The Instructional Planning and Budget Team voted 22-17 in favor of a $800,000 plan to remodel the E3 quad on Jan. 12.
The budget includes installing 3D printing software and turning one of the classrooms into a lab. It supports a proposed two-year adaptive manufacturing certificate program, which would allow students to start a job with an annual salary of $68,000.
The salary estimate prompted faculty representative Mayra Cruz to raise concerns about how the program would close equity gaps.
“We want to focus on how this allocation would help advance these opportunities [for marginalized groups] historically, and not just one year back,” Cruz said.
She said she wanted to hone in on which groups this development would affect.
“I think we’ve already [gone] up and above on helping many different groups,” said Mark Appio, department chair of Design and Manufacturing Technologies. “This is another step on that work being more effective for members of those groups to get higher paying jobs.”
Appio has worked with underrepresented high school students on other adaptive manufacturing projects.
“These programs have been highly successful, since they’re very hands-on,” Appio said. “They have always been extremely strong in representing students in these underrepresented communities all over the state.”
Randy Bryant, dean of CTE and workforce development, said that IPBT hadn’t taken on this kind of manufacturing project of this budgetal size in the past two years.
“DMT is the only program that’s come forward with a project, other than maintenance funding that is only $60,000,” Bryant said.
Lisa Markus, a faculty representative, discussed the potential popularity of these programs.
“We also need to consider student demand for these courses,” Markus said. “If I could get a job with only a certificate and make $123,000, I’m not sure why I’m teaching.”