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A-B Tech wins grant to help students graduate
May 29, 2014
A-B Tech has been awarded a $233,497 grant under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 to support students enrolled in the College’s Associate in Applied Science programs.
Some of the funds will support the new position of Career Technical Education Completion Specialist. That role has been filled by Stacia Smith, a career guidance counselor, who officially started January 27.
Smith says she’s always been a proponent of career and technical education. She is currently working with faculty to identify those students who are close to completing their a college degree and will be contacting them through phone calls and e-mail to encourage them to complete their studies.
“I would like to be a resource that students are aware of. I have been working closely with Vernon (Daugherty, Dean of Engineering and Applied Technology) and would like to work with other deans,” Smith said. She has made contact with more than 200 students who are at or near completion in that division alone. Business and Hospitality Education is the next division on her list.
The Perkins funding will also be used for faculty development. “Most of the faculty here did not complete education programs. They teach here because they are experts in their fields. So we use some of the grant money to help provide the faculty opportunities to hone their teaching skills,” says Gene Loflin, Associate Vice President of Instructional Services.
Some of the Perkins funding will be used to buy or update equipment for the technical programs to make sure students are being trained on state-of-the-art equipment. Loflin says these programs typically have high equipment costs.
Some funds were spent on “Manufacturing Awareness Week” April 8 -11, when the College held sessions to educate high school students and their parents about careers in manufacturing. Loflin believes there is a mindset among some in the community that manufacturing careers are low paying and dirty jobs. “We want our community to understanding that manufacturing is a high tech field with good pay for qualified employees.”