Manufacturing in Indiana: An Integrated K12/Community College Approach

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

Hire Technology uses a blended delivery model to provide Indiana high school students with unparalleled access to industry-driven manufacturing and logistics education.


Dr. Kara Monroe serves as the Assistant Vice Provost for the Center for Instructional Technology for Ivy Tech Community College. Previously, Dr. Monroe served as Executive Director of Finance, Facilities, and Information Technology for Ivy Techís campus in Richmond, Indiana. Dr. Monroe holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from Ball State University, an MBA from Jones International University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Capella University.

Extended Abstract

Hire Technology is a blended, comprehensive high school curriculum providing schools with a turn-key solution to prepare Hoosier students for high-tech careers.  Indiana's advanced manufacturing and logistics sector - Indiana's largest - is demanding skilled workers to compete in a global economy and partnered with Conexus of Indiana, an NGO; Ivy Tech Community College – the community college system for the State of Indiana; and high schools and career centers across Indiana to develop and deploy Hire Technology.  The program has grown since its inception in 2012-2013; it now serves more than 2000 students annually.
Indiana’s demand for middle-skilled manufacturing and logistics employees outpaces its supply. To meet industry need and keep the Hoosier economy growing, it’s imperative that schools consider new solutions to manufacturing and logistics education.
Hire Tech provides high school students with a relevant industry-driven experience regardless of school budget or resources. Adopting schools must only provide a licensed educator and one-to-one student computing for the class. Online resources focus on manufacturing and logistics processes, the manufacturing environment, and business topics specific to industry including safety and quality. Off-line projects are integral to knowledge acquisition and are designed to be completed with simple office supplies. This hybrid solution addresses the notion that manufacturing courses require a traditional, capital-intensive manufacturing lab – a notion that puts manufacturing course work out of reach for most school corporations and their students. 
The two-year industry-driven hybrid curriculum features:
* Nationally recognized industry credentials
* Dual credits
* An immersive online learning environment
* Group projects 
* Industry partnerships
* Localized content
* Intensive Educator Training
Dual-credits and credentials are integrated throughout the program, which is divided into four units. A unit is roughly equivalent to a traditional semester. 
Unit 1
* 6 dual-credits 
Unit 2
* 3 industry credentials
Unit 3
* 6 dual credits
* 1 industry credential
Unit 4
* 3 dual credits
* 1 industry credential

Students complete online curriculum, work on hands on projects in the classroom, and get to know local industry members through the A+ Partner Program. All Hire Technology schools are matched to a local industry member, called an A+ Partner, which provides both the school and its students with industry-specific advice, advocacy, and awareness.  
The program, now in its fourth year, has built in continuous improvement through student and teacher feedback, A+ Partner feedback, and student participation, activity and outcome data.  Use of this data has led to improvements in the online content, the in class projects, and the training provided to teachers in the program.  
While there are many success stories from the program thus far, here are two examples of the positive impact this program has on Indiana’s high schools, community college and its workforce:
* Press-Seal Gasket, an Indiana manufacturing company, has taken North Side High School student Dakota Jones under their wing. Jones was in the pilot year of Hire Technology at North Side in Fort Wayne, IN and is currently in his senior year completing a work-and-learn program. Jones attends school for three hours in the morning, and then works at Press-Seal Gasket Corporation for the balance of the day. Upon graduation, he will enter into a Press-Seal apprenticeship program. The company has also offered to pay for Jones to complete his associate degree at Ivy Tech Community College. 

* Hire Technology student Cameron Kunkle has been hired by A+ Partner FCC Indiana into a maintenance position. FCC offered Kunkle the position after an eight week internship and one year of Hire Technology. Kunkle recently graduated from Jay County High School.
In this session, the presenters, a representative of the Community College and a representative of the industry sector sponsoring the program, will:
> Discuss the origin of the program and how that might apply to forming a similar partnership in your area.  
> Demonstrate how maintaining the partnership long term and ongoing data analysis has built a culture of continuous improvement in the program.
> Describe and demonstrate the program, highlighting a) the national credentials, dual credit, and college credit students earn; b) the learning tools and materials used; c) K12 faculty success stories and cautionary tales; and d) ways industry continues to support the program at the individual classroom level.
> Share results from the first three years - both successes and pitfalls - including lessons learned.