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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Paul Lanning

Third Committee Member

Jerry Somerville


The STEM fields are in the process of expanding and requiring highly trained technicians to support this growth. Community colleges are places that offer technician training to students in preparation for high technology jobs. Unfortunately, community colleges are generally underfunded and poorly positioned to offer professional development for discipline-specific skills or pedagogy training. The National Science Foundation and Advanced Technological Education (ATE) have situated themselves to provide support for the STEM fields through their federally funded programs for technician teachers. A component of ATE grants is a focus on faculty development designed to help STEM teachers in community colleges. ATE helps community colleges fill in the gaps in professional development facing instructors in the STEM fields. The purpose of this study was to analyze the pedagogical characteristics of ATE-funded professional development for community college faculty and its intersections with campus-funded professional development. This study used a qualitative, multiple case-study design. Three interviews were conducted at three different ATE sites in California of the center leader, a professional development coordinator, and a participant. The major findings were 1. ATE provides educational and technical training to adults with common traits in backgrounds and goals. 2. The technical professional development at ATE centers is hands-on and interactive and has shown to provide positive learning outcomes to adult learners. 3. ATE centers address the needs of an evolving workforce by conducting research on new or current industry expectations. 4. Partnerships to industry are important to the curriculum and infrastructure of ATE professional development. 5. Evaluation is necessary for the growth of ATE professional development programs. 6. ATE helps build a collaborative community within a technical field by supporting relationships between professional development participants. 7. Each ATE center provides industry educators with resources they can access after a workshop. 8. One out of three ATE center professional development projects in this study intersects with campus-funded professional development. Understanding how these three ATE centers provide professional development can help inform the professional development practices at newly emerging or already established ATE centers across the nation. This study includes recommendations for future research and implications for practice.





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