An ATEP by any other name would be—whatever
It wasn't always called "ATEP." I recall the programs envisioned for the Tustin facility way back when. For a while, there was talk of offering training in "homeland security" and culinary arts.
Today, I visited the ATEP website (here). The site sports a menu, including these items:
- ATEP Today
- Future Plans
- Site Development and Planning
- Development Partner Opportunities
The Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP) in Tustin opened an initial 1-1/2 acre campus in Fall 2007 to immediately begin serving students and the community while the 68 acre development planning is under way. Irvine Valley College currently oversees the day to day operations of the ATEP site while the ATEP Development Team at South Orange County Community College District oversees development of site planning and partnerships for the expansion to 68 acres.Gosh, this blurb seems to be about ATEP tomorrow as much as it is about ATEP today.
Next, I clicked on “Future plans” (does one ever plan things that are not of the future?). Here, we’re told that “South Orange County Community College District is developing the Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP) on 66 acres….”
—OK. But just what IS ATEP, anyway?
The name gives us a pretty good idea: it’s about “advanced technology.” Students are to be educated or trained relative to that. There's a need, we're told.
I wish it were so simple.
Over the years, the district seems to have considered the possibility of giving over (part of) the facility to such organizations as the “Young Americans,” who eventually (2010) opened The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in beauteous Corona, CA. So district decision-makers’ fidelity to the idea of “advanced technology” education has always been somewhat loosey-goosey. I mean, learning to be a hoofer isn't about advanced technology, is it?
The page goes on to elaborate. In bold face, we’re told that:
ATEP will focus on advanced technology, career technical, and workforce development training programs to support high demand industries….This description is somewhat equivocal. Yes, ATEP will "focus on advanced technology," but it will comprise "workforce development training programs to support high demand industries" as well. Hell, that could describe virtually anything in the CTE realm, as long as it is in "high demand."
The rest of the “future plans” page is divided into two sections: (1) Saddleback College plans and (2) Irvine Valley College plans. Makes sense.
The IVC section is utterly unsurprising. IVC is developing programs “in these areas”:
High-Tech Manufacturing and Product DesignThis list generally concerns, not just the broad area of CTE (Career Technical Education), but CTE that is, well, advanced and technical—you know, like designing cars and widgets and shit.
Engineering and Design
Business and Professional Services, including Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment
Energy, Environment and Utilities
Information Services, Design and Networking
Digital Media, Game Design and Simulation
Oddly, the SC section concerns exactly one to-be-developed project (or “center”), here called the “Center for Innovation in Healthcare Education” (CIHE). It is explained thus:
Saddleback College currently runs an award-winning Registered Nursing Program and other highly rated health career programs in Medical Laboratory Technicians (MLTs), Paramedic and EMT Training, Drug and Alcohol, Mental Health, Medical Assisting, Healthcare Information Technology and others. Saddleback College plans to develop a regional simulated health care facility providing an innovative, risk-free educational environment to address multiple safety and training needs of allied health workers. Program areas will include:Two points: (1) the CIHE would seem to be, nothing really new, but an extension of SC’s already-existing and much ballyhooed cluster of "health career programs," and (2) the education/training envisioned for CIHE comprises a set of CTE areas not naturally associated with the concept or phrase “advanced technology.”
…Industry projections estimate that the largest employment gains in Orange County will occur in healthcare industries … Saddleback College and SOCCCD were recently awarded a $2.75m Department of Labor grant to develop programs for the Center for Innovation in Healthcare Education….
- Professional Healthcare Provider skills
- Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
- Advanced Patient Simulations
- Multi-disciplinary Training
- Healthcare Team Leadership Development
- 300-seat Healthcare Education Conference Center
That's what happens when your plans and definitions (i.e., your thoughts) are equivocal and bullshitty. IVC seems to be focussing on "advanced technology." SC seems to be focussing on training needed for "high demand" industries, whether or not they have anything to do with "advanced technology." Essentially, they're just extending their existing plans and projects onto a new site, up there in Tustin.
The philosopher in me cringes. Things oughta make sense!
Let's dump the "ATEP" moniker and just call this thing "Training Park." But we'd better take care to plant a couple of trees. —You know, it's a park.