HAYWOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE

185 FREEDLANDER DRIVE

CLYDE, NORTH CAROLINA 28721

CONTACT: DEBBIE DAVIS

DIANA CONARD

PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 10-20-03

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HCC REGIONAL HIGH TECHNOLOGY RECEIVES GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The Haywood Community College Regional High Technology Center has received a project grant from the National Science Foundation, totaling more than $678,000. Titled "Learning through Simulated Information Technology Enterprises," or L-SITEs, the project will involve a consortium of over 20 other community colleges and universities from the United States, Europe and South Africa, as well as representatives from academic and information technology organizations.

The purpose of this grant is to expand and disseminate a curriculum design that places students, initially in Information Systems, Network Design and Electronic Commerce, in virtual yet realistic business enterprises. In these simulated businesses, L-SITEs presents the students with real world scenarios that draw upon their technical skills to create positive outcomes. Through the process, participants must integrate business and soft skills in order to meet requirements of the marketplace. As a result, students discover how to value and use entrepreneurial and workforce skills from a new perspective—to achieve positive business outcomes. The program will establish, pilot, assess, and document a process to better prepare technical workers for the information technologies service industry. The curriculum provides an Internet based system to support the enterprises and to allow users to link with other students around the globe playing learning roles of customers, vendors and competitors.

Greg Rutherford, HCC’s Vice President of Workforce Development, will head the project as Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation. "This project is a tremendous opportunity," Rutherford said. "The assimilation of business-related, entrepreneurial, and technical skills in an innovative learning process will enable community college students to be better prepared for 21st Century occupations."

Howard Kline, of the HCC Regional High Technology Center, is the project manager. Rutherford and Kline were both involved in spearheading the pilot phase of the project, which developed the initial scenarios and enterprise simulation in 2000-2002. Kline will be responsible for daily operations and design and development of L-SITEs products.

Kline said, "The partnership with technical colleges from across the country and overseas increases the value of L-SITEs even more, because we can give students a wider learning environment with an international business element."

This marks the first time that HCC has received a grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is scheduled to last three years.

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