Second Annual Advanced Manufacturing Regional Research Academy Florida State University and Chipola College

On September 20, 2019, Florida State University, Chipola College, and FLATE leadership were joined by representatives from Gulf Coast State College, Pensacola State College, and Tallahassee Community College for an advanced manufacturing (AM) Regional Academy to examine research results and 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 full-scale 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 an annual Regional Academy to share findings, recommendations, and lessons learned from research conducted with Panhandle participating institutions.

FLATE’s Marilyn Barger provided the keynote address for the inaugural Regional Academy; the agenda also included presentations, discussions, and hands-on employer interview and syllabus
review activities led by the project team. The day’s agenda was based on the team’s established learning pathway research into documenting and strategizing recruitment, retention, and placement of AM students throughout the Panhandle and in surrounding communities.

Discussions were followed by training workshops that in which participants engaged with strategies for systematically collecting data about competency needs from employers. All events were captured recorded and will be shared with the NSF ATE community at the Principal Investigators’ Conference in Washington, DC October 23-25. Check out the videos from this and past Regional Academy events at

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

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