TULSA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (TCC) NATIONAL AVIATION CONSORTIUM SITE PROFILE

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1 TULSA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (TCC) NATIONAL AVIATION CONSORTIUM SITE PROFILE Tulsa Community College is one of five sites participating in the National Aviation Consortium. This site profile provides an overview of the program model in place at the conclusion of year one of grant activity (September, 2013). Site profiles are intended to document the current state of play at each of the five NAC implementation sites, to build greater transparency across sites and to enhance understanding among implementers of various program models and effective strategies. As grant implementation continues, the working models at each site will likely change and evolve in response to customer needs and labor market shifts. Information on the current model at TCC is presented in three parts. The first section describes the college programs and systems that were operational when the grant application was completed and provides the organizational context on which the new, grant-funded activity was built. The second section describes the current programmatic plan related to implementation of the grant. It includes information on how the curriculum is being deployed, the relationship with existing aviation and manufacturing-related college programs of study, the cost structure, etc. The final section captures initial thinking about sustainability regarding such issues as leveraging grant funds for long-term capacity building and possible career pathways for program graduates. I. CONTEXT Overview of Tulsa Community College Tulsa Community College has served Tulsa and northeastern Oklahoma as a valued educational resource for more than four decades. After opening a campus in downtown Tulsa in 1970, TCC has become Oklahoma s largest, multi-campus community college serving 35,000 students in credit and continuing education programs annually. Four fully-equipped campuses Metro, Northeast, Southeast and West populate the Tulsa area, along with several community campuses in the suburban areas. TCC consistently ranks among the Top 35 of the nation s 1,150 community college associate degree producers. The College serves more students in higher education in northeastern Oklahoma than any other public college or university and regularly ranks among the state s top 1

2 three institutions in first-time college freshman enrollment. In the 40 years that the College has served the Greater Tulsa area, TCC has provided quality educational services to more than 450,000 people. General education is at the core of the academic curriculum for all degree-seeking students. Together, courses taken for the general education requirements and those taken for specific degrees ensure that graduates of have the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to carry them successfully through their work and their personal lives. Tulsa Community College students will be able to demonstrate the following college goals: (1) Critical Thinking; (2) Effective Communication; (3) Engaged Learning; and (4) Technological Proficiency. TCC students have access to more than 200 associate degree and certificate options, with a focus on white and grey collar professions. The college does not offer traditional hard or blue collar trades. In keeping with that focus, it does offer a significant and long-standing Aviation Sciences Technology program, with options in Air Traffic Control, Professional Pilot, Aviation Maintenance Technology, and Aviation Management. However, for implementation of the Skills 180 curriculum associated with the National Aviation Consortium (NAC) grant, TCC decided to subcontract with Tulsa Technology Center for the technical instructional components, as described below in detail. Tulsa Technology Center (Tulsa Tech) Tulsa Tech was founded in 1965 as a part of Tulsa Public Schools and in 1973 began as an independent school district with one campus. Today, Tulsa Tech has multiple campus sites as well as several training locations in area high schools, and is the oldest and largest Technology Center in Oklahoma s CareerTech System. Part of a statewide network of 29 Technology Centers, Tulsa Tech serves approximately 3,200 secondary students annually from 14 school districts, as well as private, parochial, and home schooled students tuition free. Over 1,200 adults are enrolled annually in full-time programs, while thousands of others learn new skills or enhance existing skills in short-term training courses for nominal fees. Tulsa Tech also offers extensive business-industry training to help attract new industry to the region and help existing businesses expand. On a statewide average, technology centers receive about two-thirds of their funding at the local level. The remaining is a mixture of state and federal funds. Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Technology Center have had a long standing partnership in the region, and even share administrative headquarters. As relates to NAC, Tulsa Tech operates a comprehensive Aviation Maintenance Technology program with expansive lab space (see details below), so contracting with Tulsa Tech as a vendor to provide the technical training was a logical fit. While TCC is administered by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and is a degree granting institutions, TTC is under the Oklahoma CareerTech System and is administered 2

3 by the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. Tulsa Tech, therefore, does not grant degrees, although training provided through them can qualify towards credits and degrees, provided the proper contractual relationships are in place with TCC, such as they are with the NAC grant. Existing Aviation/Aerospace Programs (Tulsa Community College) Tulsa Community College offers a comprehensive Aviation Sciences Technology, Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. The program is long-standing and reflects the needs of the local labor market. Four options are available, as summarized below. Program: Aviation Sciences Instructors Enrollments* Credits Air Traffic Controller Option (496195). This program option provides training in the application of tower and terminal radar approach control procedures. Maintenance Technology Option (150801).** This option provides an opportunity for Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Powerplant Certified Technicians to develop skills in mathematics, physics, humanities and social sciences and to earn an Associate in Applied Science. Management Option (150801). This option is designed to educate future managers for the aviation industry. The curriculum stresses scientific principles, the human side of management, computer knowledge, critical thinking, cognitive and analytical skills, in addition to mathematics, science and technology. Professional Pilot Option (150801). The student will be provided with the ground school and flight training necessary to acquire a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Private Pilot Certificate, 2 FT/2PT 185 A.A.S. Workforce Development 8FT at TTC 99 A.A.S. University Transfer General Education Focus/No Technical Faculty 57 A.A.S. University Transfer 2FT/5PT 144 A.A.S. University Transfer 18 Gen Ed + 42 Specialty 60 Credits 35 Gen Ed + 33 Specialty 68 Credits 41 Gen Ed+ 21 Specialty 62 (Credits) 37 Gen Ed+ 25 Specialty 62 (Credits) Instrument Rating and Commercial Certificate. *Cumulative total for summer 2012, fall 2012, and spring 2013 (represents average annual enrollment) **Aviation Maintenance is a Cooperative Alliance with Tulsa Technology center, who delivers the coursework. Enrollments at TTC = 134. Credentials: In addition to the A.A.S. degrees conferred by the college, each of the credit programs outlined above is linked with an industry-recognized credential. However, that credential is not necessarily an expected outcome of the program. For example, the Aviation Sciences Maintenance Technology degree option at TCC provides an opportunity for Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Powerplant Certified Technicians to develop skills in mathematics, physics, humanities and social sciences and to earn an Associate in Applied Science. The program is offered in collaboration with Tulsa Tech, where students can take the requisite courses to earn their A & P certification from the FAA. Students in the Professional Pilot option can get the ground school and flight training necessary 3

4 to acquire a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating and Commercial Certificate. Existing Manufacturing Related Programs of Study (Tulsa Community College) The college also offers several manufacturing-related programs of study, including both certifications and degree programs in engineering, engineering technology, electronics, electronics technology, process technology, quality control and others. Based on input from the Curriculum Compliance Officer at the college, the programs of study listed in the chart below offer potential career pathways beyond job placement for students completing the NACsponsored curriculum. Program: Engineering Technology Instructors Enrollment* Credits 1FT/5PT 59 A.A.S. Workforce Development Engineering Technology, Manufacturing Technology Option (151199). This option provides the student with solid knowledge and skills in the area of applied engineering. Manufacturing Engineers create and implement the manufacturing build plan in order to take engineering designs from the drawing board to product delivery. Engineering Technology, Quality Control Technology Option (151199). This option is designed to prepare students with no experience in quality control for an entry level position or to help students upgrade their skills for advancement. Engineering Technology, Quality Control Technology Option (150702). Students who are interested in pursuing a course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree in Quality Control Technology, General option, may complete general education and prerequisite courses at TCC. 1FT/4PT 23 A.A.S. Workforce Development (same as above) 38 CERT Workforce Development Gen Ed 14 Core 27 Specialty 62 (Credits) Gen Ed 14 Core 27 Specialty 62 (Credits) Gen Ed 21 Specialty (Credits) Existing Aviation/Aerospace Programs (Tulsa Tech) The Tulsa Technology Center Aerospace Technician program, otherwise known as the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program, is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFRs) Part 147 to offer training leading to certification as an Airframe and Powerplant Technician. See Attachment C for details. The FAA-approved portion of the program features three basic parts: (1) General, (2) Airframe, and (3) Powerplant. Additionally, earning the Airframe and Powerplant certifications qualifies the student to take additional certifications, including: SpaceTec Core certification, Certified Aerospace Technician (CAT) Aircraft Electronic Technician (AET) Aircraft Mechanic License - FAA Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic Certificates 4

5 The Aviation Maintenance Technology Program at Tulsa Tech is a Cooperative Alliance with Tulsa Community College. Enrollments waiver in the program, but tend to average slightly over 200 students annually, with about half the students enrolled through TCC. Students can earn 27 credits through the partnership, which can be applied to directly to the Aviation Sciences Maintenance Technology Option Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree at the college. Because high school students in the district can attend Tulsa Tech tuition free, and because the Aviation Maintenance A.A.S. degree at Tulsa Community College is a university transfer degree, a model has been operational for a number of years with Oklahoma State University (OSU). The model provides a clear and seamless career pathway from high school into the FAA-approved Aerospace Technician program and beyond to a four-year degree, typically in engineering technology. Existing Manufacturing Related Programs of Study (Tulsa Tech) Tula Tech also has three manufacturing-related programs that could potentially link with the NAC curriculum. These include: Machining Technology, including NIMS-Certified Machine Operator (entry-level) and NIMS-Certified Machine Technician, both of which are aligned with nationally-portable, industry-based certifications awarded by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) which is a partner in the NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System. Mechatronics System Technician, which offers instruction and hands-on experience in electricity, electronics, mechanics, hydraulics and pneumatics. Welding Technology, which provides training in the following processes of welding: Shielded Metal Arc, Gas Metal Arc, Flux Cored Arc, and Gas Tungsten Arc welding. All courses are aligned with the American Welding Society (AWS), also a partner in the NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System. As mentioned above, because Tulsa Tech is part of the state CareerTech system, and under the authority of the state secondary Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the institution does not award colleges credits or confer certificates or degrees. However, if programs are delivered through a contractual vendor relationship with Tulsa Community College, such as has been arranged through the NAC grant, students can earn college credit that can then be transferred to college certificate and degree programs. II. CURRENT DELIVERY MODEL Stand-alone Model: Tulsa is currently offering a stand alone model, in that the two components of the 180 Skills curriculum being delivered core and Assembly Mechanic - are not integrated into existing college programs. That may change, however, as the program model matures and as the college, in partnership with Tulsa Tech, takes on new concentration areas. 5

6 Those under consideration include CNC and Composites, both courses currently offered by Tulsa Tech. At that time, the model may adapt to more of an integrated approach, in which the 180Skills curriculum is used as an instructional supplement to an already existing course or courses. Core: In the original planning for implementation of the NAC grant, it was thought that Tulsa Tech would be contracted to provide all aspects of the 180 Skills curriculum. As the college learned more about the overall program design and delivery options, however, it was determined that the college would deliver and oversee the four-week online aviation core. That is, once students are enrolled in the program and begin at the appointed start date, they work independently but with support from Tulsa Community College in completing the core. Upon completion, TCC administers the review and final proctored exam, under the guidance of the Project Coordinator. Assembly Mechanic: Similar to other NAC sites, Tulsa launched the 180Skills curriculum with core plus Assembly Mechanic. Unlike many sites, however, Tulsa is not delivering Assembly Mechanic as four-weeks of online asynchronous study followed by four weeks of full-time, onsite lab work. Rather, it is operating an eight-week, concurrent instruction model in which students complete both the online portion of the technical content and the on-site lab work at the same time. A state-of-the-art classroom and lab has been set up at Tulsa Tech s Business and Industry Services Training Center, with the entire space dedicated to the NAC training program. The space will be operated as a simulated work environment, where the students spend a full eighthour day, five days a week. The facility also is equipped with an IT lab for students to be able to independently work on the online courses as needed. Based on college curriculum guidelines, the core was valued at 3 credits, the Mechanical Assembly module at 3 credits, and the Mechanical Assembly lab at 7 credits. That package is 3 credits short of qualifying for CERT status. One possibility will be to add an OSHA course, or to value the new Safety/Quality Assurance core, or some combination of both to achieve the additional 3 credits needed (approved CERT programs must be a minimum of 16 credits). A similar process will take place with both CNC and Composites, although the issues there may be different since both those content areas are already significantly developed at Tulsa Tech. All applications for new CERTS must be approved through a four-step process, including review and sign-off by faculty, the college Curriculum Committee, the College Board, and the Board of Regents. Depending on the timing, the approval cycle can take as little as 12 weeks, if everything goes smoothly. Instructors: One full time and one part-time instructor will teach the Assembly Mechanic concentration component. When the program is expanded to include an additional concentration, which will likely be Composites and/or CNC, additional faculty will be added. Some full-time faculty who will teach the technical aspects of the program have been with Tulsa 6

7 Tech for years. New part-time faculty will be recruited as needed, and all will have extensive industry experience. Student Recruitment: The first class was scheduled to begin in August, 2013, but recruiting a class of 10 has been a challenge and the start date has been moved. The employment situation in the Tulsa economy has gone flat, and key partners are not hiring. Spirit Airlines had a layoff, followed by an announcement that they would be selling their facility in Tulsa. American Airlines has slowed hiring while they deal with their impending merger. As a result of these transitions and the downturn in hiring, interest in aviation-training programs has waned. In addition, partnerships with feeder systems are still being established. Leadership at several local Workforce Boards has also turned over, so new relationships need to be established. Targeted outreach is being conducted to high schools, One Stop Centers, TAA/Veterans offices, and Job/Career Fairs, as well as with college and Tulsa Tech admissions officers and guidance counselors. The college marketing office will get more engaged during the next phases of recruitment, to ensure the program is marketed and promoted with the full support of the college resources behind it. NAC staff is also planning to reach out to additional target audiences, such as Adult Basic Education/ GED prep classes, to ensure those potential candidate are aware of the opportunity. Tulsa Tech has agreed to market to existing high school seniors who are already enrolled in other classes but may be interested in the NAC opportunity. Enrollment and Student Supports: As recruitment efforts take hold and candidates are identified, they will complete a Program Application as well as a regular Tulsa Community College Application. Students must have a High School Diploma or G.E.D. to apply, but there are no other admissions requirements. Once accepted, students will be enrolled as full-time students and enrolled in the Engineering Technology A.A.S. degree program. As discussed above, the intent is to have each of the concentration areas (Mechanical Assembly, CNC and Composites) developed as an approved CERT in the college system, each having a minimum of 16 credits. As credit earning students, all will qualify for the full array of college support and financial aid services. The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at Tulsa Community College is available to assist qualified students to meet the costs of their education. Financial aid is designed to supplement the financial resources of the student and student s parent(s). Financial aid is available through grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment from federal, state, institutional and private sources. Costs: The current cost model includes a per credit cost plus lab fees. The per-credit cost has been set at $119.84, so each three credit course (for example, core) is $ A student completing core plus Mechanical Assembly would pay $1, ($ X 16) plus a lab fee of $175, for a total of $2, This assumes approval of the Mechanical Assembly CERT for 16 credits. 7

8 Employer Partnerships: Employer partners in the Tulsa region include some of the nation s preeminent aviation companies, including American Airlines, Spirit Aerosystems, Nordam, Flight Safety, Bizjet, M&M Manufacturing, L-3 Communications, and others. Many of those firms were involved in crafting the original application to be a part of the NAC project, and signed the original letters of agreement as partners in the project. One of the challenges has been staff turnover at the companies, and/or leadership not passing the word throughout the organization about the intent to partner. In reaching out to meet one-on-one with regional employers, NAC staff are discovering that a number of the HR pointsof-contact are unfamiliar with the project and of their company s agreement to partner. In some cases company leadership has changed, so staff needs to build the relationship from the ground up. Because most companies are not hiring, the conversation about skills development is focusing on potential interest to upgrade the skills of the current workforce. Targeted incumbent workers for training may be a viable option during this downturn in hiring, and build positive relationships with companies that will yield benefits when they do begin to hire. An incumbent worker model will take on a different spin, since it would be operated through continuing education and students would not earn credit for the experience. Funding support would come directly from employers, who would pay the same credit hour rate of $ for isolated course, and would also have to absorb the $400 per student fee from 180 Skills. Challenges and Successes to Date: The major challenges to date include the fact that major aviation-related employers in the region are in transition, and not hiring. As word gets out, recruiting students for accelerated training programs is a hard sell. Building relationships with employers is also moving slowly, with numerous staff turnovers and the need to revisit commitment levels. One potential upside is that eventually employers will start hiring again, and then there will be a real surge in demand for skilled workers. Those laid off may decide to retire, opening even greater employment possibilities. Another is that students completing training can take advantage of continuing their education through related aviation and manufacturing programs of study. The relationship between the college and Tulsa Tech is positive, although it does add another dimension to program implementation. The college does not have direct control over such variables as the hiring of technical staff, as is the case when the college is delivering the training, so that adds a different dimension to the Tulsa model. As a result, both institutional and personal relationships are likely to play a proportionately more important role in the ultimate program outcomes. Program Model Visual: The Tulsa NAC program model visual is included on the next page. This represents the intended student flow as is currently planned, but may be adjusted as the program design evolves. 8

9 TULSA COMMUNITY COLLEGE NATIONAL AVIATION CONSORTIUM Program Model Participant Outcomes Job Placement (New Hire) Skill Acquisition and Job Retention (Incumbent Workers) Continued Education (Aviation or Manufacturing Career Pathway) CNC (Tulsa Tech) (Planned Offering) Summer, 2014 Mechanical Assembly (Tulsa Tech) Current Offering Eight weeks 10 credits = (3 course + 7 lab) Full Time (8 hours/day) Concurrent Online plus On-Site Lab Final Proctored Exam Score (70% to pass; 90% for certificate) Exam proctored by TCC Composites (Tulsa Tech) (Planned Offering) Spring, 2014 Aviation Core (Tulsa Community College) Four weeks Three Credits - Online Asynchronous Final Proctored Exam Score (90%) Feeder System TAA/Veterans Workforce Boards - High Schools Job/Career Fairs Students enrolled in other programs at TCC and TTC 9

10 One of the next steps in the build out of the Tulsa Community College NAC program model, scheduled to take place in year two of grant operations, will be the development of career pathway options for program graduates. As highlighted in section one of this overview, both Tulsa Community College and Tulsa Tech have additional aviation programs, as well as manufacturing-related programs, that may provide logical next steps for students completing the various concentration areas. Logical areas of inquiry and some of the questions to be answered will include: What logical linkages to existing programs exist that build upon knowledge and skills mastered during the NAC program experience? Will any additional prerequisites need to be completed before a student could enroll in a related TCC or TTC program? What is the process for graduating students to continue their education, ideally after job placement? Will credits earned through the NAC program be fully transferable to a related TCC program? What industry certifications and other credentials can be earned? What current relationships and articulation agreements are in place with four-year institutions for students who complete A.S. or A.A.S. degrees in Aviation or Manufacturing? As these and other critical questions are explored and answered, a career pathway map or visual will emerge that shows the relationship across various systems in aviation: the educational pathways, the certification pathways and the occupational pathways. That visual, focused on the aviation industry in the Tulsa region, will basically answer the questions for students: what will I learn and how much will I earn? III. FUTURE VISION During the first year of grant operation, leadership at Tulsa Community College has focused on getting the NAC curriculum implemented, developing recruitment and placement strategies, and building employer partnerships. The college sees potential in the curriculum and the accelerated delivery model. Staff has begun to take steps to think through how the requisite credit hours needed to qualify for a bona fide CERT program (16 credit hour minimum) can be accomplished. College leadership believe that having each of the 180Skills concentration areas achieve status as a fully-recognized credential at the community will help ensure sustainability, will create additional building blocks and stackable credentials for a career pathways system, and will help students qualify for financial aide through Pell grants. As discussed above, a major program design component that will be addressed in year two is building out career pathway models for program graduates. This will involve promoting 10

11 articulation agreements between Tulsa Community College and partner four-year schools, but also among the NAC partner schools. This work will be built on a substantial foundation of existing partnerships. TCC has established articulation agreements with both public and private, in-state and out-of-state institutions to provide many transfer options for TCC students. These agreements include both on-campus and Internet courses and programs. Some of the institutions with which TCC has developed articulated transfer agreements are: Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, Langston University, Northeastern State University, Southern Nazarene University, The University of Tulsa, Oral Roberts University, the University of Phoenix, and Oklahoma City University. TCC also plans to initiate discussions with Rogers University about a transfer degree/pathway for NAC students. Leadership at Tulsa Community College appreciates and values its position as an NAC partner college, and views the NAC grant as a vehicle for building a new model for delivering aviation content. They look forward to enrolling students, beginning the instructional process, graduating students, and contributing to the skilled talent pool of aviation workers in the region. 11

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