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 Birds of a Feather Sessions 

Thursday, October 28
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

 

The 2010 ATE Birds of a Feather sessions feature a common structure to address a set of overarching questions centered on the conference theme, “ATE Student Success: Building a Diverse and Entrepreneurial Workforce.”  The goals of these sessions are to identify key issues and promising strategies for building a diverse and entrepreneurial workforce from across the ATE community, as well as identify measures for effectively gauging progress.

 For the sessions, ATE conference participants will separate according to the disciplinary group that most closely aligns with the focus of their ATE project or center. (For projects and centers that are multidisciplinary in scope, team members are encouraged to split up among the different disciplinary groups to maximize networking and contribute to discussion within a broader section of the ATE community.) 

Within each disciplinary group meeting room, participants will then choose a table that focuses on either underserved populations or workplace and entrepreneurial skills.  Guided by a facilitator, each group will use a scenario-based learning exercise to discuss a common set of questions.  The small groups will then work together to synthesize their responses for a summary to present to the full room.  Reports from all of the disciplinary groups will be combined by ATE Conference staff following the sessions.  A brief synthesis of the discussion outcomes will be presented at Friday morning's plenary.  A more detailed report will be prepared and distributed after the conference.

AACC and NSF thank you for participating in this high visibility, high quality, and high stakes opportunity to learn from the ATE community! 

  

SCENARIO FOR DISCUSSION


In recognition of your outstanding leadership and accomplishments as an entrepreneurial educator, you have been recruited to serve on a joint AACC/NSF Blue Ribbon Task Force. The task force has received disturbing information:

National surveys of employers indicate that employers want intelligent, conscientious, diverse, hard-working, responsible, ethical, strong problem-solvers who work well in groups, communicate effectively, take charge of their own growth, and understand organizational and business contexts.  Employers are dismayed that most postsecondary students currently are not getting the foundational, technical, and 21st century skills needed for the workplace.

Additional research shows that both technical educational programs and the U.S. technical workforce do not reflect the overall demographics of the U.S. population.  Organizations representing women, various ethnic and racial groups, older students, low-income populations, and people with disabilities or different learning styles are voicing concerns about how poorly our current educational systems serves them. 

Your Blue Ribbon Task Force must either :

  Design pedagogical systems to provide relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences to enable graduates to hit the ground running and be successful quickly as members of the technical workforce in real-world, global organizations.  To meet this effort, the following questions must be addressed.

a.       What are the key issues, concepts, and constraints involved in preparing technicians with workplace and entrepreneurial skills?

b.      What are the promising strategies, quality practices, and resources being used to optimally prepare technicians with these skills?

c.       How do we measure success in preparing technicians with workplace and entrepreneurial skills?

 OR

Design solutions to successfully attract, serve, and develop people for the U.S. technical workforce from traditionally underrepresented groups and the underserved populations described above.  To meet this effort, the following questions must be addressed.

a.       What are the key issues, concepts, and constraints involved in attracting and serving traditionally underrepresented and diverse student populations in preparing them for the workforce?

b.      What are the promising strategies, quality practices, and resources being used to meet the needs of underrepresented and diverse student populations in preparing them for the workforce?

c.       How do we measure success in attracting and serving underrepresented and diverse student populations in preparing them for the workforce?

 

The input of each member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force is crucial—NSF and AACC greatly value your opinions and contributions.  The discussions will be captured and synthesized to produce a report detailing promising strategies and resources in building a diverse and entrepreneurial U.S. workforce.

  

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