This project is to helping increase the pool of well-educated and highly skilled Information Technology (IT) workers. The project addresses the severe current national shortage in the IT workforce (about 400,000 IT workers in 1999) that is, unfortunately, projected to persist well into the 21st century (about 1.3 million IT workers in 2006). Targeted audiences for the project include: a) community college on-campus traditional and returning students, and b) off-campus distance students and adult learners. The project aims to provide Online Educational Materials (OEM) for courses in Information Engineering Technology (IET) and Computer Science Technology (CST) areas at the community college level.
Objectives of and major methods being employed for the project to reach this goal include: 1) development of online educational materials for twelve (12) advanced courses in undergraduate Information Engineering Technology, 2) design and development of a prototype of a Web-based Instructional (WBI) tool that will comprise various modern communication technologies (for example, audio-, video-, and data-conferencing, application/document sharing, chat servers), 3) development of a User Manual for WBI tool that will help faculty and students to customize its features into their respective educational environments, 4) "beta"-testing of OEM at collaborating institutions, including historically black educational institutions, and evaluation of OEM by internal and external (both, national and international) experts, 5) intensive utilization of the "IT Competency Profile" that follows the Tech Prep model and NSF Northwest Center on Emerging Technologies IT Skills Standards, and 6) continuous faculty development on Web-based training and Web-based teaching in IET.