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Mountain View College has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will help bridge the divide between classroom instruction and the growing demand from industry for employees with skills in 3D technology.

According to Burning Glass Technologies, demand for 3D technology skills is outpacing the growth of the labor market overall. Such skills have become essential in industries such as construction, health care, digital media and manufacturing. The grant allows Mountain View College to support the need for virtual and augmented reality technologies for 3D artists, modelers, drafters and programmers.

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"This grant from the NSF will allow Mountain View College to be on the forefront of progress in the field of 3D technology," said Dr. Beatriz Joseph, president of Mountain View College. "Under the leadership of our engineering division chair, Dr. Uichung (Francis) Cho, we will be preparing our diverse student body for the multidisciplinary jobs of the future".

The last decade has seen a dramatic advancement of 3D technologies. Consequently, educating future students in 3D technologies is becoming increasingly crucial due to the speed of change in this field.

The program will have several components, including:

  • Gap analysis to ensure classroom content being developed meets industry needs;
  • Creation of classroom curriculum to address current knowledge shortfalls among students entering the workforce;
  • 3D technology workshops/conference to share information with educators and industry leaders; and
  • A viability analysis for a new 3D technology certificate for students across multiple disciplines that would include an industry endorsement.

Project leader Dr. Cho has more than 18 years of experience with 3D technologies, as well as research experience and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in 3D technologies. In addition to Dr. Cho, faculty members from arts and humanities and computer science will assist with Mountain View's NSF project, which begins in October 2019 and has the possibility of continued funding at the conclusion of its three-year cycle.