METTE

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METTE: Improving Educational Outcomes in Manufacturing, Engineering, Technologist, and Technician Education

Project Leads

L. Allen Phelps

Principal Investigator
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Xueli Wang (BIO)

Co-Principal Investigator
Scholar, WISCAPE
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Janet L. Washbon

Senior Scientist, Wisconsin Center for Education Research
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Hsun-yu Chan

Project Assistant
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Project Overview

The METTE project seeks to improve student success in two-year college programs that prepare postsecondary students to enter employment or transfer to baccalaureate programs in fields related to manufacturing as engineering technologists and technicians.

The project goals are both to acquire highly needed knowledge on key factors and program features related to student success and to use the results to enhance the research-guided innovation capacity of technical and community colleges.

The project asks what the specific METTE program features are that are associated with optimal student outcomes and how key METTE stakeholders can use research data and findings to inform strategic program improvement decisions.

The project looks at a baseline cohort of METTE students who entered the technical colleges during academic years 2006-2008, a cohort of approximately 300-350 students who entered METTE programs in Fall 2011 (this cohort will be followed for three years), and programs and students in four participating public, 2-year technical colleges in Wisconsin. These include Fox Valley Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Moraine Park Technical College, and Waukesha County Technical College. Learn about our college partners and the Wisconsin Technical College system.

Factors of interest include socio-demographic background and high school academic experience, postsecondary experience and external demands, as well as short-term, long-term, and employment outcomes. Learn more about the conceptual framework underlying the METTE project. 

Quantitative data is collected using WTCS Client Reporting System (CRS) and Graduate Follow-Up Survey, National Student Clearinghouse (GSSC), and WDWD Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (10th-grade test score), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Longitudinal Data System (DPI), and Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). Qualitative data is collected using transcripts from interviews and focus groups with students, METTE program faculty, and other key stakeholders.

The impacts of this study will include documentation of effective institutional practices and provide insights to education- and training-related policies and program improvement.

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