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NSF ATE California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education (CREATE) Renewable Energy Center

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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



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Page Numbers

22.1108.1 - 22.1108.6



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Kathleen Alfano College of the Canyons

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Kathleen Alfano is the Director and principal investigator of the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) CREATE Regional Center of Excellence and has led the ten college consortium CREATE (California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education) since its development in 1996-1997. She served as a Program Director and co-lead for the ATE Program at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA in 2007 - 2008 and previously as Dean of Academic Computing and Professional Programs and continues to be a faculty member at College of the Canyons. She has over twenty-five years of successful faculty leadership, administration of technical departments, and leadership of State and Federal curriculum projects, especially in the areas of technical education. Dr. Alfano has a B.S. in Chemistry, M.S. in Education, and a Ph.D. from UCLA in Higher Education and Adult Development.

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The goal of the |NSF ATE CREATE Renewable Energy Regional Center is to address thedemonstrated high demand for renewable energy technicians in southern and central California asa multi-County consortium. The Center has objectives in five areas: 1) the development andrefinement of modular in-class, on-line, and hybrid renewable energy curricula integrated intodegree pathways concentrating on the areas of wind and solar photovoltaic and thermaltechnologies and energy efficiency and management that are tied to industry skills standards andcertifications; 2) development and implementation of a technical teacher professionaldevelopment program in renewable energy which will allow community college, high schoolteachers, and industry professionals recruited to be teachers to acquire the technical knowledgeand certifications and pedagogical skills to teach renewable energy in their classrooms; 3)develop and implement a 2+2+2 pathway through partnership with high schools and universitiesto allow students interested in renewable energy careers to have a defined career ladder withmultiple exit points integrated with industry certifications and college certificate and degreeattainment; 4) conduct continuous assessment and evaluation with imbedded targeted research ofcurricular and professional development strategies to ensure that student, faculty, and industrygoals are attained; and, 5) disseminate both the products and the partnership process to maximizethe impact both regionally and nationally.The CREATE faculty team has met monthly since 1996 to develop curricula, share equipmentand expertise, conduct joint professional development, and work with employers together for thebenefit of their students and their programs. The new renewable energy curricula is tied toindustry and degree skills standards and certifications through a rigorous, documented DACUMprocess of testing regionally skills standards developed in cooperation with national leaders ofindustry in renewable energy. The consortia has acted as a strong advocate for AS and BStechnical degree programs for the region and will be able to have new technical BS programssponsored by CREATE in operation in year four in cooperation with California State Universityand UC partners. CREATE also develops, adapts, and disseminates curricula and material toother colleges needing support in the areas of renewable energy (specializing in wind and solarand electromechanical technologies).The CREATE colleges act as demonstration sites for regional technical workshops that pilot testnew curricula or delivery systems and innovative professional development, especially in the areaof technical teacher training. Over 25,000 students have completed at least one CREATE-developed credit course. All CREATE courses apply to a degree and/or certificate. The strongpartnerships with renewable energy employers, State agencies, and programs across the countrywill aid fulfillment of the high demonstrated technician need by a diverse and gender balancedstudent and faculty base. The 10 consortium colleges are a diverse mix of rural, suburban, andurban and HSI community colleges serving 9 counties to promote greater access to the highpaying renewable energy jobs for the underrepresented and gender equality for renewable energycareers.

Alfano, K. (2011, June), NSF ATE California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education (CREATE) Renewable Energy Center Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18347

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