The National Photonics Skill Standards for Technicians, 3rd Edition

© CORD 2008

Skill standards are employer-driven statements of expectation as to what workers should know and be able to do on the job. Skills standards are employers’ “specifications.” They are the primary means by which employers communicate to educators their (the employers’) requirements regarding the content of the courses and programs that will produce their future employees. Skill standards such as those contained in this document are necessary to ensure that technicians are well prepared for the challenges that await them in today’s high-tech, globally engaged workplace.

The standards represent the consensus of a broad cross-section of U.S. employers regarding the technical and workplace skills required of photonics technicians. They are designed to give educators and employer advisory committees a solid foundation for generating courses and programs that will enable U.S. two-year colleges (and their feeder high schools) to produce globally competitive workers.

The standards also provide “critical work functions” and typical tasks for six photonics-enabled technologies: communication, lighting and illumination, medicine, manufacturing, optoelectronics, and imaging and remote sensing. They provide foundational knowledge components (both optics-intensive and general) for photonics technician programs, along with outlines for five secondary and ten postsecondary courses, two models for infusing photonics content into AAS programs, and an advanced certificate curriculum.

The third edition of the standards includes three new curricula derived from research conducted by OP-TEC during its first two years of operation. The first is a 4+2 AAS photonics curriculum that can be used as a benchmark for existing AAS programs or for implementing new programs. The second presents two models for infusing photonics concepts into AAS programs in photonics-enabled technologies. The third is an advanced certificate curriculum designed to enhance and update the knowledge and skills of technicians already employed in photonics-enabled technologies. All three of the new curricula are standards-based.

The OP-TEC staff invites you to review the standards and welcomes your recommendations for their improvement.

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Interested in skill standards for Precision Optics Technicians?
Click here to access information on The National Precision Optics Skill Standards for Technicians (CORD, 2009).  These skill standards are written specifically for precision optics technicians and are also available for free download.