The Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) recently awarded its 2013 Award for Institutional Innovation and Integration to the Board of Regents for Higher Education which governs the 17 Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (ConnSCU). The award was given in recognition of the three new advanced manufacturing centers launched last fall at Housatonic, Naugatuck Valley, and Quinebaug Valley Community Colleges. According to SCUP, the Award for Institutional Innovation and Integration honors the achievement of higher education institutions or teams of individuals whose work has demonstrated integrated and innovative thinking, planning, and implementation. The recipient of this award is recognized at SCUP's annual conference — held this year in San Diego in July —and is invited to present a 60-minute concurrent session.
“This award is a great recognition of all of the hard work that went into ensuring these three new advanced manufacturing centers were launched in time to serve our students for the fall 2012 semester,” said Philip E. Austin, Interim President of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. “On a very tight timeline, system staff, campus leaders, faculty and staff, state agency partners and private sector partners worked together to ensure that the curriculum, facilities and equipment were all in place to help train and educate students for advanced manufacturing jobs across our state. The Board of Regents, the General Assembly and Governor Malloy also deserve a great amount of credit for their support of these new programs.”
“Traditionally, launching new programs such as these can take years,” said Gail Coppage, Director of Innovation & Outreach at the Board of Regents for Higher Education. “By working together — the campuses, the system, state agency partners and, importantly, private sector partners — we were able to ensure these programs were ready to open and accept students in time for the fall 2012 semester. We strongly believe that the innovation and collaboration demonstrated by this initiative should serve as a model for the possible expansion of additional programs at similar institutions.”
Coppage also credited the success of these programs with the creation of a Statewide Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee (SAMAC), formed in March 2012, to provide guidance and support to the colleges that host the manufacturing centers. Members of this committee include industry partners, workforce partners, college representatives, and community association partners. The SAMAC meets on a monthly basis to assist with manufacturing program review. In addition, this advisory group continues to discuss current needs and trends in manufacturing, the challenges faced by the colleges as they implement new programs and ways to support and encourage students as they progress through the rigorous one-year certificate program.
“The committee liked this statewide, multi-campus initiative that helped drive economic development in the state, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” said the SCUP 2013 Awards Committee after choosing the winner. “It is innovative, seldom seen in other places, and a model transferrable to any other place that wants to touch an entire cross section of those who want to learn. The breadth and depth of the impact is significant. It is innovative not for being bold and brash, but for turning around a difficult situation. It is an American success story.”
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