Advanced Technological Education Centers Image 10
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Advanced Technological Education Centers (Image 10)

June 11, 2013
At the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), laboratory work gives students experience with the skills required for jobs in industry. OP-TEC is a consortium of two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories, industry partners and professional societies, and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) center. OP-TEC's consortium partners have joined forces to create a secondary to postsecondary "pipeline" of highly qualified, strongly motivated students and to empower high schools and community colleges to meet the urgent need for technicians in optics and photonics. Headquartered in Waco, Texas, OP-TEC serves secondary science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs and postsecondary programs devoted to lasers, optics and photonics technology or technologies enabled by optics and photonics. In addition, OP-TEC provides support through curriculum, instructional materials, assessment, faculty development, recruiting and support for institutional reform. OP-TEC serves as a national clearinghouse for teaching materials, encourages more schools and colleges to offer programs, courses, and career information, and helps high-school teachers and community and technical college faculty members develop programs and labs to teach technical content. About NSF's ATE Program With an emphasis on two-year colleges, NSF's ATE program focuses on the education of technicians for the high-tech fields that drive our nation's economy. ATE involves partnerships between academic institutions and employers to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. ATE supports curriculum development; professional development of college faculty and secondary school teachers; career pathways to two-year colleges from secondary schools and from two-year colleges to four-year institutions; and other activities. Another goal is articulation between two-year and four-year programs for K-12 prospective teachers that focus on technological education. The program also invites proposals focusing on research to advance the knowledge base related to technician education. This image appeared in the ATE Centers Impact 2011 report, which was prepared by the ATE centers with support from NSF grant DUE 10-40932, awarded to the Academic and Student Affairs Division of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Credit: Photo from ATE Centers Impact 2011 (www.atecenters.org)

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