An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A Program in Chemical Technology

Investigators
Nacos-Burds, Kathleen
Institutions
Northeast Iowa Community College
Start date
2010
End date
2013
Objective
This project's target objectives include the following: a. Assist rural communities in northeast Iowa by ensuring that a healthy pipeline of workers exists in the coming years with skills to achieve employment in the agriculture-based renewable energy, biofuels, and food safety industries. b. Offer Iowa workers a post-secondary opportunity to obtain well-paying employment in agriculture-based renewable energy and related fields. c. Furthermore, the establishment of a Chemical Technician degree program at NICC will have the measurable impact of increasing the number of students completing a 2-year post-secondary degree in a renewable energy-related field by increasing NICC's laboratory capacity and preparing faculty to better respond to emerging trends in agricultural education. Develop 6 new Chemical Technician courses: 1) Organic Chemistry II 2) Industrial Processes 3) Applied Instrumentation I 4) Applied Instrumentation II 5) Applied Quantitative Analysis 6) Quality Control and Lab Techniques Equipment necessary for curriculum adoption purchased: Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer Bench-top Centrifuge Infrared spectrometer Non-laboratory components of 5 new courses will be developed by NICC faculty to be delivered through a hybrid model. Faculty will be provided with training on new equipment for the program Faculty will participate in employer externships NICC will convene a curriculum advisory committee NICC faculty will disseminate and present results of curriculum development and project at regional and national conferences NICC program staff will formally report on a review of enrollment data maintained by Institutional Research Office during program timeline
More information

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
This project proposes to develop curriculum and purchase laboratory equipment for a chemical technician program based on the accreditation requirements of the American Chemical Society. This project's target objectives include the following: a. Assist rural communities in northeast Iowa by ensuring that a healthy pipeline of workers exists in the coming years with skills to achieve employment in the agriculture-based renewable energy, biofuels, and food safety industries. b. Offer Iowa workers a post-secondary opportunity to obtain well-paying employment in agriculture-based renewable energy and related fields. c. Furthermore, the establishment of a Chemical Technician degree program at NICC will have the measurable impact of increasing the number of students completing a 2-year post-secondary degree in a renewable energy-related field by increasing NICC's laboratory capacity and preparing faculty to better respond to emerging trends in the food and biofuel industry. APPROACH: This project will be overseen by the Project Director, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Curt Oldfield. Mr. Oldfield anticipates devoting 10% of his time to the development of the Chemical Technician program. Mr. Oldfield's primary responsibility will include submitting program curriculum to the Iowa Department of Education for approval. Coordination of the project will be managed by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Kim Bosworth, who anticipates spending 10% of her time on the project the first year, and 5% for years 2 and 3. Additionally, chemistry instructor, Lori Moore, will have the primary task of curriculum development (outside her regular contract) and will be the initial instructor of the new program. Other multidisciplinary faculty members and advisory committee members will be involved in the curriculum development process, especially with regard to integration of soft skills. Develop curriculum sequence for hybrid course delivery of Degree program through a faculty summer retreat and subsequent meetings, including online and laboratory components (Project Director, Curt Oldfield; Advisory board; Project Coordinator, Dean Kim Bosworth; instructor Lori Moore & other multidisciplinary faculty). Submit course syllabi to NICC's internal curriculum committee and Iowa Department of Education for approval (Project Director, Curt Oldfield, and Project Coordinator, Dean Kim Bosworth). Market program to prospective students (NICC Marketing; Advisory board; NICC Admissions Office). Purchase equipment and supplies; arrange to train faculty on equipment usage and seek external professional development opportunities for faculty (Project Director, Curt Oldfield, and Project Coordinator, Dean Kim Bosworth). Develop online course components for non-laboratory courses (instructor Lori Moore and other faculty) Discuss opportunities for articulation agreements with 4-year institutions (Project Director, Curt Oldfield, and Project Coordinator, Dean Kim Bosworth). Evaluate program curriculum via NICC's institutionalized curriculum evaluation plan (Project Director, Curt Oldfield, and Project Coordinator, Dean Kim Bosworth). Submit annual performance reports and final performance report through the CRIS system (Project Director, Curt Oldfield).

PROGRESS: 2010/09 TO 2013/08
Target Audience: The primary target audience of project efforts continues to be students benefitting from the formal education program through classroom instruction and laboratory instruction. This includes potential students, including high school students focusing on STEM careers. This also includes providing information on the program to high school counselors and science teachers. NICC's population is historically rural. Another audience includes our employer advisory board, which meets two times a year in the spring and fall to discuss curriculum, employment opportunities, internship opportunities, and recruitment. Finally, the program instructor has outreached to college-sponsored STEM activity audiences as well as high school student populations for recruitment potential. Changes/Problems: Low enrollment continues to be the program's biggest hurdle. One area we are looking to explore to improve this is articulation with 4-year programs. Program staff and NICC staff continue to highlight and promote this program given its opportunities for students to fill workforce needs in high-growth and high-demand industries regionally. Another area NICC is exploring is articulation with high school Project Lead the Way courses that might ladder high school students into the program. This is the same reason we have not yet explored online delivery options for this program until we see face to face success and robust enrollment. One unexpected outcome was changing the program name from Chemical Technician to Laboratory Science Technician at the urging of program staff and advisory board employer participants. It was felt that Chemical Technician was misleading to the broad applications of the training and education. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Faculty participated in a training/externship in Montana through Microlab. Two other employer partners were visited by the program instructor to learn about local, industrial laboratory environments. Project staff have attended the American Chemical Society national and regional conferences. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? The program is still growing and developing and has not yet been presented regionally or nationally. However, project staff have attended the American Chemical Society national and regional conferences. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

PROGRESS: 2011/09/01 TO 2012/08/31
OUTPUTS: Firstly, the Chemical Technician program kicked off in August 2011. The Chemical Technician instructor attended the American Chemical Society national meeting in March 2012. As a result, the instructor received information on new instrumentation for the field and attended sessions on Chemical Education to further inform NICC's curriculum and keep current with instructional techniques endorsed by the American Chemical Society. NICC installed previously purchased equipment in its laboratory, including two gas chromatographs, nanopure water system, and centrifuges. An advisory meeting was held in November of 2011 to update employers on the program. Employers provided significant input on equipment needs for the laboratory, including supporting removal of mass spectrometer from the grant in favor of an AAspectrometer. Additionally, the instructor toured Western Dubuque Biodiesel and Cambrex, a pharmaceutical company. As a result, the instructor will be better able to simulate a workplace environment for students. In Spring 2012, the instructor participated in the high school program fair to recruit students for the program and increase enrollment. The instructor also visited a high school in the district in Spring 2012 and contacted other local high schools to encourage enrollment in the NICC program. Finally, the instructor worked with NICC Marketing to develop a fact sheet and a promotional program video, which is linked to NICC's website and posted on YouTube. PARTICIPANTS: NICC experienced changes in key personnel in year two. Key project personnel include project directors Curt Oldfield (through June 15) and Dr. Kathy Nacos-Burds (current), with Dr. Liang Chee Wee (June 15-Sept. 1) as interim project director. Project Coordinators included Dean Kim Bosworth and Dean Jeff Murphy (current). Project Directors and Coordinator were responsible for overseeing program development, lab installation, and overall project objectives. Additionally, Gordon Hunter was hired as instructor and to further develop curriculum and program design. Lori Moore assisted with curriculum development and advisement to the program as a science instructor. Advisory Board members also evolved to include Active Biomaterials LLC, Aveka Manufacturing, Bay Valley Foods, Cambrex Charles City Incorporated, Cresco Food Technologies LLC, Croell REdi-Mix, Homeland Energy Solutions, Impro Products, Kerry Specialty Ingredients, POET, Sparboe Foods, and Western Dubuque Biodiesel. Additionally, the program shares facilities with the Northeast Iowa Dairy Foundation. Professional development American Chemical Society national meeting and the Iowa High School Science Teacher's conference. TARGET AUDIENCES: The target audience continues to be potential students, including high school students focusing on STEM. This includes providing information on the program to high school counselors and science teachers. NICC's population is historically rural. Efforts included formal classroom instruction, laboratory instruction, development of innovative teaching methodologies, and experiential learning opportunities for students. Finally, NICC continues to engage in student outreach and recruitment. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Major changes in year two included change in project directors and coordinators, as well as hiring of additional key personnel. PROGRESS: 2010/09/01 TO 2011/08/31
OUTPUTS: Fifteen courses for the Chemical Technician program have been developed. Applied Chemistry I and laboratory course, Safety in the laboratory, Applied Chemistry II and laboratory, Applied Instrumentation I, Applied Instrumentation II, Chemical Technician Internship, Environmental Chemistry, Applied Organic Chemistry and Laboratory, Applied Biochemistry and laboratory, Applied Chemical Analysis, Introduction to Chemistry Laboratory Research Methods. This curriculum has been disseminated to advisory board members and potential students. NICC also hired the instructor to provide instructional leadership for the Chemical Technician Program. NICC is in contact with the American Chemical Society to disseminate the curriculum online. Approximately 10 members from industry have meet with NICC faculty and administration twice (April 2011 and November 2011)to discuss curriculum and facilities and provide input on careers available. One faculty member has attended professional development to gain more training on operation of laboratory equipment for this program. Course equipment was purchased including, gas chromatograph, nanpure water system, centrifuge tubes, and other laboratory supplies. PARTICIPANTS: The following organizations have been partners and helped form the curriculum and provided input on laboratory design: Abraxis Bioscience LLC, Cresco Food Technologies LLC/Aveka Group, Bay Valley Foods, Sparboe Foods, Impro Products, Homeland Energy Solutions (Ethanol), Western Dubuque Biodiesel, Kerry Specialty Ingredients, Prairie Farms Dairy, Poet(ethanol), Croell Redi-Mix. The key personnel including Curt Oldfield and Kim Bosworth have overseen curriculum development and achievement of state approval. Lori Moore, science faculty, developed the curriculum and attended professional development. TARGET AUDIENCES: The primary effort has been the development of the curriculum for the student audience and recruitment has begun for the 2012-2013 academic year. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Due to delays in curriculum development and state approval, it was decided to not enroll students until fall 2012 to ensure a successful launch of the program.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
IOWE-2010-02944
Accession number
223115
Categories
Natural Toxins
Policy and Planning
Bacterial Pathogens
Education and Training