Ivy Tech Bloomington led development of national educational skill standard for medical device careers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus led a consortium of 12 other community colleges and 72 medical device industry partners nationwide to develop the nation’s first skill set standards for entry-level medical device jobs in the U.S. The Community College Consortium for Bioscience Credentials (c3bc) published “Medical Device Skill Standards,” a manual of educational guidelines to ensure educators and trainers develop and teach the skills needed in entry level medical device jobs in the U.S. The project was funded by a $15 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Sengyong Lee, Ph.D., professor and Ivy Tech Bloomington biotechnology program chair, is c3bc’s medical device hub leader. Dr. Lee and his team at Ivy Tech Bloomington led the nationwide collaboration. “The advancement of medical technology and growing health care needs for elderly populations around the globe have accelerated the growth of companies like Cook Medical in recent decades,” Dr. Lee said. “The medical device industry is in need of a continuous pipeline of skilled workers to meet their growth demands. Our partners and educators who developed the skill standards manual hope for a long-term return on investment in the form of graduates from community colleges who will fill those jobs.”

Local employers, including Chapman Lake Instrument Corp., Cook Medical, Cook Polymer Technology, and Boston Scientific Corporation, participated as industry partners. Employers outlined skills needed in entry-level medical device positions, which educators used to create skill standards for teaching and testing students.

Educators nationwide have already begun to use the skill standards manual to create new and revise educational courses, certificates, and degrees to align with industry needs. For example, Ivy Tech Bloomington developed a new medical device quality certificate that counts toward the biotechnology associate degree and leads to a career in the industry. Ivy Tech Bloomington also has a plastics program and regulatory affairs certificate to meet local employer needs.

In addition to publishing the manual, c3bc also developed ‘Courses in a Box’ which educators nationwide can use to develop curriculum. The downloadable, digital materials outline exactly what should be taught, and includes everything a credentialed instructor would need to teach the course online or in person.

“The courses in a box project will be especially valuable to educators and trainers who are new in the field. Of course, the main beneficiaries of the project are the students and trainees who will receive valuable education,” Dr. Lee said.

The c3bc’s Medical Device Skill Standards manual and Courses in a Box are now published and are free and available to download. The standards manual can be found online at https://www.skillscommons.org/handle/taaccct/8777 and the Courses in a Box can be found at https://www.skillscommons.org/handle/taaccct/442.

For information about Bloomington programs in medical device manufacturing, plastics, and biotechnology, visit ivytech.edu/biotechnology and click Bloomington. Fall classes begin August 22 but students should enroll by August 12 in order to be prepared on the first day of classes. To enroll, visit www.ivytech.edu/applynow, stop into Ivy Tech Bloomington located at 200 Daniels Way, or call (812) 330-6013.

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