State Fair Community College


National Science Foundation logoNSF – ATE ... improving the education of science and engineering technicians at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

The National Science Foundation, founded in 1950 by Congress, is an independent federal agency that awards about 10,000 grants each year to individuals and groups for the purpose of promoting science, national health, prosperity, and national defense.

State Fair Community College received a $200,000 NSF Advanced Technological Education grant to fund a project to help academically prepare high school and postsecondary students for technical careers.

The three-year project, called “On TARGET, Technically & Academically Ready for Global Employment in Technology,” is a partnership between area high schools, career centers, postsecondary staff, area businesses, and SFCC. The project began in fall 2012.

Principal investigator is Amanda Stoecklein, and project director is Mark Kelchner, dean of Technical Education and Workforce Innovation.

Hitting the TARGET

Project partners have designed a system that prepares high school and postsecondary students to be academically ready to pursue advanced technological careers. The collaborative approach to the development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of this system ensures that the following activities will hit the project’s target.

  • Aligning curriculum from high school through college that supports needs of the workplace and providing partner-developed activities that improve students’ knowledge-based skills
  • Building mathematics and communication skills using effective and strategic teaching methods that interweave acquired knowledge and skills with applied experiences in business and industry
  • Promoting career exploration that results in students making informed decisions regarding technical career fields.
  • Innovatively using technology to bring business and industry into classroom experiences so students make connections between what they are learning and why and how it is being used in the real world

The impact of this project is that rural students with limited life experiences are acquiring a practical foundation in technical careers that translates into a strong, excited and technically prepared workforce. This successful project also provides the platform for ongoing collaboration between multiple levels of education and business and industry that ensures future students are going to be better prepared for technical careers that have not yet evolved.

Curriculum, resources, partners and research results will be shared on this website as it becomes available. For more information about On TARGET, contact Amanda Stoecklein at or at (660) 596-7379.

Participating Schools

  • Knob Noster High School
  • La Monte R-IV School District
  • Smith-Cotton High School

Last updated June 21, 2016

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