Engineering Pathways Anchored by Rural Arizona Community Colleges

Caroline VanIngen-Dunn, Science Foundation Arizona; Verlyn Fick, Cochise College
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and Cochise College are testing an Engineering Pathways model that engages and excites students about STEM career opportunities, prepares them for rigorous coursework, and supports the acquisition of meaningful workplace knowledge and skills leading to program completers performing in the workplace. Components of this model are described with current research results and lessons learned. SFAz shares its plans to adapt the model to other Arizona community colleges.

About the Presenters:
Caroline VanIngen-Dunn, Manager of SFAz STEM Initiatives, Science Foundation Arizona
Caroline VanIngen-Dunn’s 25-year career is in engineering research and STEM education. As manager of SFAz's STEM Initiatives, VanIngen-Dunn is building and managing programs and initiatives that link education, workforce, and industry to STEM Pathways and similar programs that result in degrees, certifications, and other credentials that prepare students for jobs. VanIngen-Dunn started her career at Simula Inc., where she conducted vehicle safety and crash-worthiness research for 13 years. She continued to provide biomechanical engineering expertise from her consulting business, CVID Consulting Services, LLC, where for 10 years she also developed, implemented, and managed a number of STEM education programs and initiatives. Her role with the Arizona Department of Commerce as a High Tech School to Work Partnership director launched her career in STEM education and industry partnership work. Other clients for CVID Consulting Services included Simula, ArmorWorks, TIAX, Arizona State University, Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona Science Center, and Avnet. VanIngen-Dunn serves on the University of Iowa's College of Engineering advisory board, and has served on the International Science and Engineering Fair host committees of 2005 and 2013. She is a lifetime member of the Society of Women Engineers. VanIngen-Dunn obtained her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and her BSE in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa.

Verlyn Fick, Vice president for instruction and provost, Cochise College
In addition to his administrative duties as vice president for instruction and provost at Cochise College, Verlyn Fick is a principal investigator for a National Science Foundation project entitled Engineering Pathways Partnership Project (EP3): A Rural Model for a Modern World. This project is building ties with industry by providing student internships in STEM positions and by working with district engineering and mathematics educators to improve the success of students interested in STEM fields. He also oversees another grant from Science Foundation Arizona entitled STEM Outreach Programs Leading to STEM Pathways. Prior to working for Cochise College, Fick was the vice president for teaching and learning at Southeastern Community College (SCC). While at SCC, Fick oversaw all instructional activities, including adult basic education and general education development, high school enrollment programs and credit programs, as well as many other aspects of the college. Fick came to SCC from Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, where he worked as vice president of instruction and student services. He also worked at the North Dakota State College of Science and Eastern New Mexico University including several years teaching agriculture courses. Fick obtained his PhD in Crop Production and Physiology from Iowa State University and BS degrees in Agronomy and in Soil Science from the University of Minnesota.