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Marine Advanced Technology Education Symposium

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Dave Nichols, Physical Scientist from the Woods Hole Field Center, visited Monterey, California, March 1-3 for two symposia. On March 1st he was an invited guest of MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) sponsored by the National Science Foundation to discuss critical issues relevant to marine technology education, particularly focusing on the role of community colleges.

The main purpose of the MATE forum was to identify and address critical issues and to recommend strategies to deal with those issues. Participants focused on identifying needs that are unlikely to be met by existing programs, and on examining the role community colleges can play in responding to those needs.

The workshop primarily dealt with the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process. DACUM sessions usually involve 8-15 workers and supervisors who work for a day or two with a trained facilitator to generate information pertinent to a specific job classification. First, broad duties or functions are identified, then listed. The facilitator asks the group first to arrange the duties according to process sequence or importance level, and then to identify the tasks performed by the job occupant for each broad functional category. These tasks are in turn analyzed for requisite knowledge and skills and then collapsed into main tasks and rated on a scale for frequency and importance.

The result is a listing of tasks and activities for any particular job, as developed by job incumbents and supervisors, that can be used for developing training materials that are highly task specific. This specific MATE workshop defined an entry level classification (Marine Survey Technician) with an AAS degree and two years experience and how that classification related to the private and government sectors.

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