CATALYST v23n2 - Broome Community College College/Industry Partnership

Volume XXIII, Number 2
Spring 1993

Broome Community College College/Industry Partnership

Kathleen P. Habel
Broome Community College

Broome Community College's Center for Community Education is breaking new ground with the formation of a training partnership with Universal Instruments, a subsidiary of Dover Technologies. Universal manufactures automation equipment for electronics manufacturing assembly and testing circuits, software, and computer-controlled electronics manufacturing equipment. A pilot program, providing a Certificate in Applied Technology, is initially targeted to employees without college degrees, holding technical positions in manufacturing, fabrication, and engineering. Successful completion of the six-course program (in math, principles of technology, communication, and problem solving) prepare employees to better function in a modern manufacturing mode as well as enter one of several Associate in Technology degree programs at Broome Community College.

The American Society of Training and Development and the United States Department of Labor have recognized the need for higher skills at front-line levels in organizations and the need for value-added workers to perform high value-added work. By all estimations, U.S. companies need to upgrade the skills of the front-line work force to remain globally competitive. The Applied Technology Program is one means of helping to ensure that Universal retains a competent and skilled work force. Those completing the course will not only have the technical skills needed in their present positions but the problem-solving ability necessary to adapt their skills to tomorrow's production.

To enhance the applied academic/life-work experience of this program and its emphasis on immediate application on the job, faculty of the Technologies, Engineering, and Computer Division of Broome Community College have been providing instruction at Universal. A training room has been adapted for the use of this program to facilitate the learning experience and its emphasis on immediate feedback. The courses use material developed by the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) located in WACO, Texas for the Tech Prep Program.

This unique and innovative program, adapted from the Tech-Prep model developed by Dale Parnell, provides a hands-on learning environment for adults in the work-place. Although the model was originally developed to improve the skills of the middle quartile high school students, this model using applied academics is applicable to the adult learner. Videotapes, hands-on experience, and emphasis on laboratory practice replace the traditional lecture method of instruction giving the adult the opportunity for immediate application.

Initial reports from participants have been most positive. One participant states, "If I had a course such as this when I attended Jr. and Sr. High School, I know that I would not have hated math so much then."

For further information contact:
Kathleen P. Habel
Director of the Center for Community
Broome Community College
P.O. Box 1 017
Binghamton, NY 13902