from Baker College. Currently, Mark is completing his dissertation in fulfillment of the requirements of a
Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.

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Aleksandr Sergeyev Michigan Technological University

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Aleksandr Sergeyev is currently an Associate
Professor in the Electrical Engineering
Technology program in the
School of Technology at Michigan Technological
University. Dr. Aleksandr
Sergeyev earned his bachelor degree in
Electrical Engineering at Moscow University
of Electronics and Automation in
1995. He obtained the Master degree
in Physics from Michigan Technological
University in 2004 and the PhD degree in Electrical Engineering
from Michigan Technological University in 2007.
Dr. Aleksandr Sergeyev’s research interests include high
energy laser propagation through the turbulent atmosphere,
developing advanced control algorithms for wavefront sensing
and mitigating effects of the turbulent atmosphere, digital
inline holography, digital signal processing, and laser spectroscopy. Dr. Sergeyev is a member of ASEE, IEEE, SPIE and is actively involved in promoting engineering education.

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Scott A Kuhl Michigan Technological University

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Scott Kuhl is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cognitive & Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 2009. His research interests include immersive virtual environments, head-mounted displays, and spatial perception. A link to his web page can be found at

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Mark Norman Highum Bay College

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Mark Highum is currently the Division Chair for Technology at Bay College. He is the Lead Instructor for Mechatronics and Robotics Systems and also teaches courses in the Computer Network Systems and Security degree. Mark holds a Master's in Career and Technical Education (Highest Distinction) from Ferris State University, and a Bachelor's in Workforce Education and Development (Summa Cum Laude) from Southern Illinois University.
Mark is a retired Chief Electronics Technician (Submarines) and served and taught as part of the Navy's Nuclear Power Program.
Mark is active with SkillsUSA and has been on the National Education Team for Mechatronics since 2004.

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Especially in rural locales like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, students and employers alike can struggle in their search to find STEM-based educational opportunities and the qualified graduates that result from them. Thanks to an innovative partnership between Bay de Noc Community College and Michigan Technological University, however, students are being provided with new opportunities to receive a quality education in the fields of mechatronics and robotics. By co-developing robotics curriculum and partnering on a number of grant applications to procure equipment, Bay de Noc Community College (commonly known as Bay College) and Michigan Tech have created a replicable student pathway that can result in a certificate in mechatronics, an associate’s degree in mechatronics and robotic systems, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering technology.

This pathway could not come at a better time, as the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) projects 1.9 to 3.5 million jobs related to robotics will be created in the next eight years. In order to help meet this employer demand, Bay College and Michigan Tech have developed state-of-the-art training labs featuring FANUC robots and articulation agreements between the institutions that will allow students to begin pursuing a high-tech education and career as early as high school. Furthermore, stand-alone programs are being developed to train and certify students from other institutions, industry representatives, and other educators; a new robotic simulation software known as “RobotRun” is being developed to aid in instruction; and a variety of workshops aimed at K-12 teachers and students, industry personnel, and other postsecondary educators will be offered. Resources and best practices that have resulted from this partnership will be shared widely in order to help others around the country replicate this innovative pathway that provides students with a quality education and employers with STEM graduates who are ready for the workforce.

Kinney, M. B., & Sergeyev, A., & Kuhl, S. A., & Highum, M. N. (2016, June), Creating Pathways to Stackable Credentials in Robotics: Meeting Industry Needs by Manufacturing a Community College and University Partnership Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26605

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