From the Executive Directors Desk: Articulating Industry Credentials in Florida

This summer, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE) added several NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking) credentials to the state’s secondary school funding list. We are excited to have these new additional acceleration pathways for students in manufacturing career programs. Anyone who holds these current NIMS credentials can get credit towards several 2-year degree programs including the A.S. degree in Engineering Technology that supports Florida’s manufacturing industry sector. This is great news for students in all the high school and post secondary machining programs that earn NIMS credentials in those programs. Ed Doherty, Precision Machining Lead Instructor at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota says “This will provide a great pathway for some of my students considering an Associate’s degree. I can’t wait to share the opportunity with them this fall. There are always a couple grads from my program that want to continue their education.” Other credentials that validate knowledge and skills that have previously been approved for statewide articulation include credentials for 3D modeling and design, electronics, quality, sheet metal fabrication, composite materials, welding, aviation maintenance, and more.
FLATE and its partners proposed the very first statewide articulation with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician (CPT) to the A.S. Engineering Technology in 2007. FLATE has worked closely with industry since then to be sure that Florida students and people in the workforce that wanted to continue their education in manufacturing could get credit for skills and knowledge they already had. In Florida, industry credentials articulate for up to 15 credits towards technical degrees, providing credit attained for prior learning based skills documented by credential-offering organizations. The long established robust system in Florida started with the Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) in 2006 and has expanded to include workforce credentials for post secondary level. Additionally, the CAPE Act also brings performance funding to all participating institutions. You can learn more about the A.S. Engineering Technology Degree and its system of stackable credentials and certification alignments at http://fl-ate.org/programs/stackable-credentials.


The State of Florida’s Office of Articulation at FL DOE has a mission to facilitate effective and efficient progression and transfer of students through Florida’s K-20 education system. Articulation processes provide acceleration opportunities for students to complete post-secondary degrees (A.A., A.S., or Bachelors level). There are basically two methods. First, students can earn credit by taking a test through which a student successfully shows mastery of the material by achieving the defined passing “cut score”.  These tests can be taken at any number of nationally and/or internationally recognized assessment centers for academic, or career courses and/or programs. The second acceleration method is Dual Enrollment. This process allows secondary students (including home school student sand students with disabilities) to take post-secondary coursework and simultaneously earn credit toward high school diploma, career certificate, an industry certification, or an Associate or Baccalaureate degree at a Florida public, or private institution. There are many resources including agreement templates, guidelines, approved credential lists, etc. on the FL DOE webpage: http://www.fldoe.org/policy/articulation/.

Several other supporting policies support Florida’s educational pathways. Common course numbering in all postsecondary institutions, statewide articulation agreements, common prerequisites, and general education core all facilitate smooth transfers between secondary and post-secondary institutions. In the world of Career and Technical (CTE) Education, the State Board of Education has approved the listed statewide Career and Technical Education Articulation Agreements, which are based on industry certification. These articulation agreements provide a minimum guarantee of articulated credit an institution can elect to grant additional credit based on local agreements. The process of adding credentials to the statewide list is illustrated in the table below. 

Typical Date
Activity
Aug 15 - Sept 30
Submission of new credential applications to CareerSource Florida for following academic year.  Applications can be submitted by regional workforce boards or school principals with endorsements from each category: (1) Florida-based state or regional business/trade association; (2) • local workforce board; (3) economic development organization
Nov - Feb
CareerSource Florida, Florida Department of Education, Department of Economic Opportunity, Department of Economic Opportunity, industry associations, Florida businesses, and other pertinent groups reviews applications for eligibility and recommendations
Mar 1
CareerSource Florida Board approves a list of recommended industry certifications no later than this date.
Mar 5
Florida Department of Education releases the preliminary “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 
Mar 5-April 1
Districts may submit requests for an addition to the “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 
Aug 1
Florida Department of Education releases the final “CAPE Industry Certification Funding List.” 

 These FLDOE process are subject to current Florida statutes and rules.
I now invite you to read the rest of the articles in the July edition of the FLATE Focus. In this edition we have a story about the NEW A.S.ET degree in Alternative Energy at Florida Keys community college. We also have a round-up of the 2017 Robotics Summer Camps season, a spotlight on the 2017 FLATE Awardees as well as upcoming events like the Manufacturing Day 5K Run Walk Paddle for Education. We’d love to hear from you, so do reach out to us via email at news@fl-ate.org and/or connect with us socially on @Made_InFlorida  on FacebookLinkedIn, or Tweet us using the hashtag of the month #2017FLATEAwardees that recognizes their valuable contributions to Florida's manufacturing education and training.