NSF Awards $225,000 Grant to Dordt College

Grant Provides Funding for Continuous Development of Pro-Tech Vocational Program

Professor Oscar Rodriguez

Dordt College was awarded a $225,000 grant from The National Science Foundation (NSF) for researching proven, effective materials and practices for courses and internships, developing highly skilled and knowledgeable faculty, and developing program leaders.

The proposed project will be led by Pro-Tech director Dr. Joel Sikkema and manufacturing professor Oscar Rodriguez and is titled "Strengthening and Sharing a Holistic Technician Education Program Implemented at a Small, Rural, Private College,"

"Through this grant, Dordt is building on the strong start that we have for students and faculty in the Pro-Tech program,” says Dr. Leah Zuidema, associate provost at Dordt. “The grant helps us to further develop our faculty and enhance internship experiences while also creating instructional resources and relationships that extend beyond Dordt.”

Pro-Tech is a two-year, vocational program that offers degrees in Manufacturing Technology and Farm Operations and Management. It is a hands-on program in vocational education that combines internship experience with classroom activities.

"There are very few other private colleges doing what we're doing with Pro-Tech,” says Sikkema. “The support the NSF provides will help to expand and enrich the options for people seeking a technical education.”

The award begins on May 1, 2018 and will last until April 30, 2021.

For more information about the Pro-Tech program, visit www.dordt.edu/pro-tech.