Florida Students Embark on an International Technician Training Program in Spain

NSF Center of excellence in advanced technological education at HCC in Brandon is taking a delegation of students, faculty members and administrators from Florida’s community and state colleges on a 21 day technician training program to Spain.
May 1, 2012 - PRLog -- National Science Foundation (NSF) Center of excellence in advanced technological education at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) in Brandon is taking a delegation of eight students, five faculty members and two administrators from Florida’s community and state colleges on a 21 day international technician training program to Spain. The three week program, from May 12-June 2, 2012, is poised to provide outstanding technical and cultural learning experience. Students enrolled in the engineering technology A.S. degree program, as well as, faculty members at Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, State College of Florida, and Brevard Community College will participate in a structured technical education and training experience at IEFPS Usurbil GLBHI—a technical college in the Basque region of Spain.

Executive Director of FLATE, Dr. Marilyn Barger who spearheaded the project says “the goal is to expand partnership between the two government-supported technical programs, assess opportunities for curriculum creation, and provide professional development for technical college faculty and students.” Faculty and students will engage in intense training exploring technical knowledge/expertise in renewable energies such as solar photovoltaic, solar thermal biomass energy, hydraulic energy and automated systems. Training will include site visits to Tknika—an innovation institute for vocational training established by the Vice Ministry of Education of the Basque government in Spain. Students will also visit MCC-Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and ALECOP Cooperative in Arrasate. All student participants will be earning college credit towards their A.S. degree in engineering technology.                                                                   

Working directly on state-of-the-art, manufacturing-related projects, students will attend class for approximately six hours a day, including one hour per day of Spanish and Basque languages. The technical sessions will incorporate a curriculum component that requires students to evaluate what and how they are learning, in Spain, to their current curriculum. They will evaluate their expectations for this new material, and how that content can be blended into their courses in Florida. Assessment of their training experience will include site visit report and final presentation on one aspect of their alternative energy/automated system theory class. Students will also be blogging their daily thoughts about their cultural/educational experiences about the trip.   

In terms of professional development, mentoring faculty will be attending instructional workshops. They will meet frequently with students to discuss status of projects and review content that has been presented as well as observe the teaching and training of students. At the conclusion of the trip, the entire delegation to Spain will be expected to contribute content and skills assessment for developing tangible tools and solutions to improve engineering technology related curriculum and instruction materials within the Florida educational system.       

For more information about the Iberian Partnership for Technical Excellence contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at 813.259.6578/barger@fl-ate.org. You can also get more information about the trip/initiative on FLATE’s blog at http://flate-mif.blogspot.com, and visit www.madeinflorida.or/engineering-technology-degree.
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