FLATE Presents at National CTE Conferences

FLATE's Senior Education Advisor, Dr. Marilyn Barger, presented at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN, June 26-29, 2002. Now in its 129th year, the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering and engineering technology education. The conference fosters an exchange of ideas, enhances teaching methods and curricula, and provides networking opportunities for engineering and engineering technology education stakeholders, including deans, faculty members, researchers, and industry and government professionals. FLATE's presentations are available on-demand through the following links:

Future of Work Issues for Florida Two Year Engineering Technology Program
A.S. Degree Career Pathway within the Florida State College System that includes a Professional Engineering License

Executive Director of FLATE, Ernie Friend presented at The Role of Community Colleges in Cybersecurity Education: Future Directions, sponsored by NCyTE Center and the National Science Foundation on June 27, 2022, in Alexandria, VA. This unique Summit builds off an original 2002 workshop and publication sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and includes a gathering of invited experts eager to learn and contribute to shaping the future of cybersecurity education for years to come.  A comprehensive program for the Summit has been developed with input from national stakeholders including National Science Foundation (NSF) program officers, national cybersecurity centers, industry partners, and key cybersecurity faculty.

Ernie Friend and Kyle Jones from Sinclair Community College developed a study that focuses on how community colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees can help close unfilled cybersecurity positions. According to the 2019 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the cybersecurity workforce shortage is expanding rapidly. The United States currently has about 800,000 people in the cybersecurity workforce and a shortage of about 500,000. A recent CSIS survey of IT decision-makers across eight countries found that 82 percent of employers reported a shortage of cybersecurity skills, and 71 percent believe this talent gap causes direct and measurable damage to their organizations (McAfee, 2015). Over the past three decades, there has been a drastic transformation in the role community colleges play in preparing students for the workforce. Rather than just offering two-year degrees and programs, many states are now allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees as well. There are many advantages that come along with getting a bachelor’s degree from a community college rather than from a four-year institution. One of these advantages is the convenience of having a community college within commuting distance of 90 percent of the U.S. population, providing an opportunity for many adults to attend college while also holding a full-time job (U.S. Department of Education, 2020).

Many community college students work full time, so they typically enroll in programs part-time, taking night, weekend, and online classes. Working full-time permits students to take advantage of tuition assistance, enabling them to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. Furthermore, most bachelor’s degrees offered by community and technical colleges cost less than those offered by four-year colleges and universities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average 2018/2019 cost of tuition and fees at a two-year school that offers bachelor’s degrees was about one-third of the cost for a year at a four-year public institution (U.S. Department of Education, 2020). Another benefit of community colleges that offer bachelor’s programs is that they tend to have much smaller class sizes, which allows students to get more individualized attention and help from professors. The open admissions policy held by many community colleges allows students to apply without having to fulfill any academic requirements or compete for admission. This policy often extends to community colleges’ bachelor’s programs. Community colleges are very dynamic and quick to respond to the changing cybersecurity landscape by creating new programs to meet current workforce needs. They provide the opportunity for students to earn cybersecurity-related bachelor’s degrees that meet the demands of the regional business community without having to go to costly four-year institutions. This study focused on cybersecurity, but the data could also apply to colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in many other areas including manufacturing-related programs. More information can be found at https://www.ncyte.net/calendar-of-events/future-directions-summit.

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