Submitted by Marisela Cadena-Smith of Collin College
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $4.4 million grant to the National Convergence Technology Center at Collin College.
This grant, which expands on the work of the Regional NSF Convergence Technology Center based at Collin College since 2004, extends through July 2016 and is the fifth Advanced Technological Education grant awarded to Collin College since 1999.
Convergence technology supports end-to-end communication via public and private networks, supporting voice, data and video traffic in a secure manner.
“In 2004, Collin College predicted the growing workforce demand in convergence technology, having created programs to address this need,” Mac Hendricks, chair of the Collin College Board of Trustees, said. “With the explosive growth in the use of the Internet and various cloud-based Internet services, the need for convergence technicians continues to increase, and the Board is pleased to see the college expand its leadership to a national level.”
The National Convergence Technology Center is a partnership between Collin College and seven colleges and universities including El Centro College, the University of North Texas, Florida State College, Jacksonville, Fla., Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, Wis., Lansing Community College, Lansing, Mich., Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, Calif., and Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.
“Receiving this $4.4 million grant allows Collin College to continue to meet the growing workforce needs in convergence technology workers and further establishes the college nationally as a leading voice in this industry,” District President Cary Israel said. “At Collin College, we recognize that convergence technology will continue to play an important role in shaping this country’s long-term economic growth and quality of life. Through partnerships with major regional businesses, Collin College was the first college to establish a Convergence Technology Center to address the emerging need.”
Together, Collin College and its partners will collaborate to develop program improvements to meet workforce needs by equipping faculty to teach emerging technologies demanded by the workforce; furnish technology-enabled instructional support systems to assist colleges in launching convergence programs; increase the number of completers with certificates and degrees ready to meet workforce needs; and build capacity by mentoring colleges nationwide in implementing new programs in convergence technology.