Highlighting and examining the importance of authentic industry examples in a workforce development certificate program
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© American Society for Engineering Education, 2017. The importance of authenticity has been examined in various aspects of education; this is especially true in the area of engineering education where most graduates will matriculate to industry. However, the importance of applied and authentic examples could be even more critical in workforce development programs. In these cases, students are often enrolled with a goal of using their acquired knowledge to advance their career or move into a new role. Purely theoretical or stylized examples would not be aligned with the educational goals of these students. As part of a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant, a certificate program in high value manufacturing (HVM) has been developed. The certificate program is a collaboration between a research intensive four-year institution and an urban community college. In this certificate program students will be taking courses in manufacturing processes, design, and other business-related subjects that are pertinent to the manufacture of low volume components that have high materials costs, stringent quality requirements, and critical project timelines. This unique content area requires example that comprise these pertinent aspects of HVM. This is particularly true of the five newly developed courses covering materials, project management, quality, logistics, and computer-aided design. While the analogous courses at a four-year degree granting institution would likely use stylized examples in these courses, this would not be preferable in an applied certificate program. This work discusses the acquisition and refinement of authentic and applied examples that are applicable to the HVM environment. Specifically, the use of industry contacts and the translation of examples into useable and appropriate examples are examined. These examples are detailed and compared to traditional stylized academic content. A methodology for examining student perceptions of these examples is also proposed. A discussion of the importance of authenticity in applied certificate programs is also presented.
author list (cited authors)
Johnson, M., Nepal, B. P., & Perez, N.