A National Science Foundation –
Advanced Technological Education Grant
NEED: The past decade has witnessed spectacular improvements in the field of broadcasting. Within the next two years, more stunning advances are expected to take place as the media industry addresses the national conversion from analog to digital (high definition) television in compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. As television stations struggle to meet the FCC deadline, the need to retrain the industry’s technical workforce is critical. The question now is how higher educational institutions will keep pace with these changes.

SOLUTION: To respond to this urgent issue, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Chelsea High School and our partners in the Media Industry are developing a cohesive digital media program to address the major challenge facing technical education today, namely the need to integrate government mandated and industry-wide high definition and digital technology standards into their curricula and media labs. The BMCC program in Digital Media Technology addresses the competency gaps cited by industry professionals and capitalizes on the college's expertise in the areas of advanced technological education.
The project has four major objectives:
1. To design and implement a pilot academic program in video technology that begins with the senior year of high school, continues in the BMCC's Video Arts and Technology (VAT) program and articulates with participating four-year colleges;
2. To review, revise and create VAT courses that prepare nontraditional students for film and television industry employment pending the implementation of high definition video technology as per the FCC mandates for 2006;
3. To design and implement a professional training program for working media professionals in digital media technology: members of unions, trade organizations, and special interest groups serving women and minorities;
4. To design and implement a professional development program for high school and college faculty in digital media technology.
In keeping with NSF’s goals, BMCC will institutionalize the reforms begun here in order to:
• Establish a national model for other colleges and high schools seeking to reform their program in digital media technology
• Ensure that underrepresented minorities are recruited and retained in a quality technical program
• Provide skills upgrade training for media professionals
• Ensure high school and college faculty receive quality technical retraining for the benefit of their students
Dr. Sandra Poster
November 2005
Read the Abstract of the NSF Grant proposal
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