June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
College Industry Partnerships
24.1244.1 - 24.1244.8
The Seamless Pathway: A Partnership Between Community, Industry, and AcademiaManufacturing is the dominant economic activity within southeastern Indiana. Nearly 1 in 3employed citizens within a ten county region of this part of the state are directly employed bymanufacturing companies. The local workforce, however, has not improved to satisfy the need ofthose employers and a local initiative, Economic Opportunities through Education by 2015(EcO15), was created in 2008 to address that deficiency. The main objective of the initiative wasto move residents up one level in their education, training, and/or job placement. One of theprogram’s primary successes was bringing Project Lead the Way (PLTW) programs and classesto every public high school in the ten-county region. PLTW is a pre-engineering, high schoolcurriculum that promotes engineering careers through a rigorous curriculum of engineeringdesign and analysis. Since 2008, student enrollment in PLTW classes in this mostly rural, 10-county region has increased over 900 percent while overall STEM enrollment has increased 30percent. High school graduation rates have also increased over that period from 80.9 percent to86.5 percent.The EcO15 initiative also created a program called the Seamless Pathway that endeavored tocreate certain pathways from high school to college to employment at a manufacturing company.As part of that program, the local university faculty are engaged with teachers and students attwo of the local high schools. A faculty member is team-teaching a PLTW course calledComputer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). Teachers and students spend a part of the year onthe local campus utilizing computer numerical control (CNC) and measurement tools notavailable on the high school campus. There have also been significant investments in post-secondary education in the area because of this program. For the local university, this hasspecifically meant a new, environmentally-controlled metrology lab, a new CNC mill, and a newCNC lathe. These investments have given the faculty the means of engaging these types ofSTEM courses offered in high schools and developing the post-secondary curriculum toincorporate these investments.This paper describes the Seamless Pathway in detail. This paper describes how communityeducational leaders, industry, and academia have partnered together through this program toenhance the learning opportunities for local students and meet the workforce educational needsof industry. The administrative challenges and faculty experiences will be presented anddiscussed. The outcomes and successes of the program will be shared as well as the challenges.The paper will conclude by discussing where the program is headed and how the partnershipsformed because of this program is benefitting industry and academia.
Creasy, M. A., & Fuehne, J. P. (2014, June), The Seamless Pathway: A Partnership Between Community, Industry, and Academia Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23177
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