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Nationally there are ten recipients to the three-year NASA-sponsored United Negro College Fund Special Programs (UNCFSP) Curriculum Improvement Partnership Award II (CIPA II) Program, of which Hartnell College is one. This program was officially signed on in January, 2006 and initiated in February, 2006. The funding for the Hartnell College award is $125,000, $125,000, and $150,000 for years one, two, and three, respectively, with years two and three contingent on Hartnell College CIPA performance and availability of NASA funding.

The CIPA II Project at Hartnell College, titled “Engineering Program Upgrade with Project Management,” will build on the success of CIPA I and is viewed as a project under a Hartnell College strategic initiative:

"Hartnell College has made a major commitment to expanding and improving its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. . . . Enrolling, retaining, and transferring increased numbers of underrepresented students, particularly Latinos, in engineering majors is one of the college’s long-term goals for STEM programs." (Educational and Facilities Master Plan 1999-2010).

Project Scope and Objectives

The strategic initiative of the College is to increase enrollment, retention, and transfer of underrepresented students in engineering majors. The Hartnell College Engineering Program Upgrade with Project Management will support our strategic initiative by:

• infusing principles of project management into all current engineering courses
• making the engineering curriculum more current and relevant to developments in modern technology.
• connecting our underrepresented students to university research early in their development.
• giving STEM students critical skills like project management that will give them an advantage when entering the workforce.
• working with our partners to develop internship support projects as critical platforms to launch our students into universities and the workforce.

NASA material and content related to project management and the agency’s projects and strategic enterprises will be incorporated into the revised lecture courses and into new advanced courses, and applied to student internships and special projects. The program improvements resulting from new engineering curriculum will provide a significant advancement in scientific and engineering instrumentation and capacity at Hartnell College. Student-centered learning is an essential ingredient in this project and will allow students to gain experience on all aspects of an engineering project applied to real world situations.

Improvements to the engineering program will occur with the consultation of professionals from several key partner institutions. The partnerships will provide a level of expertise needed to ensure articulation of the courses, give students experience working with professionals in the field, and provide a pipeline for future internships. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our strong partnerships, the tie between Astronomy and Engineering will be a recurring theme.