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m-Outreach for Engineering Continuing Education: A Model for University-Company Collaboration

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Innovative Adult and Technology Enhanced Programs

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1028.1 - 22.1028.17



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Paper Authors


Gale Tenen Spak New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Gale Tenen Spak is Associate Vice President of Continuing and Distance Education at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey. She has extensive experience in the area of professional workforce development and continuing education programs and writes and broadly presents on these subjects. Her experience includes managing, developing, marketing, proposal writing, evaluating and implementing programs for professionals who require new education and training to keep their skill at the cutting edge. The programs she designs involve collaborations among academe, industry, and government; and utilize, as appropriate, online instruction. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and Master of Science from Yale University, and her Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, phi beta kappa, in Political Science from Brooklyn College of City University of New York.
Before joining NJIT, Dr. Spak was Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Education at New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York, and, during America’s first energy crisis, served as the Director of the Center for Energy Policy and Research. In the later capacity, she managed federally-funded energy information and technology transfer programs in the United States and abroad; and wrote various reports distributed by the U.S. Department of Energy to every Governor and State energy official to facilitate energy efficiency information outreach activities. She also developed a Masters Degree Program in Energy Management and a combined Bachelors/Masters Degree Program in Architectural Technology and Energy Management which emphasized “green” education.
Her recent experiences include providing expert testimony to the NJ State Legislature regarding the capacity of NJ’s four-year colleges to rapidly retool professionals for new positions in the 21st century during an economic downturn. Other experiences include serving as a key strategy lead for the U.S. Department of Labor’s $5.1M grant to North Jersey under the Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative.

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Peter Schmitt Schmitt & Associates, LLC

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Peter Schmitt has extensive experience in both academia and industry.

He started out with a study of physics at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany. He did his Ph.D. at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron) in Hamburg and work at CERN (Geneva) as a postdoctoral research assistant for
Harvard University.

Peter Schmitt went into industry starting as project manager for the development or car phones at AEG in Ulm. In 1995 he moved to the United States to work for BASF in various IT positions, among them Director of Infrastructure in the U.S. and Project Leader for SAP implementations.

In 2003, Peter Schmitt founded his own company Schmitt & Associates, which provides Online Training for the industry as well as reporting and analysis tools for business processes.

Peter Schmitt has taught at NJIT as adjunct professor and is a member of the ASTD.

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Cesar Bandera Cell Podium LLC

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Cesar Bandera is a founding partner of Cell Podium, an m-learning and m-health company situated on the Newark campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has deployed enterprise and public mobile multimedia campaigns for NIEHS, CDC, EPA, and several universities and private organizations. Dr. Bandera received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University at Buffalo, NY. His work in the field of multimedia has yielded a Small Business of the Year Nomination from the US Air Force, 2007 NJ Entrepreneur award, a NASA Space Act award, various patents and publications, and six Ph.D. graduates.

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Protective Training through M-Outreach: Model for University Corporate CollaborationA prevalent channel today to convey educational content is the cell phone. Cell phones caninstantly present learners with rich media (text, audio, images and video), opening newopportunities for “just-in-time” education. [University] Continuing Professional Education and[company] are partnering to address this opportunity and reliably deliver multimedia lessons tothe cell phones of professionals both on-the-job and in more traditional continuing educationcourses. The collaboration’s goal is to leverage the unique attributes of a new m-outreachtechnology in appropriate learning situations so as to effectively link educational coursework toindustry needs. By so doing, workplace knowledge both of incumbent and unemployedprofessionals can be improved.The paper describes technical aspects of the new m-outreach tool and its pilot evaluatedapplication in training emergency health and safety responders. It presents a framework forunderstanding ways in which university-company collaborations take shape; and, after placingthis example within the framework, discusses variables facilitating success for all partiesconcerned—the collaborating company/university and learners.[Company], a tenant in [university] high tech business incubator, holds the technology to pushmultimedia training to cell phones regardless of the carrier or model of the phone and thus todeliver relevant theme-specific videos to users’ cell phones without their intervention (e.g., nobrowsing for information). With nothing more than cell phones, learners are able to replay andforward lessons either directly or via any social networking web site. Unlike the constraints oftext messaging, multimedia lessons can contain video and animations with voice narration.[University] which originated 130 years ago to serve the needs of [city, state] manufacturers.Today, alumni represent 25% of the engineers working in a State known for high technologycompanies. Having developed the first “Virtual Classroom®” computer system in the 1980’s,[university] provides education to its students—both youth and professionals—often using thelatest e-learning techniques.Making this technique particularly attractive to continuing education is [company’s] success withdemonstrating its utility to the US Department of Health and Human Services for training mobileemergency responders at a practice exercise replicating a real emergency. In particular, thetechnique helped overcome the challenge to providing incident responders with detailed andaccurate training on chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosives agents throughevent alert; safety, chemical threat and preparedness instructions; site coordination; and liveincident pictures and videos.With its potential as a valuable m-outreach service in one subject area demonstrated, [company]and [university] will be pursuing the tool’s use to educate other workforces on this and othersubjects. Guiding next steps are the analysis [university] has done to better understand differentmodels of university/company collaboration and then the placement of this partnership in anappropriate context so as to maximize the likelihood of overall success concurrently forprofessional education and commercial business growth.

Spak, G. T., & Schmitt, P., & Bandera, C. (2011, June), m-Outreach for Engineering Continuing Education: A Model for University-Company Collaboration Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18306

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