Anne Arundel Comm. College TAACCCT Evaluation

National STEM ConsortiumAnne Arundel Community College (AACC) is leading the National STEM Consortium (NSC), a collaborative of ten leading community colleges in nine states organized to develop nationally portable, certificate-level programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and to build a national STEM model of multi-college cooperation in the design and delivery of high quality, labor market-driven occupational programs. The NSC colleges are: AACC in Maryland; Clover Park Technical College in Washington; College of Lake County in Illinois; Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio; Florida State College at Jacksonville; Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana; Macomb Community College in Michigan; NorthWest Arkansas Community College; Roane State Community College in Tennessee; and South Seattle Community College in Washington. The NSC is funded by a $19.7 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Employment and Training Administration, Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grants Program, Round 1.

Under this program, the NSC is targeting five high-wage, high-skill STEM pathways: composite materials technology; cyber technology; electric vehicle technology; environmental technology; and mechatronics.

In each pathway, the NSC will develop a “best in class”, nationally portable, one-year certificate program that is in demand by employers and can be disseminated quickly and widely to community colleges throughout the United States. These programs will be designed for Trade Assistance Act (TAA) eligible workers in communities directly served by the participating colleges. Upon implementation, the programs will also be accessible to other unemployed and underemployed working adults, at NSC colleges and nationally.

With grant support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Community College and Career Training Grant program, the National STEM Consortium (NSC) embarked on an ambitious project — to develop a portfolio of nationally portable one-year science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) certificate programs. The consortium of 10 community colleges commenced work in 2011, developing core curriculum with supporting curricular materials (the best available nationally) in four or five high demand fields, customizable to regional labor markets. Designing built-for-success programs with structures and delivery methods, the program helps students accelerate to certificate completion in one year or less and get a good job. The certificate programs will be firmly nested within degree pathways but have immediate labor market relevance. Participating colleges will develop and test prototype curricula, adjust it as necessary, implement it at scale in their college, and disseminate it to other colleges. The goal of the consortium is to significantly increase STEM certificate production and labor market placement and demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of a national approach to nationally portable program design.

As the lead college for the NSC, Anne Arundel Community College retained the Jacob France Institute to provide technical assistance and statistical analysis to fulfill U.S. Department of Labor reporting requirements. The JFI has instrumental in negotiating data sharing agreements and successfully acquiring administrative administrative datas on behalf of the participating consortium colleges. The National STEM Consortium, lead by Anne Arundel Community College received an extension to their TAACCCT grant in August 2014 and engaged the Jacob France Institute to continue providing technical assistance and data analysis services an additional year through September 2015.