For more than 45 years, providing innovative changes in education to prepare students for greater success in careers and higher education

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Core Tenets

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Contextual teaching and learning in the STEM disciplines

We support the teaching of knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the contexts in which they are used in today’s rapidly evolving workplace.

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Seamless transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and careers

We help educators and employers work together in ensuring that all learners have access to credential-earning Career Pathways.

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Training solutions to help America’s technicians excel in the global labor market

Our projects and resources help learners acquire the technical and employability skills necessary to be globally competitive, today and in the future.



From our team members and partners

EU study tour
Press Release

EU Study Tour: Gleaning Insights from European Innovations in Vocational Education and Training

A team of community college educators from across the US recently participated in a study tour of Spain and Germany. This initiative was part of the “Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work” project, funded by NSF.

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Integrating Emerging and Cross-Cutting Technologies: Electric Vehicles with Kevin Cooper

Presented by the NSF ATE project Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work, this podcast delves into the burgeoning realms of renewable energy and electric vehicles (EV) and the need to train future professionals for the EV sector.

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advanced manufacturing

Advanced Manufacturing Competencies for Personal and Career Success

The Necessary Skills Now project partnered with advanced manufacturing faculty at Forsyth Technical Community College and their employer partners to develop employability skill development resources for existing manufacturing courses.

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Featured Resources

A Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core, produced by the NSF ATE project Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work (a project of CORD), consists of recommendations for incorporating knowledge and skills in three broad areas—advanced digital literacy, data knowledge and analysis, and business knowledge and processes—into associate degree technician preparation programs.

Topics within these areas have been prioritized by educators and industry as essential to work of the future, across industry sectors. The framework represents a paradigm shift for institutions that provide technician education and is suitable for implementation, with regional customization, by any community college technical program. In summer 2022 the Preparing Technicians project released a supporting resource titled Adopting the Framework for a Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core: A Toolkit for Action. The toolkit facilitates implementation of the framework by laying out six steps covering topics such as recruitment of the implementation team, identification of curriculum gaps, and development of real-world scenarios. The toolkit also provides short self-assessment checkpoints and links to resources designed to assist in the adoption process.

Featured Projects