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Department of Applied Technology

Advisory Board

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

7:30 a.m.

Frame Hall, Room 208


Attending:       K. Douglas Clark- Matric Ltd.                      

                        Tracy Coon- Precision Manufacturing                                   

                        Jon DeArmant- Channellock                         

                        Neil Donovan- Crawford County Career Center                              

                        Kay Ensle- Clarion University Venango Campus                             

Robert Garrity- Venango Technology Center                       

Lisa Groner- The Learning Center                             

Bill Hallock- Clarion University Venango Campus                           

Butch Hargenrader- Pepsi Bottling               

Kyle Herron- Webco              

Lance Hummer- Keystone Community Education Council  

                        Mike Klapec- Klapec Auto Body Inc.

                        Dave Lott- Clarion University Venango Campus

                        Denise McCloskey- Northwest Commission

Tim McMahon- Triangle Tech Group

Theresa Nestor- Clarion University Venango Campus

Paul Newlin- Regional Center for Workforce Excellence

William Powell- Clarion Career Center

Chris Reber- Clarion University Venango Campus

Joe Reed- Current AAS-IT Student- Venango Campus

Barry Reiser- Tech Molded Plastics

Randy Seitz- Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry, and Tourism


Absent:            Rod Griffin- Specialty Fabrication and Powder Coating

Dave Hartley- Clarion University

                        Susan Hileman- Northwest Industrial Resource Center

Barry Kibby- National Hardwood Lumber Association

                        Georgia Lewis- Penelec

                        Matt Livermore- AAS-IT Graduate

                        Kyle Mattison- Current AAS-IT Student- Venango Campus

                        Justin McGinley- AAS-IT Graduate

                        Jeff Miccichi- Conair

                        Jerry Miller- Joy Manufacturing

                        Thomas Wood- Electralloy



Bill Hallock, Chair, Department of Applied Technology began the meeting at 7:35 a.m.  Introductions were made by individual board members. In the future, student board members will present student reports, but this being the inaugural meeting we decided not to ask for their reports today.  One student rep attended, another was on a summer internship for First Energy.  The two grads were both working and unable to attend.


Chris Reber, Executive Dean of Clarion University–Venango Campus, thanked everyone for attending and welcomed advice and feedback from board members.


Industrial Technology currently has seven partners in 24-25 concentrations. The program focuses on the needs of the regions workforce.  A document containing the Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Technology concentrations and partnerships were distributed to board members. Programs needed by area employers will be added without delay with current partners or by adding new partners.


The associate degree programs offer 20 credit hours of general education academic courses, 12 credit hours in business courses and 30 credit hours of technical training.  Seven of the eleven academic courses are offered on-line and can be completed from anywhere.


The program is seeking accreditation from the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).  Clarion University has the highest number of accredited programs within the PA state university system with 27 areas of academic accreditation.


A consultant from NAIT visited Venango Campus in February.  A sample of a news release was distributed to board members as a memo of understanding for those unfamiliar with NAIT. The sample release outlined steps for a successful accreditation process by a university with NAIT.  Improvements to the web and communication to the public are necessary for accreditation. A site visit is planned for February 2009 with submission to the board in Fall 2009.


Upon receiving NAIT accreditation, Bill Hallock presented the process for development of a bachelor’s degree completion program.  In order for graduates to continue with their formal education-What skills need to be developed for preparation into the workforce? What are employers looking for?


  • Grant through Department of Extended Studies was awarded to the Department of Applied Technology to develop this degree-completion program.


  • On-line and hybrid-online courses will be made available. 


  • Clarion could compliment other programs what companies have. 


Goals and objectives were distributed to board members containing a mission statement, vision, short and long term goals.  The board’s role would be to ensure that programs of study would remain current with industries standards and needs.


The following are comments and recommendations on the goals and objectives by board members:


  • A great recruitment tool to keep and add jobs to the region.


  • Curriculum can be developed to meet individual needs.  Students who have been to technical schools can transfer up to 30 credit hours.


  • Programs are on the PA state employment demand list. 


  • Students do not need to wait until senior year of high school to think about college.  Can start courses in sophomore and junior year of high school through dual enrollment.  


  • The need by employers is not always skill based but just to have employees show up on time for work and pass drug tests—one of the program goals is to get past this mindset with quality applicants that have completed their AAS degree.


  • Encourage honor students to enter programs for high paying jobs by high level employers.  Need to work with high school counselors to encourage honor students to enter these fields.  Utilizing STEM initiative funding?


  • Communication and publicity high on priority list for marketing programs.  Create an understanding among students and guidance counselors to enter fields sooner. 


  • NAIT accreditation will help with employer reimbursement.


  • This program offers new work skills for dislocated workers.


  • Recognize workers life experience credits—the program needs to do this!


  • Develop relationships with Chamber of Commerce, Trade Association and local unions.


  • Build credit classes around needs of area to address objectives.


  • Develop portfolio workshops for students with Prior Learning.


  • To keep students motivated, find a model that works. Example: 2+2+2 grant.  Two years at Venango Campus, two years at technical school and two years on-line.  Robotics program brochure was distributed to board members.


  • Primary goal should be marketing. 


  • Change negative stigma of trades-type jobs, especially those in the manufacturing sector.


  • Make sure we are teaching lean manufacturing, ergonomics, human resources, health and safety in the Associate degree and continue into the bachelor’s degree program.


  • Bachelor’s degree program to include liberal knowledge through speech class for more effective communication skills. Professional development through continuing education programs can also be an option.


  • Vision of bachelor’s degree.  Students should obtain knowledge and understanding of certifications such as LEAN, ISO, OSHA, and others so they can move on and pass national exams.  This will make graduates more desirable to employers.


No vote on the approval of these goals and objectives was made so ample time for the board to review them could be made.  A vote will happen at our fall meeting.


A follow-up survey for graduates would be completed on-line electronically.  This would offer a fundamental understanding of what students have learned here and will be used in the workplace.  It would specifically look to see if our outcomes have been met.


Input by the board on the Advisory Committee By-laws which are standard for NAIT.  The following changes were discussed regarding the by-laws: 


  • Article IV: Members, Section 5-remove fifteen. 
  • Article VI: Meetings-during semester rather than per semester.
  • Article VII: Subcommittee-Add market region.




Discussion followed:


  • A career camp to introduce female students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade to careers not typical for women such as pole linemen and lumber inspectors will take place on June 18th.
  • Career counselors and high school teachers need to be made aware of college opportunities for students with technical degrees. Use Act 48 classes to promote options and understanding of trade and technical school degrees to career counselors.  We should look to have a counselor’s update meeting this fall.
  • Ergonomics is a component we should address in our degree program. 
  • Start when student is young-career excitement and self-esteem.  Middle and high school level introduce manufacturing.  Ways to raise a family on income from manufacturing.  How do we do this?  A discussion followed with no clear answer at this time, but involving the parents will be key in anything we do.


Nomination of Chair and Vice-Chair positions: Bill Hallock-Interim Chair and

Randy Seitz-Vice Chair.  A permanent Chair will be nominated at the fall meeting.


Formal approval of by-laws: William Powell made a motion to approve by-laws and Randy Seitz seconded the motion.  All were in favor.


Discussion followed:

  • The website for National Association of Industrial Technology is

            NAIT standards are listed on the website.

  • Schools are judged on the amount of students who attend college after high school. Legislatures could present alternative career opportunities in areas of technology to career counselors and students.
  • Creation of an informal Regional Employment Task Force to search for leaders to initiate career needs was recommended by the board. 


The meeting adjourned at 9:02 a.m. with Mike Klapec making a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Neil Donovan. All were in favor.


The Advisory Board was asked to make any corrections to the Advisory Board spreadsheet.  Informational emails will be sent to board members prior to the next meeting.