More homes and industries are adopting connected technology solutions known as the Internet of Things (IoT). As a result, the workforce is facing a growing skills gap. Trained technicians are needed to develop, adjust, install, and troubleshoot IoT technologies, as well as to analyze the data that they generate. This project will increase the quality, capacity, and number of skilled IoT technicians. To achieve this goal, the project will develop an IoT Certificate Program. Students in the IoT Certificate Program will participate in field trips to see wide-spread IoT applications in industries and homes. The IoT Certificate Program will culminate in a capstone course in which students will apply the concepts and practices they learned in the classroom. Specifically, the students will develop a secure and reliable IoT product or system either on campus or at a Business & Industry Leadership Team partner location. The individuals who earn the IoT Certificate will help meet the national need for a highly skilled technician workforce for smart homes and connected cities.

The goals of this project are to (1) modify and design new curriculum for an IoT Certificate, (2) provide professional development activities that prepare faculty to deliver quality instruction in IoT, and (3) recruit and retain more females and other underrepresented groups in the IoT Technician field. The project aims to award IoT certificates to at least 30 students by the end of the project. Curriculum modification and development will be informed through faculty professional development at the Cisco Academy, through knowledge provided by the project?s Business & Industry Leadership Team members, and expertise shared by related efforts. Inclusive recruitment and retention activities will be developed to welcome participation of females and other underrepresented populations. Additionally, currently enrolled college students will be recruited from programs such as Electrical, HVAC, Construction Engineering, Computer Networking, Cybersecurity, Computer Programming, and Data Analytics. Individuals who earn the IoT Technician Certificate will be able to program sensors, install and program smart controllers, problem-solve and repair hardware and software problems, and analyze the data generated by the system. The contributions of this project include development of an IoT curriculum that reflects industry needs, equips students for a career in a rapidly evolving world of IoT, and improves strategies to increase participation of women and other underrepresented groups. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation's economy.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Paul Tymann
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Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
United States
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