Veterans-Focused Engineering Technology Project
In 2014, the US Department of Labor awarded a $2.75 million Round 4 Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant to Richland College (Dallas, TX) to reform its programs in manufacturing and electronics technology. The grant includes the following activities designed to strengthen the college’s programs to better meet student and industry needs:
- Develop and reform curriculum based on industry standards through online modularized curricula, development of contextualized peer instruction, and incorporation of prior learning assessments
- Improve opportunities for hands-on learning through the purchase of new equipment and technology to create upgraded program facilities, and the integration of online learning and simulations in instruction
- Implement student navigator model through hiring a navigator to provide intrusive advising, and conduct outreach through Job Centers.
- Recruit students, especially veterans and their families, through a marketing plan, referrals through Job Centers, outreach through Veterans-focused organizations, and better student tracking
- Expanded employer engagement through regular employer advisory board meetings, engagement with industry certifying processes, and development of work-based learning experiences.
Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) is participating as the third-party evaluator for the duration of the grant. The evaluation utilizes a mixed methods approach to gather data from multiple perspectives on grant implementation and outcomes, including site visits and surveys of students, employers and workforce partners. It also includes a quasi-experimental analysis of student completion and employment outcomes. The evaluation examines in-depth each of the distinct approaches of the grant including hands-on learning, industry certifications, student advising, veterans-focused recruitment, and employer engagement.