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CAS professor uses research grant to analyze engineering education

TAMPA, Fla. — A professor at the University of South Florida is using a research grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program to assess high school and community college students.

William Tyson, Associate Professor of Sociology and Principal Investigator of PathTech, is using the NSF grant to research the educational and professional trajectories of high school and community college students in engineering technology programs.

Academic and Employment Pathways in Advanced Technologies, or PathTech, is in its third year and is described by Tyson as a “moving target research project” because it’s always changing.

PathTech has partnered with colleges in neighboring counties as well as local businesses in the engineering technology field to reach out to non-traditional students and current workers in the industry.

“This project is really about the changing dynamic of the workforce,” said Tyson, who is researching career-oriented programs for tech preparedness in high schools and community colleges to find out more about how to recruit a diverse pool of students to receive education in STEM fields.

“There has been a change in how scholars view education," Tyson said. "We’re trying to show that there are many viable pathways to get good jobs.”

The PathTech program at USF has partnered with Polk State College for this research, but is looking for more partners in the Tampa Bay engineering technology industry.


Filed under:Sociology Arts and Sciences