President Haile

Broward College President Gregory Adam Haile Selected to Participate in the Inaugural Aspen New Presidents Fellowship

The Aspen Institute announced President Gregory Adam Haile as one of 25 Aspen Fellows for its new initiative designed to support community college presidents in the early years of their tenure. The Aspen New Presidents Fellowship for Community College Excellence is fully funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and will run a seven-month program beginning in June 2020.

A first-generation college student, President Haile had never even heard of college until he was in sixth grade. He has served at Broward College since 2011, and in July 2018 was selected to serve as president for the institutions 63,000 students and more than 5,000 employees. As a representative, a leader, Haile reflects the diversity of his students and community and is committed to creating a pathway for their success.

President Haile“On behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees, I congratulate President Haile,” said Gloria Fernandez, chair of the Broward College Board of Trustees. “It comes as no surprise that he was selected for the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. President Haile is a visionary who has, through his leadership in the last 18 months alone, demonstrated a relentless commitment to student success and the advancement of this community.”

Supporting New Leaders

The inaugural class, selected from over 100 applicants, have been college presidents for five years or less. They were selected based on their commitment to student success and equity, willingness to take risks to improve outcomes, understanding of the importance of community partnerships, and the ability to lead change.

During the fellowship, President Haile will devise strategic plans to tackle barriers of student success, as well as encourage the growth of health and vitality within Broward College and the communities in Broward County. Broward College has demonstrated its commitment to its students and its surrounding districts through Broward Up, a movement developed by the college that offers free educational opportunities, workforce training, and resources for students to thrive.

Making a Long-lasting Impact

Nearly 80 percent of community college presidents nationwide plan to retire in the next decade. Through this fellowship and its other leadership programs, Aspen is committed to helping to replace those exiting the presidency with an exceptionally capable and highly diverse talent pool.

The program for new presidents is an addition to the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, which has been serving aspiring presidents since 2016. Of the nearly 160 fellows who have taken part in the Rising Presidents Fellowship, 41 are now community college presidents, serving more than 500,000 students.

For a bio and photo of President Haile and a list of the 2020-21 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows, visit: https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/meet-the-aspen-presidential-fellows-new-presidents/


Information Technology

Ringing in the New Decade – These Are the Jobs That Will Dominate the 2020s

New year, a new decade and with it, new career paths for all. The U.S workforce has seen the tech industry boom during the 2010s as artificial intelligence, spatial computing, virtual reality, and other innovations were born and grew exponentially.

New occupations arose, and job descriptions were adjusted to keep up with the trends. A study by LinkedIn is now showing that this growth in technology has set a precedent for the tech industry to dominate the 2020s. It also shows that these occupations are in high demand as they fail to find enough qualified workers to fill positions.

Engineering – Hottest Career Path

According to LinkedIn, among the top 15 projected hottest jobs, 13 of the occupations are related to the tech world, most are in the areas of engineering. Topping the list is artificial intelligence specialists, an occupation that calls for software or computer engineers since complete degrees in the field are not offered yet. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that average wages in the field range from $100,000 to $150,000, and the industry has seen job growth of 74 percent over the past five years.

Among the other hot jobs projected are robotics engineers, with starting salaries at $85,000; full-stack engineers, earning around $82,000; site reliability engineers, with wages averaging $130,000; data engineers, who can earn $100,000; and cloud engineers, earning around the same $100,000, complete the list for the 2020s.

Information Technology - It’s All About Computers

Information TechnologyTraditional jobs such as software developers ($88,000) in Information Technology will continue to be in high-demand, but cybersecurity will take the spotlight as employers search for specialists in the area. The average occupation salary is $103,000 and has a projected job growth rate of 32 percent annually.

Java script developers will also take part in the 2020s workforce as the career path will see job growth of 25 percent and $83,000 annual salary.

Health Care – Making it a Priority

One of the biggest changes we saw during the 2010s was people breaking the stigmas surrounding mental health and more open discussion about mental health issues. This awareness has led to a demand for more behavioral health technicians, with employment in the field projected to grow 32 percent annually.

The demand for more Physical therapists is also expected to increase this decade as more people experience physical pain and complications due to reduced physical activity activities brought on by the developments in technology that have made our life much more sedentary.

Whichever career path interests you as you think about your future. Broward College has the programs to get you there. Explore the opportunities available in engineering, IT, and health science at Broward College.


The Seahawk Flying Team

Wheels up! Seahawk Flying Team Soars at Regional Competition

After almost a decade of lying dormant, the Seahawk Flying Team was revived in January 2019 by an eager group of aviation students headed by the club’s president Julien Pinon. Julien had previously attended a university with a Flying Team and knew the endless opportunities and benefits of creating, or in this case, revamping, a chapter at Broward College. He and his friend Jonathan Strod, vice president of the club, took to the task of recruiting members and soon found themselves scheduling meetings to gear up for the 2019 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Region IX SAFECON competition.

“It has been very exciting to see this group of enthusiastic students take on the job of bringing the club alive once again,” says Russell McCaffery, dean of the Transportation programs. “I’m proud of all the work the team has put in this year and especially proud of how well they performed at SAFECON, considering this is their first competition.”

2019 NIFA Region IX Safecon

SAFECON is an intercollegiate competition where students are tested in ground and flight activities and real-life situations that relate to aviation safety and regulations. Schools from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama participate in the competition.

The Seahawk Flying TeamJulien and Jonathan, along with five team members headed to Lakeland, Fla., on November 3 through November 7, to represent Broward College. Although the team competed with scarce resources and no airplane, they were recognized for their outstanding performance and received the SETP Foundation Challenge Trophy, awarded to the school that showcases the best spirit, safety, and other aspects of a complete aviation program.

Four team members earned places among the top ten competitors for the individual categories of Preflight Inspection, Aircraft Recognition, Ground Trainer, Computer Accuracy, and Message Drop. The Message Drop category was a flight event in which the College was able to participate using a borrowed airplane from the Florida Institute of Technology and Polk University.

Soaring to New Heights

For aviation students, joining the team isn’t just about competing. “When Jon and I decided to open up the club, we knew that it would help us to reinforce what we learn in the classroom,” says Julien. “And I knew the College had an excellent reputation for its aviation program and that we have extremely talented students that could showcase the greatness of the program.”

As McCaffery explains, the club is a great way for the students to get to know one another and keep themselves motivated throughout their program.

“We do many different activities in our meetings,” says Jonathan. “While we were preparing for the competition, we are simultaneously having fun and doing something we are passionate about. We are also planning on scheduling activities with other clubs such as Aviation Maintenance and Alpha Eta Rho – Eta Pi Chapter.”

The club will host a kickball game against the Aviation Maintenance club in December.

Pursue a career that will keep you above the clouds. Learn about the aviation programs offered at Broward College.


Early Childhood Laboratory

Helping Student Parents Achieve Their Goals – Grant Will Help Subsidize Childcare Costs

Jessenia Ginel is a single mother-of-two working towards completing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Broward College. Balancing school, work, and raising a family is a challenge, but to Jessenia it’s been a lot easier to manage her time since enrolling her youngest son, 2-year-old Josiah, at the Early Childhood Laboratory (ECL) located at the North Campus on Coconut Creek.

“Since he started here, it’s been very helpful to just drop him off at a place where I know they are taking great care of him, it’s affordable, and he’s also receiving a great education while I get to my class or work,” she happily explains.

For many parents, pursuing a college education is often a challenge because of the costs associated with childcare.  Knowing that affordable childcare can sometimes be a challenge for student-parents, the College applied for and has received a  U.S. Department of Education grant to help student-parents.

$1.5 Million Grant to Increase Help

ECL studentsOver the next four years, the $1.5 million grant will support the College’s Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program. The grant will help relieve the recurring waiting list of the ECL by allowing for funds to hire more personnel to serve children aged one to five. Additionally, the College will contract childcare providers in low-income and Broward UP communities around its three main campuses in Davie, Coconut Creek, and Pembroke Pines. Student-parents, some of whom currently get support for childcare through Financial Aid, will now benefit from the Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program.

“Our students come to us with various obstacles, and they are doing everything they can to fulfill their dream of completing their college education. For many, childcare is often a major stumbling block for our student parents due to the price tag,” says Mildred Coyne, senior vice president of Workforce Education and Innovation. “Having a grant that will help subsidize that is an enormous step towards guaranteeing our students complete what they started.”

A Vital Program for Student-Parents

Currently, Jessenia is one of the 48 Broward College students benefiting from the ECL. With the help of CCAMPIS, ECL Director Jennifer Amador hopes to double the number of beneficiaries. “We understand it’s important to provide quality and affordable childcare to college students who are working hard towards a degree that will help them provide for their family,” says Amador. “Reducing our waiting list is one of our top missions, and this grant will help us do that.”

Jessenia is hopeful and excited to see fellow parents at Broward College benefiting from the grant, having herself benefitted from other financial childcare support over the past year. “It ‘s very important to have programs like this available to students like me because I know for most of us is very difficult to find someone reliable to take of our children while we work on our own education to provide for our families,” she says.

The Early Childhood Laboratory provides high-quality and affordable childcare to children aged one to five. College students can receive support for childcare costs through Financial Aid and can now additionally benefit from CCAMPIS.

Watch NBC 6 spotlight here.

Learn more about Broward UP and how it helps our local residents achieve their true potential.


Marine Engineering Classroom

Industry, Manufacturing, Construction, and Transportation - A Career Pathway for Hands-on Individuals

If you choose to pursue a career path in Industry, Manufacturing, Construction, and Transportation (IMCT), you will be required to engage in practical learning that requires you to be hands-on and creative. Careers such as mechanical or marine engineering, automotive technology, building construction, and avionics require you to possess these qualities in addition to the industry-specific skills necessary.

Community colleges such as Broward College are the perfect fit for those who hope to make a living in any of these technical occupations. Most of the skills needed for these occupations are available in one of the programs offered at the College and can be completed in as little as two years.

Marine Engineering ClassroomYou can experience fantastic perks when you work in any of these industries nationwide, but in Florida, these are the top industries in the state’s economic force. Construction, Manufacturing, and Transportation rank in the top five fields with the greatest number of jobs available in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Manufacturing

Representing 4.95 percent of Florida’s Gross State Product, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the manufacturing industry is responsible for almost 400,000 high-wage jobs in the state. Nationally, the industry is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, and, over the next decade, the BLS projects it will grow. Their data shows that through 2028 there will be 4.6 million job openings in the industry, and 2.4 million of those may remain unfilled due to the skills gap.

At Broward College, you can enter the manufacturing industry when you pursue a degree in Engineering Technology.

Construction

If you’re a local to South Florida, you’re used to the sights of construction cranes both in the downtown areas and the suburbs. There’s a reason many call Miami the ‘crane city’ after all. This building boom gives way to the creation of jobs within the industry at all levels. Florida is home to over 70,000 contractors, which equals 8.7 percent of the national industry.

In just two years, Broward College can train you for a career in the construction industry as a plan examiner, scheduler, superintendent, or project manager through the Building Construction Technology program.

According to BLS, median yearly salaries start at $57,700 (first-line supervisors) and can go up to $73,495 (construction managers).

Transportation

The transportation sector in the United States is responsible for the employment of 13.3 million people, which equals to 9.1 percent of the country’s workforce, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Florida ranks second in the states with the highest employment in the industry, and hourly wages start at $17.91.

Broward College focuses on offering programs related to air transportation such as Aviation Administration with specializations in Air Traffic Control, Airport Operations, Commercial Pilot, and Management; Aviation Maintenance; Avionics; and Professional Pilot. The Automotive Service Management and Marine Engineering programs are also available at the College.

Learn more about the programs offered through the IMCT pathway.


The Innovation Hub at Broward College

Encouraging Entrepreneurship– How Broward College Is Supporting Students’ Business Ideas

In South Florida, entrepreneurship is booming, and people from all over the U.S. are moving in to develop their innovative ideas into successful businesses. A 2017 study done by the Kauffman Foundation, a company that develops entrepreneurship programs and funds global research, ranked South Florida number one in the country as the center for new startup businesses.

To further the efforts to support the local community, Broward College developed a group of initiatives aimed to help not only our students but Broward County residents as well. The initiative is led by the Workforce Education, Innovation, and Impact team, and driven through the Broward College Entrepreneurship Experience (BCEx). The objective is building a reliable and robust network for aspiring leaders of tomorrow to develop their ideas.

Brandon Gibson, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and active member of the Broward College Entrepreneurship Experience (BCEx), is a first-hand witness to how the College is addressing this trend. “One of the very first things we have learned at BCEx is that our economy is leaning towards entrepreneurship, and studies show that within the next decade or so, the workforce will be heavily dependent on it,” he says.

Building a Network Through BCEx

BCEx seeks to empower students, faculty, and staff by providing training focused on innovation, idea development, and social ventures.

"BCEx is part of the College's solution to the demands of the changing nature of work," explains Dr. Mildred G. Coyne, "Employers are expecting graduates that are mentally agile, creative, excellent communicator and innovate within their place of work."

This program provides an environment of collaboration, creativity, and networking.

"In addition to the usual perks of BCEx, perhaps the most important to me is that you not only earn the knowledge on how to start your own business," says Brandon who is currently working on a social app that will connect Broward College students with the programs, clubs, and initiatives that fit their interests and passions. "There is a big focus on opening the door for people want to develop ideas that will bring a positive change to their communities and the lives of others in general."

Other Support for Entrepreneurs

In addition to BCEx, Broward College offers additional support to local entrepreneurs through its Innovation Hub and the J. David Armstrong Student Venture Fund. Both programs offer resources and guidance for business development.

Start at the Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub at Broward CollegeThe Innovation Hub is a mixed-use business space, located on the 11th floor of the Broward College Downtown Center and is comprised of private offices, dedicated workspace, and shared coworking areas. The Innovation Hub also has printing stations, free WiFi, and open access to networking events hosted by the Hub.

Additionally, the Broward College Innovation Hub, in partnership with Career Source Broward, has developed the Startup NOW Accelerator, a six-month program that provides training on how to start a business following a carefully crafted business plan with support from qualified mentors. The program offers workshops, hands-on research, and mentorship meetings. Participants earn 12 transferrable college credits and a certificate in Entrepreneurship from the College.

The J. David Armstrong Student Venture Fund

The J. David Armstrong, Jr. Student Venture Fund created in 2018, provides capital to Broward College students to launch startup businesses. The program is off to a great start, surpassing the initial fundraising goal of $500,000 by almost $100,000. To qualify, applicants must be  degree-seeking students at Broward College and enrolled in one of the entrepreneurial certificate programs.

Most entrepreneurship endeavors in South Florida are creating jobs in the tech industry. However, all industries are flourishing and welcoming of innovative ideas to be developed into successful businesses. Get started today and be a part of the modern economy.


Be safe during hurricane season

As Hurricane Dorian Takes Aim at Florida, Prepare for the Unexpected

Don’t procrastinate. While it’s still too soon to tell if Hurricane Dorian will impact South Florida, now is the time, if you don’t have a plan, to put one together.

South Florida remains in the cone of “uncertainty,” but conditions related to Hurricane Dorian can change at any time. Dorian is currently forecast to become a strong Category 3 hurricane by the time the storm reaches the East Coast of Florida early Tuesday morning.

Stay Informed

Broward College is in constant communication with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service, Broward County Emergency Operations Center and other agencies to receive the latest projections and information on Hurricane Dorian. In the event of a closure, the College will provide updates through emails, BC Alert, the College’s emergency management messaging system, social media and the homepage at www.broward.edu. Information will be updated daily until the All Clear is given.

You should have a hurricane preparation plan in place for family and pets, even though no imminent threat exists at this time. Visit Broward.org/Hurricane for information about preparing for a possible threat and be aware of new alerts and instructions about the developing storm.

Be safe during hurricane season

Preparation checklist:

  • Emergency equipment, such as hurricane shutters and battery-powered radios, should be in good working order
  • Sufficient emergency supplies, such as non-perishable food and water, should be on hand for each person in the home to last at least three days
  • Obtain and store materials necessary to properly secure your home
  • Make sure homeowners, or renter’s insuranceis up-to-date
  • Secure yard and construction debris
  • Take tree trimmings to a local trash & recycling center
  • Determine if you reside in an evacuation zone

GUIDE TO HURRICANE SAFETY

A hurricane’s deadliest aspect is storm surge, which is an abnormal rise in sea level. Strong winds can drive coastal water inland with enough power to take lives and wipe out coastal communities. Residents who live in a surge planning zone should determine where they will stay, how they will get there, and what supplies they will take if ordered to evacuate. Broward County surge planning zone maps are available here.

Because the exact path of the storm is difficult to predict, expect the unexpected. Your safety is our priority.

Be safe!

To guarantee the well-being of all students, faculty, and staff, the Broward College Hurricane Action Safety Guide lists all the information you will need for this storm season. 


AHCD career pathway students

A Pathway That Builds on Soft Skills – Arts, Humanities, Communication, & Design

The current workforce is centered around soft skills. A recent study published by LinkedIn Learning showed that soft skills top the wishlist of employers, who require candidates that excel at critical thinking, teamwork, time management, and problem-solving.

Broward College is aware of the demand and has been responsive by incorporating this training into the academic curriculum of most programs as well as providing extracurricular training through workshops and other activities.

There is one Career Pathway designed specifically to teach students these valuable set of skills. The Arts, Humanities, Communication & Design (AHCD) pathway offers areas of study, which include  New Media Communication, Architecture, Music Technology, Film Production, and Philosophy.

“This pathway focuses a lot on humanity, culture, and creativity and as such, its core is soft skills. Students that pursue a career in AHCD rely heavily on critical thinking, problem-solving, and excellent verbal and non-verbal communication,” says Jamonica Rolle, dean of Communications.

Shaping the Future Generation

AHCD career pathway studentsWhen you pursue a degree in any of the areas of AHCD, you are required to work on your communication skills, which students tend to underestimate.

“Regardless of the profession you plan to go into; you must be a good communicator. In the world we live in, it’s all about selling yourself and good communication skills play a huge role in this,” explains Jamonica. Knowing how to present yourself and exposing your abilities is particularly important when you are interviewing for a job. Employers are looking for that candidate that will stand out from the rest, and it’s all about personality.

“I think this pathway is particularly important because it develops students into critical thinkers and they get to develop and polish their communication skills and their out-of-the-box thinking capabilities, which will be crucial in the next 10 to 15 years,” she says.

What You Can Become

AHCD is a broad pathway, and it embodies a diverse group of majors. Broward College offers a curated set of the most popular professions in South Florida, and any of the fifteen areas of study can be the first step towards a successful and rewarding career. These programs are divided into five areas: Dance, Theatre, Music, Graphic Design, and Visual Arts

Graduates of the pathway have many options, including the possibility of doing freelance work or building their own business. Among the career opportunities are photographer, graphic designer, creative director, writer, artist, music producer, journalist, and architect.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level wages for many of these jobs start at $40,000 and can go over $100,000 as you work your way up the ladder.

Let your creativity run wild, explore the roots of your culture, or become an influential communicator. Learn more about career opportunities in Arts, Humanities, Communication, and Design. Broward College awaits you!


Film program students

Lights, Camera, and Action! Film Program is Rapidly Growing Popularity

It’s only been four years since Broward College launched its Associate of Science degree in Film Production Technology, but the demand is so high that starting this fall, students now have the opportunity to enroll in one of three sessions of Film Production I, the foundation course needed to pursue the degree program. “It’s been really rewarding to see the program grow so fast,” says Pezhman Jatala, program manager. “Although we started small back in 2015, offering just one session for the introductory film production course, we were pleasantly surprised to see the three sessions we put up for this fall fill up so quickly.”

When you go into the Film Production Technology Program, you’ll be getting an all-around experience, from audio and video editing to cinematography and screenwriting. “I love this program and the faculty. It is a full experience,” says Charbel Zepeda, who is currently completing his last semester.

A State-of-the-Art Curriculum

With an outstanding selection of experienced faculty, the range of courses covers pre-production, production, and post-production. “The curriculum is designed to teach everything from equipment management to editing, and anything in between,” explains Jatala, who adds that courses are constantly updated to guarantee students learn the precise skills they need.

Students are quick to admit that faculty members play a huge role in their learning experience, and make their journey through the program much easier. “As an aspiring screenwriter, my favorite class was obviously screenwriting,” says Alexa Delgado, who is enrolled in her third semester as a Film major. “But what made the class so exciting for me was professor Fink Morris, who is truly fantastic. He is as tough as nobody else, but it’s the best experience you can have. He tells you things as it is and gives you the feedback you need to make your story the strongest one you’ll read. He made my writing so much better.”

It’s All About Experience

Film program studentsBut it’s not just about academics. As in most industries today, in the field of film production,  experience, and a strong resume are crucial. Even to get your foot in the door, you are expected to have some experience. Because of this, Jatala and his team are creating opportunities for students on campus.“My goal is to provide students with opportunities within the field while they are still at school, and so I work to build relationships with employers who can provide either internships or paid positions for our students. We also hire some of the students to work in the equipment room, also known as the cage, which allows them to network and get more familiar with the equipment they use on set,” he says.

Additional work opportunities for film students include recording videos and assisting in audiovisual projects for departments within the college.

Building Highly-Skilled Graduates

To build their experience and familiarize themselves with work in the film industry, Jatala strongly encourages students to be proactive, build connections, and participate in as many sets they possibly can. For the past three years, students have competed, with supervision and guidance from the program faculty, in the 48-Hour Film Project, a festival where participants must create a short film following certain criteria. After the screening of the films, there is an award ceremony.

Broward College students have won several accolades during their participation, including Best Writing, Best Use of Character, Best Actress, and the Audience Award.

“Working in the 48-hour film contest was a tiring but huge learning experience. I was part of the screenwriting team, and it was very hard and stressful, but it taught me so much about working in film, on set, under tight deadlines. It was definitely a great contest to participate in,” said Alexa.

“When I see my students succeed at anything they do, it fills me with joy because it’s exactly what makes this the best job in the world for me,” says Jatala. “It makes me extremely proud, and I hope they continue on to great things when they graduate.”

Additional plans for the program include developing a bachelor’s degree and creating new connections for more job opportunities for current and former film students.

“If there’s anything I can wish for is that the College will expand this program to turn it into a bachelor’s degree. I would be the first student to sign up, and I know that many of my classmates would love to continue their education here as well,” says Charbel.

A degree in Film Production provides you with the tools and skills you need for creating multimedia content for many different purposes. Explore the range of career options in this and other programs of Visual & Performing Arts here.


InTech Club students with VR glasses

Immersed in Realities, Broward College Students Explore Next Frontier in Computing

As students paraded in and out before the start of that evening’s meeting of the Broward College Intech Club, Mariela Lopez and Jorge Ortiz stood in front of the classroom with a pair of goggles over their eyes and looked out at the future of computing.

The sleek space age-looking glasses or something resembling them, are expected, at some point, to converge all extended reality (XR) technologies including virtual, augmented and mixed into one wearable and mobile device. Imagine what that might mean: information from a desktop computer or mobile phone would no longer be bound to a screen but projected instead into real-world fields of view seen through the lenses of a wearable device. With that promise in mind, think about how XR may transform the way people work, spend their leisure time, and learn.

“There’s wide agreement that a big bang is ahead of us,” said Dr. Raz Ben-Ezzer, who is part of a Broward College team of faculty and administrators charged with developing initiatives in spatial computing, extended reality, and other advances around augmented technology. “Once this platform or device hits the marketplace, the product is going to change our world like the smartphone has, but probably even more.”

When that explosion bursts onto the scene, Broward College students will be prepared to take advantage of the technology’s rippling effects. The College, in partnership with Magic Leap, the Plantation, Florida-based creator of the mixed-reality goggles, is establishing an IDEA (Invent, Design, Education and Accelerate) LAB on A. Hugh Adams Central Campus. The collaboration also involves Broward College’s Entrepreneurship Experience (BCEx).

The Next Smartphone

InTech Club students with VR glassesInside the lab, students will learn the fundamentals of extended reality, the umbrella term for computer-generated environments that either merge the physical and virtual worlds or creates an entirely immersive experience for wearers. So far, the centerpiece for instruction in spatial computing are the 42 mixed-reality headsets and pocket-sized wireless computers supplied by Magic Leap. From those devices, digital content is blended with live environments, enabling students to interact with both in real-time.

“It’s really cool when you put them on for the first time,” said Lopez, who will begin classes in the fall in the College’s B.S. in Information Technology, which has a spatial computing specialization. “It’s something we’ve never seen before.”

From advanced robotics to self-driving cars, to the viral app Pokémon GO, elements of augmented reality are popping up everywhere. Students and faculty at Broward College hope to take the technology a step further by creating new teaching and learning opportunities.

In the not too distant future, nursing students at Broward College might don mixed reality goggles to practice inserting catheters into a virtual patient’s bladder, eliminating the risk of performing the procedure on a live human being and the expense associated with creating a life-like situation. The same thinking applies to most disciplines – think history and geology or STEM or communications and aviation, to name a few.

“Everybody needs to be exposed to spatial computing technology,” said Michelle Levine, district director of Faculty Development. “But not everybody right now understands the need to get onboard or sees the relevance.”

On Frontlines of Learning

Levine was among a team of 12 faculty and administrators, who last month attended “Realities 360,” an augmented and virtual realities conference for workforce training and higher education. The team is in the process of taking what they learned at the California conference to determine how faculty can apply XR to supplement and improve learning on campus.

Following a training “boot camp” later this month with Magic Leap and a Hackathon devoted to spatial computing in September, the team will present a campus symposium, April 3-4, 2020, to share what they’ve learned about the technology and how some basic principles can be immediately applied in the classroom.

“I feel like we’re pioneers,” said Ben-Ezzer, while he downloaded an app that would enable him to play a virtual drum set in the confines of his office. “At a certain level, colleges and universities are getting ready for this. We are not the first, but we are certainly at the forefront.”

Are you interested in a career that bridges the physical and digital worlds to transform the way people live, work, and learn? Then see how a degree in Information Technology will put you on the frontlines of the next must-have technology.