How Do You Learn Best?

In today’s information-saturated environment, learning is no longer limited to the classroom. With web-based media like television, video games, podcasts, and e-books always at our fingertips, we are learning constantly. Often, we don’t even realize it! However, when faced with the idea of learning for professional development, such as learning how to use new software, often people feel quickly overwhelmed. In the minds of many people, learning “on purpose” is very different than the learning they do while consuming entertainment. Words like “boring”, “difficult” and “frustrating” come to mind. Why is this?


Why Choose a College Education over Technical Training? Why Not Both?

Today many adults find themselves excluded from the job market because of inadequate skills, education, and training. The U.S. labor market is increasingly demanding a more educated workforce. According to the National Commission on Adult Literary, adults must have some post-secondary education or occupational skills training to find and hold jobs that will pay family-sustaining wages in the 21st century. Of the 48 million job openings projected for the next five years, 63 percent will require further education past a high school diploma.

The American Council on Education Recommends Manufacturing Skills Courses for College Credit

The American Council on Education (ACE) recently concluded a review of Scientific Management Techniques Manufacturing Skills Training Program and Hands-On Skills Assessment Program.  ACE CREDIT® is recommending college credit for both programs.  ACE CREDIT® is recommending up to 21 college credit hours for Manufacturing Skills Curriculum and up to three credits each for three different skills assessment protocols (Credit for Prior Learning). The programs described are recognized as Best Practice productivity tools by many of the world’s most respected manufacturing organizations. These skill solutions have been taught in training programs of global Fortune 500 manufacturers for many years. These same proven programs are available for the formal education market.

Workforce Development Agency Connects to Community College to Deliver Segmented Education Program that Produces Jobs

Compelling evidence bore the need to train more Travel Agents. Who knew? Mary Ellen Solano, Senior Travel Director of Omega World Travel knew, and provided the research to support the vision. This unique “first time” offered program is located in Atlantic City New Jersey where unemployment is a chronic resultant of the decline of the casino industry. Yet, a “work ready” skilled customer oriented workforce exists within Atlantic County to learn how to work in the travel industry.

The success of The Travel Industry Sales and Technology program is the shared vision of Dr. Pete L. Mora, President of Atlantic Cape Community College, The Atlantic County Office of Workforce Development’s Executive Director, Rhonda Lowery, and Brownstone Groupe President, Ted Hansen, Ph.D. How did this come together? “Simply, the program design, combined with employer driven training outcomes, really speaks to how the new Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovative Opportunities Act is supposed to work.”  Brownstone’s Dr. Hansen explains, “Employment is urgent, therefore the training must be exactly work relevant, quick to credentials, with employers waiting.” 

Honeywell, NASA and The Department of Defense Education Activity Join Forces to Provide STEM Focused Educational Assistance

"It is critically important to get middle school-aged students aware of and excited about STEM topics—especially physics. We've seen FMA Live! make the introduction easier," said Donald James, NASA's associate administrator for Education. "Thanks to our collaboration with Honeywell, we're inspiring students to set their sights on future careers in the critical STEM field."

Each performance focuses on Newton's Universal Law of Gravity and Three Laws of Motion. Named after Newton's Second Law of Motion [Force equals Mass times Acceleration], FMA Live! uses music videos and interactive scientific demonstrations to teach and inspire students to pursue STEM careers.

Forces In Motion

Samsung's "SOLVE FOR TOMORROW" STEM Education Contest Awards $40,000 to Fifteen Finalists. Grand Prize Winners to Receive $120,000

When their teacher asked them to take a hard look at issues affecting people in their community, one group of students in Missouri noticed that some of their peers with disabilities had trouble staying upright in their wheelchairs. And so, the students got to work with compressed cardboard, cutting and shaping various components to find which ones would create classroom furniture that would make their friends most comfortable. This is the essence of Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow contest, which challenges students to tap into their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills to create innovative solutions to problems they observe in their communities. The students in Missouri were recently named one of the 15 national finalists by Samsung Electronics America (SEA).

Maker Space, Tinkering: The Hands-On Approach to STEM Education

Taking things apart and putting them together — skills children used to absorb in Dad’s or Mom’s workshop — has an important role to play in learning, according to Karen Cator, the chief executive of Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization created by Congress that focuses on the use of technology to improve education. “You’re exploring creativity, you’re exploring design thinking, you’re developing a sense of persistence,” she said, in an interview with John Schwartz of The New York Times. Building something new requires planning, trying and, yes, failing, and then trying again.

Automotive Technicians in High Demand at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota

100% Job Placement, $16.50/hr Starting Pay in Community College Auto Tech Programs

Parents, guidance counselors and other influencers need to understand how great the opportunity is for students with an interest in technology. In all 50 states, the demand for trained, professional automotive technicians has never been higher. “With the cost of college the way it is, the idea of enrolling in college is daunting,” says FCA’s John Fox, in an interview with Craig Fitzgerald of,  “The value equation relative to a career in automotive technical training combined with the earning potential is hard to beat.”

Manufacturer supported programs include:

BMW STEP Program: 

GM ASEP Program:  

Ford ASSET Program:  

MOPAR CAP Program:  

Toyota T-TEN Program: 

Mercedes-Benz’s Automotive Systems Technical Program:  

Mercedes-Benz Mechatronics Program: 

Auto Tech Jobs in Demand

Massachusetts Adopts Next Generation of Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards for K-12

The 2016 STE standards are intended to drive coherent, rigorous instruction that emphasizes student mastery of both disciplinary core ideas and application of science and engineering practices.

When a child is challenged to think critically, developing and using content in their classroom, as scientists and engineers, they are developing creative, evaluative, and analytical thinking skills that are useful for any career which justifies and legitimizes science and engineering as a K-12 subject for all students.

We don't need 100% of our students to become PhD scientists and engineers. But we do need 100% of our students to be equipped to think critically, demonstrating the skills to create, evaluate, and analyze, because mastering these skills puts all students in charge of their future, breaks cycles of generational poverty, increases participation in our democracy, and would give Massachusetts the most trainable and productive workforce it has ever seen. Using the NGSS as a basis for the 2016 STE standards is meant to allow Massachusetts' educators access to any curriculum and instruction resources developed nationally.

South Korea Economy Built Around Technical Education

South Korea had a strong technical education system—so powerful it rebuilt its shattered economy. As we work to improve our CTE system in the United States, it behooves us to look at South Korea and examine the innovative solutions that are being implemented to improve education, training, and career options there.

From High Demand to Low Demand
After the Korean War, the economy of the newly divided Korean peninsula was devastated. However, you would never know it when you look at South Korea today. Gleaming skyscrapers dominate the Seoul skyline, internationally famous songs invoke the high life, and high-tech industry proliferates throughout the country.
It was no easy path to get this far in such a short period of time. It took comprehensive reforms that were anchored in education, and more specifically, vocational education and training. There is a renewed effort by the government to re-establish VET programs and bring back the prestige they once enjoyed.

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