Advanced Manufacturing Regional Academy Florida State University and Chipola College

Contributed by: Marcia A. Mardis, Florida State University and David Bouvin, Chipola College

On September 21, 2018, the Florida State University Information Institute, Chipola College, and FLATE leadership were joined by Gulf Coast State College, Northwest Florida State College, Pensacola State College, and Tallahassee Community College for an advanced manufacturing (AM) Regional Academy to examine evidence-based best practices for linking curriculum to employer expectations.

The Regional Academy was sponsored by the team’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) research project, Assessing Educational Pathways for Manufacturing in Rural Communities: An Investigation of New and Existing Programs in Northwest Florida (NSF 1700581). This three-year research project, led by PI Marcia A. Mardis (FSU), Co-PI Charles R. McClure (FSU), Co-PI Faye R. Jones (FSU) and Co-PI David Bouvin (Chipola) includes three annual Regional Academies to share findings, recommendations, and lessons learned from research conducted with participating institutions.

Dr. Marilyn Barger provided the keynote address for the inaugural Regional Academy; the agenda also included presentations, discussions, and hands-on syllabus analysis activities. Presentations centered on the team’s learning pathway research that aims to assist with the instruction, training, and job placement of students throughout the Panhandle and in surrounding communities. The discussions were followed by training workshops that assisted participants with examining how AM course syllabi can be mapped to the team’s developing AM Body of Knowledge and aligned to employers’ needs. Check out the videos of the days’ activities at

In Year 2, the Regional Academy will focus on the results of the team’s in-depth analysis of syllabi from participants’ AM programs as well as gathering employers’ perspectives through interviews, focus groups, and job posting analyses. We will also include data related to our contacts with new professionals who share their views of key AM professional competencies. Check our website ( for upcoming Regional Academy information, publications, presentations, and other project materials.

For more about the AM Pathways project and the team’s related IT Pathways project, visit or contact Marcia A. Mardis ( or David Bouvin ( Tweet or follow us on Twitter @TechnicianPath1!

Information Institute • Florida State University

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