From the Executive Director's Desk

FLATE team has worked hard throughout 2009 to help colleges adopt the engineering technology degree. To date, 10 state and community colleges have completed their local curriculum adoption processes and are in various stages of implementing the degree as well as offering their first courses. To generate enrollment for this degree, FLATE also developed and facilitated the state approval process, and the new automation and production technology (APT) curriculum frameworks for secondary and postsecondary institutions.

The ET Degree and the APT program are both aligned to the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) credentials. The APT secondary and post-secondary program of study, the A.S./A.A.S. degree and certificates in engineering technology together with the FLATE crafted statewide articulation agreement using the MSSC certification, provide a strong foundation of an integrated career and educational pathway system that supports life-long learning by allowing for many entry and exit points.

This system, designed by FLATE and its statewide partners, has received national attention. It was identified by the National Manufacturer’s Association (NAM) Manufacturing Institute last spring when it rolled out the NAM-endorsed skills certificate system. The NAM system is a “stackable” set of skills-based certifications with educational delivery systems across the country. The pathway and articulations FLATE has built with MSSC certifications was recognized by NAM as a national model. To facilitate implementation of all or parts of our model across the country, FLATE has been invited to join NAM’s prestigious education council.

In January 2010, FLATE will begin a new phase of its ET degree support. FLATE will subsidize student MSSC certification tests across the state to help expand and entrench our statewide system and support our Florida Manufacturers. Directors of secondary and post-secondary programs using the APT frameworks and colleges offering the ET degree are encouraged to request funds from FLATE for student testing. A second program supporting teacher and faculty certification will also start in January 2010. If you are interested in taking advantage of either of these opportunities in 2010, please contact me directly before December 17 for details. I am also asking everyone to help spread the word about this opportunity by sharing our newsletter with your colleagues and co-workers.

In addition to this new effort, FLATE continues to lead several related statewide initiatives. We are verifying the ET degree standards; aligning the MSSC standards to other career programs; developing new specializations and certificates for the A.S./ A.A.S. degrees, and streamlining course delivery systems statewide. We are also developing common course content; and marketing (under the “Made in Florida” umbrella) these pathways to students as great STEM career and life pathways to our industry, as the ultimate source of highly-qualified, high-skilled, educated new workers.