At NCLab we attack the shortage of qualified STEM-oriented employees head-on. Our breakthrough innovative training courses have proven successful in teaching STEM skills and preparing students for the workforce and strengthening the skills of existing workforces.
Colleges and universities have been incapable of fully addressing the shortage of available STEM-oriented employees, both because of the lack of qualified instructors and because they can’t provide students the hands-on experience needed to qualify for the available jobs. NCLab addresses both of those issues.
As students learn new skills with NCLab’s training courses, they simultaneously obtain automatically-graded practical experience, to the point that they are proficient enough to fill jobs when they successfully complete their training.
NCLab’s platform allows training to be done without the need for qualified instructors as all student support is provided on a realtime basis by NCLab support staff with in-depth knowledge of the skill set being taught.
NCLab’s verified learning system allows graduates to show potential employers their demonstrated learning skills and progress in all practice-based exercises.
NCLab partners with colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to serve the schools’ local markets. All that those schools are expected to do is put their seal of approval on the training, promote the availability of the training, provide student counseling, administer enrollment, and provide students a certificate upon completion of the training.
In 2010, Pavel Solin, UNR (University of Nevada, Reno) Mathematics Professor, started working with K-12 schools to help them prepare students in STEM. He understood that many K-12 schools lacked qualified STEM instructors and so built a platform that was hands-on practice-based and overlaid Karel programming on top of it as his first product.
- It taught students programming without the need for STEM-qualified teachers
- It was self-paced to allow students to progress at their own rate
- It included verified learning so teachers could see the progress of students
Schools and libraries across NV implemented it. Schools in other states and countries followed.
In 2017, NV State’s Economic Development Department surveyed companies to identify needed STEM job skills. Data Analytics stood out as a STEM career path needing attention. The State teamed up with TMCC (Truckee Meadows Community College) to get the training in place. NCLab was identified as the partner to deliver the training. NCLab developed a Data Analytics training program. TMCC incorporated the training into its curriculum and pursued accreditation of the training. Some 25 students beta tested the training and it is now part of TMCC’s Workforce Development offerings.
NCLab’s self-paced learn-by-doing platform has also become recognized as the place to go to solve industry-specific recruitment problems. Because NCLab training incorporates practical experience and verified learning as part of its training programs, it is uniquely qualified to help grow the available workforce for specific STEM careers.
As an example, streamlined training of dialysis technicians was identified as a serious problem, in part because dialysis equipment can now be installed in residences, assuming that qualified technicians are available to operate the equipment. Unfortunately, current training of dialysis technicians is lengthy, severely limiting the number of qualified technicians that can be trained.
A partnership of CSN (College of Southern Nevada), Nevada libraries, and a large international dialysis equipment manufacturer, a virtual reality provider, and NCLab was formed to attack the problem head-on, with NCLab providing deep learning of technical skills required to produce qualified dialysis technicians. It is projected that the new self-paced training will produce qualified dialysis technicians with only one week of classroom time, replacing the current 16 weeks of classroom training.