As OP-TEC completes its 13th year, a major effort of the center staff is to assure that the resources, best practices and networks OP-TEC has developed are well-established and sustained to continue producing the photonics technician workforce that supports our nation’s employers for the foreseeable future.
Resources include skill standards, curriculum designs, program planning guidelines, student text materials, remedial tutorials, and faculty teaching tools. Best practices include monographs on successful student recruitment, retention and placement strategies. Networks include the Photonics Alumni Council for Technicians (PACT) and Optics and Photonics College Network (OPEN) of 30+ colleges, whose faculty support professional development, as well as establishment of new programs.
The Center’s effort to update its resources is highlighted this month through the release of the 3rd edition of the popular introductory text, Fundamentals of Light and Lasers (FL&L). Current faculty are encouraged to request a review copy of FL&L, which will be available December 1. OP-TEC will host faculty to attend two in-person meetings of the OPCN in 2019. The first (described in this newsletter) will be held at University of Central Florida (Orlando) in March. The second will be held prior to the July HI-TEC Conference in St. Louis.