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Montgomery College Celebrates National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month
Students Enrolled in Technical Programs at MC Comprise Over 20 Percent of College Enrollment

February is National Career and Technical Education (CTE) month. In celebration, Montgomery College joins local school systems and community colleges across the state to celebrate CTE Month and shine a spotlight on the success of CTE students. In fall 2017, 4,659 MC students were enrolled in technical programs, representing just over 20 percent of the total College population. The College’s annual Perkins Grant, a federal via state grant, provides approximately $420,000 annually to support more than 40 credit CTE programs, ranging from Accounting to Web Programming.

MC continues to benefit from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (“Perkins”) and Maryland’s State Perkins Plan. Perkin’s allows credit CTE students to achieve challenging academic and technical standards and prepare for high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand occupations in current and emerging professions. Perkins provides an increased focus on the academic achievement of CTE students, strengthens state and local accountability, and reinforces the connection between secondary and postsecondary education through CTE Programs of Study (POS).

“CTE programs at MC play a critical role in providing students with the specialized skills and technical education needed to compete for jobs in Maryland’s growing and thriving economy, especially in high-demand fields like health and biosciences, manufacturing and engineering, information systems, biotechnology, construction, and cybersecurity,” said Dr. Sanjay Rai, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Montgomery College. “Perkins funding is critical for helping the College continuously improve its CTE programs.”

Focus on Computer Gaming & Simulation
One example of a successful CTE POS is MC’s Computer Gaming & Simulation Program, which has received Perkins funds for program improvement in the past few years. The Computer Gaming & Simulation degree and certificate programs introduce students to the skills needed for the emerging technology area of game and simulation development.

Completion of this degree exposes students to core game development skills and theory, gaming and computer simulation technology applications, programming, animation and computer graphics technology. Electives allow students an opportunity to further explore their area of interest, such as programming, 3D modeling, motion capture, web and database development, mobile games, and other topics. The recently redesigned certificate closely tracks the degree program, so students can earn the certificate as a “stackable credential” before finishing the degree.

In addition to providing funds for program improvement, Perkins funds created a successful Learning Community (LC), combining two key courses, TECH 190 with CMSC 140. In this new LC, students learn about game development and introductory programming in the context of 2D games. This LC has run with full academic year enrollment for four semesters now and is proving to be a great way for students to master both programming and game development for 2D games.

Students in the program have won nationally recognized awards. Recently, for example, the Montgomery County Council recognized gaming students who won first place in the national “Climate Game Jam” contest. The Council issued a county proclamation in honor of these students on September 19, 2017. More information about additional awards and news articles may be found at the program’s website, http://www.studygaming.com.

For information about MC’s CTE programs and transfer agreements, visit https://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/CTE/

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