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Meeting STEM Workforce Demand in a Statewide Rural Community College Collaborative

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Two-year College STEM Programs Meeting the Needs of Industry

Tagged Division

Two-Year College

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Caroline Vaningen-Dunn Science Foundation Arizona

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Caroline VanIngen-Dunn is Director of Community College STEM Pathways at Science Foundation Arizona, providing services for Maximizing the Educational and Economic Impact of STEM. Ms. VanIngen-Dunn is the inspiration behind the programs and resources designed to assist community colleges, particularly rural and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), through a rigorous process leading to improvements in their capacity building, infrastructure, and proposal development efforts that support students in their STEM education and career pathways pursuits.

Prior to Science Foundation Arizona, Ms. VanIngen-Dunn served as President of CVID Consulting, building on years of experience as engineer and project manager in human crashworthiness and safety design, development and testing, working for contractors in commuter rail, aerospace and defense industries.

VanIngen-Dunn has an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a BSE degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa. She serves on the University of Iowa's College of Engineering Advisory Board, the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix Board of Directors, and the Maricopa Community College Workforce Development Leadership & Innovation Council, among other advisory committees.

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Phil Blake McBride Eastern Arizona College

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Phil McBride received a B.S. from the University of Arizona in 1986, a M.A.T. in 1989 from Northern Arizona University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Miami University in 2003. He taught high school in Northern Arizona for 5 years before moving to Eastern Arizona College in 1991 to teach chemistry. He was recognized by the EAC Student Association as the most admired faculty in 1993, received the Alumni Faculty Recognition award in 1996, the distinguished service award in 1997, and in 2008 received the Rocky Mountain Region College Educator Award for Excellence in Teaching by the American Chemical Society. He has presented at the Southeastern Arizona Teachers Academy, the ASTA Annual Conference, NSTA, ACS, and the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education (BCCE). He is a member of ASTA, NSTA, AAPT, ACS, and 2YC3. He is the current membership secretary of ASTA, a position which he has held since 2010. He has been a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for the past 20 years. For the past 11 years, he has served as Dean of Instruction, while continuing to teach at least one course each semester.

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Cynthia Kay Pickering Science Foundation Arizona Orcid 16x16

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Cynthia Pickering is a retired electrical engineer with 35 years industry experience and technical leadership in software development, artificial intelligence, information technology architecture/engineering, and collaboration systems research.

In September 2015, she joined Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) to lead the Girls in STEM initiative and translate her passion for STEM into opportunities that will attract, inspire and retain more girls in STEM to make it the new norm. She has also architected SFAz's enhanced Community College STEM Pathways Guide that has received the national STEMx seal of approval for STEM tools. She integrated the STEM Pathways Guide with the KickStarter processes for improving competitive proposal writing of Community College Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Throughout her career, Ms. Pickering has written robotics software, diagnostic expert systems for space station, manufacturing equipment models, and architected complex IT systems for global collaboration that included engagement analytics. She holds a US Patent # 7904323, Multi-Team Immersive Integrated Collaboration Workspace awarded 3/8/2011. She also has twenty-five peer-reviewed publications.

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Verlyn Fick Cochise College

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Dr. Verlyn Fick is the executive vice president and provost at Cochise College in southeastern Arizona. He has served as a principle investigator for National Science Foundation projects in collaboration with Science Foundation Arizona and several Arizona community colleges. These projects emphasize STEM pathways, specifically improving the success of engineering students as they pursue degrees from high school through graduate school. He has worked at other community colleges in Iowa and North Dakota as an administrator and a faculty member. Fick obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University and BS degrees in Agronomy and in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota.

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Judith M. Slisz Judith Slisz Consulting

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Judith Slisz has served as an external evaluator for NSF projects since 2011, working in concert with Science Foundation Arizona. She has contributed to the development of Advanced Technology Education projects and evaluated the effectiveness of these projects. She has also served as a reviewer of papers submitted to the International Mechanical Engineering Congress. She holds a master's degree in English and an MBA. She has over twenty years experience in higher education administration.

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John Morgan Yavapai College

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John H Morgan – Biographical Sketch

(a) Professional Preparation

Undergraduate Institution: University of Arizona, Agriculture, Bachelor of Science, 1989
Graduate Institution: University of Phoenix, Administration and Supervision, Master of Arts, 2005

(b) Appointments

2/2011 to Present: Dean, School of Career and Technical Education, Yavapai Community College.

8/2005 to 2/2011: Dean, Chino Valley and CTEC Campuses, Yavapai Community College.

7/2000 to 8/2005: Associate Dean and Agriculture Professor, Chino Valley Campus.

7/1999 to 7/2000: Agribusiness Program Director and Faculty, Agribusiness and Science Technology Center, Yavapai Community College

7/1989 to 7/1999: Agriculture Instructor and CTE Director, Chino Valley High School

6/1986 to 6/1989: Research Assistant, U.S.D.A. Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, Az

(c) Publications
A list of: (i) up to five publications most closely related to the proposed project: No information to report.

and (ii) up to five other significant publications, whether or not related to the proposed project:

1. John H. Morgan. “Potential Sustainable Energy uses from Depleted Forests in the Prescott Basin”,
Council for Economic Development in the Tri-City area, September, 2003
2. John H. Morgan. “Developing a Sustainable Economy for Yavapai County”, Verde Valley Sustainable
Economic Development Summit, January, 2004
3. John H. Morgan.“Water as a resource – To conserve or not to Conserve”, Yavapai County Sustainable Economics Forum,
4. John H. Morgan and Mike Henry.“Supervised Experience: Urban Diversity Rural Style”, National Agricultural Education Magazine, December, 1991, Volume 64, Number 6
5. John H. Morgan. “Teaching Aquaculture at the Secondary Levels”, Arizona Aquaculture Magazine, September Edition, 1995

(d) Synergistic Activities

1. Directed college initiative to develop Applied Pre-engineering program and Integrated Systems Engineering program.
2. Developed 21 programs at Yavapai College in the Career and Technical Education areas with strong ties to engineering and advanced manufacturing principles.
3. Member of Articulation Task Force for statewide Agriculture initiative.
4. Served as advisory board member to the Mountain Institute Joint Technological District.
5. Established 12 major corporate partnerships for Yavapai College.
6. Participated in first AZ Science Foundation Initiative to develop STEM programs for rural community colleges in Arizona.
7. Chaired college committee for initiation of online education delivery standards.

(e) Collaborators & Other Affiliations
• Collaborators and Co-Editors. No information to report.

• Graduate Advisors and Postdoctoral Sponsors. No information to report

• Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor. No information to report.

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Across Arizona’s rural community colleges, administrators and faculty have been convening as a Rural Community College STEM Collaborative to develop and deliver programs for their STEM Pathways initiatives and increase the number of rural students pursuing STEM in support of the local and state workforce pipeline. The collaborative of eight rural Arizona community colleges is facilitated by a non-profit 501(3)(c) whose charter includes K-Career STEM education and a team with focus on Community College STEM Pathways. At the onset of this program, funded by NSF in Fall 2014, all eight colleges were awarded a 3-yr grant (totaling on average $75K per college). The collaborative convened regularly to share knowledge and discuss STEM Pathway gaps, outcomes, and best practices. Over the course of this collaboration, the representatives have developed a trust and a bond that led to sharing of ideas and best practices, as well as a recognition of common challenges that would be better addressed together rather than alone.

Early on, the collaborative agreed to establish a shared definition of STEM - in terms of the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Codes developed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This enabled common STEM metrics and data collection methods to measure student participation in the agreed-upon areas of focus (engineering, engineering technology, and computer science). In Fall 2014, the program's external evaluators designed a baseline survey that was completed by each college. The survey requested data on key measures reflecting the colleges’ implementation of interventions to increase students in the STEM pipeline and aligned to a previously developed STEM Pathway Model.

Over the period of the grant there was heightened interest and commitment to collect demographic information on students participating in outreach events, students enrolled in early college programs, and students enrolled in degree and certificate programs. There were also refinements in the categories of data collected and improvements in the accuracy and completeness of the data collection. Member colleges became deeply committed to collecting and analyzing the data and, increasingly, saw the value and the power of the data to drive decision-making and new and expanded initiatives. A formal STEM Metrics Suite was established that has served as a tool for annual data collection, a repository for longitudinal analysis, and formatted statistical data.

Overall, colleges participating in the collaborative have seen significant year to year student increases in the STEM pipeline via outreach, early college programs, internships, and students enrolled in and completing degree and certificate programs, serving as the achievement measure for STEM pipeline progress and success. The colleges have enhanced their leadership role in their communities through outreach events, workshops for K-12 teachers, and STEM kit and equipment donations to area schools. They have increasingly leveraged industry partners to provide students with internship opportunities and participate in outreach events. Moving forward, the colleges have agreed to address a common problem: overcoming the barriers that technicians face in achieving the math credits required to earn their technician certification and/or associates degree.

Vaningen-Dunn, C., & McBride, P. B., & Pickering, C. K., & Fick, V., & Slisz, J. M., & Morgan, J. (2018, June), Meeting STEM Workforce Demand in a Statewide Rural Community College Collaborative Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30804

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