New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Career Pathways is a Workforce Development (WFD) program that is supported by State government to instill specific skillsets in K-12 students. Thus, Career pathways generally consist of partnerships between K-12 school districts, community colleges, four-year universities and community-based workforce investment boards. The overall goal is to bridge the gap between industry-needed skills and those attained through schooling. The expected outcome is the transition of students into industry after high school, transfer into a community college, or seek a 4-year college degree. Regardless of the career pathway outcome, the WFD program will inculcate hands-on practical skills in participants. These skills were included based on industry feedback about the gap between current graduates’ skills and those expected in the field of practice. The skills were also echoed in the infamous ‘Engineer of 2020’ report by the National Academy of Engineers. As a result, the career pathways program includes programs and services that addresses this gap and increases the employability of students; thus helping to fill jobs, particularly in the high-tech industry. The overall emphasis of this effort is on the engineering profession, in which that the responsibilities and expectations from an employee in the 21st century is significantly different from those required of decades ago. At XYZ University, the authors of the paper have collaborated with a local community college, two local school districts and a local workforce development investment center to create two separate pathways focused on Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship as well as Digital Manufacturing. The first pathway, i.e. Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ingrains the entrepreneurial mindset and up-to-date tools used by industry in all the participants (future workforce). Through this career pathway, students are enabled to keep up with the changing demands of industry in the 21st century. On the other hand, the Digital Manufacturing pathway introduces K-12 students to basic design skills by means of The Engineering Design Process through 3D additive manufacturing. Specifically, participants learn Computer-Aided Design in SolidWorks while gaining hands-on and practical skills in realizing their design using the 3D printing rapid prototyping machines. In addition, students work in groups to gain teamwork skills, collaborate on interdisciplinary projects such assistive technology, and communicate their ideas in visual (e.g., modeling and drawing), oral (e.g., presentations and interactive discussion), and written (e.g. reports) media. The Engineering Design Process and 3D printing are used as core pedagogies in this pathway because they proliferated the biomedical, robotics, and aerospace industries. Thus, the high school students trained in such pathways are gaining and sharpening their soft and hard skills to prepare for successful long-term employment in the engineering practice. In this paper, the authors will discuss the development of these pathways and how they are being currently implemented with a focus on continuous improvement.
Gandhi, S. J., & Nandikolla, V. K., & Youssef, G., & Bishay, P. L. (2016, June), Using Career Pathways to Assimilate High School Students into the Engineering Profession Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27136
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