Sierra College STEM Collaborative launches new professional development program...
Rocklin, CA - The Sierra College Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Collaborative assembled over 40 employers, teachers, principals and superintendents from Placer and Nevada counties to announce the new ACTivATE project on Feb. 13. The Applied Critical Thinking for Advanced Technological Education (ACTivATE) professional development program will train instructors in assessing students' critical thinking skills and provide support to faculty as they infuse more problem solving and other skills desired by employers into their curriculum.
Willy Duncan, President, Sierra Community College District, reiterated the college's commitment to working with Placer and Nevada county high schools to better prepare them for success at Sierra College and in the work world after college graduation. "The ACTivATE project will enrich curriculum and expand the collaboration between college and high school STEM faculty," said Duncan. "This project supports Sierra College's goal of preparing job ready graduates who have the critical thinking skills businesses tell us students need to succeed in the workplace."
To create the new ACTivATE professional development program, Sierra College will partner with Tennessee Technological University that produced a widely used Critical Thinking Assessment Test (Expanding the Use of CAT: Assessing and Improving Critical Thinking - NSF DUE 1022789 ) and the Northwestern University Searle Center for Teaching Excellence that developed Enhancing Critical Thinking in STEM Disciplines: A Faculty Development Model (NSF DUE 0942404), both National Science Foundation (NSF) projects. The ACTivATE project also builds on Sierra College's previous NSF Tech-Explorer grant (ATE 1003259) that highlighted the fact that during a hands-on catapult building project, students did not exhibit the critical thinking skills required of technicians.
The Sierra STEM Collaborative is funded by the California Community College Chancellor's Office to prepare students in career technical education programs in manufacturing & product development and engineering & design pathways at the high school and college level. Find out more at www.sierraschoolworks.com.
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