Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC) is a Project of the Algae Foundation
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ATEC has completed all of the first year commitments to date. These successes include establishing the Algae Technology Educational Consortium team and developing collaborative relationships with over eleven universities and five community colleges. Industry reviewers of the curriculum objectives and skill standards have also committed to ATEC.
Additional subcommittees have been organized to develop and implement the 2-year curriculum, the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), the program Certificate, and the publication of course text documents and lab manuals for the written modules and supplements supporting each course.
ATEC also distributed and analyzed results from the ATEC jobs assessment survey. These results in the area of advances in waste water algal-assisted digester research indicate there are many growing opportunities for algal-based jobs throughout the country.
In the absence of fuels, the algal industry still approaches $8 billion each year in market value. The skills of the entry level workers, who are not charged with reinventing the industry, provide the basic skills to be successful in a variety of job sectors.
The ATEC program represents a completely unique effort to develop highly trained, algal-based cultivation and biotechnology technicians. This is NOT a four-year nor graduate-level program. The community college student is looking for the skills to get a job while dealing with life challenges of having to combine school with family and work.
The entry level positions in algal farms or multi trophic aquaculture facilities do not target four-year college degree graduates. ATEC is establishing a relationship with commercial algal labs intending to provide hands on, intensive laboratory courses and internships for our degree seeking students.
ATEC outcome skill sets have been developed in consultation with algae companies; including both internships and hands-on intensive learning efforts. Discussions with algal companies indicate they currently train their employees from scratch which adds significantly to their operational costs and that they would preferably employ algal trained community college students.
Each student will undertake a capstone experience providing the opportunity to develop skills from cultivar isolation and identification to cultivation, harvest and bioproducts processing. The key to the ATEC degree is the ability to scale and scope the developing classes to the community college level student.