Poster for NSF Conference 11.12.08

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CPATH Summary as of 10.23.08

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Quality Software Development Conference 10/10

The CSUS Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science Center (, the Career Services Office ( and IEEE are hosting a OUR FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE on Quality Software Development on October 10th from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in the University Union.

The conference provides a unique forum for individuals and organizations seeking technologies, concepts, and methodologies to improve the quality of their software products, processes, and services, and looking for networking and learning opportunities.

The topics include:
Software Development at Google
Boundaryless Software Development & Application Delivery Extreme Project Management Agile Software Development and Quality Building the Right Product

Cici Mattiuzzi
Director, Career Services Office
College of Engineering & Computer Science CSU, Sacramento 6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6023

phone: 916-278-7091
fax: 916-278-5949
web site:

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Task Force Team #1 met June 20th

Please see the adjacent link under Meeting Notes for the additions to the document in progress covering these topics:

Team #1 Vision – what it looks like when we get there
Success Criteria – how we will measure success
Strategies & Tactics – What high level strategies are necessary
Strategy Metrics – how we will measure strategy completion

Thank you,

"The Right Team" Task Force

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Fewer students pursue computer-related degrees

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Task Group Meeting-The Right Team

The Task Group for the topic "The Right Team" got together on June 12th to discuss strategies and tactics. Please see the link (in the blue box to the right under Meeting Notes) entitled "Task Group-The Right Team 6.12.08" to read the Task Force ideas about the vision and success criteria.

The next meeting of this Task Group is scheduled for:

Thursday, June 19th
Aspen Hall Room 8
3pm to 5pm

Please check out the Team #1 Matrix and post your comments. We appreciate your input!

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Notes from Discussion April 25 at Sac State

Please review and make comments about these notes from the discussion April 25, 2008. Thanks!

Goal #1:

•Strategy – Hire instructors who are speaking the right language and have innovative ideas
–Tactic – Job description to reflect the goal (hard and soft skills)
–Tactic – Appointment letters reflecting the goal
•Strategy – Help instructors stay current in technology/computer standards and professional development as related to business needs
–Tactic – Offer release time each year to stay current
–Tactic – Bring industry in to give tech sessions and show new technologies
–Tactic – Creating faculty workload models to support the goal
•Strategy – Keep good, exciting instructors by developing retention programs
–Tactic – Reward faculty involvement with students
–Tactic – Encourage/mandate timely curriculum revision
–Tactic – (TIME article)

Goal #2:
•Strategy – Opportunity for CS/CIS to become a support discipline for all disciplines
–Tactic – Use IDEAL model for CS/CIS
–Tactic – Embed CS/CIS in disciplines that need it
•Strategy – Colleges should require CS/CIS as an introductory course for all students
–Tactic – Make CS/CIS required GE
–Tactic -
•Strategy – Computing taught as a essential skill for all students
–Tactic - Make CS/CIS required GE
•Strategy – Develop a new common language to explain opportunities, “real world” applications of computing in society
–Tactic – Provide seminar courses that require students to research and write papers and present application of computers in industry

Goal #3:

•trategy – Create earlier interest in K-12
–Tactic – Seamless integration between K-12 curriculum and CC curriculum
–Tactic – Outreach through various means to K-12
•Strategy – Provide incentives to industry and faculty members
–Tactic – Release time (or reallocate) to enable
–Tactic – Provide incentives for industry to be involved with local colleges
•Strategy – Administration needs to consistently support and promote science and technology
–Tactic – Increase FTE
•Strategy – (#11) – could not be resolved – too broad

Goal #4:

•Strategy – Awareness – people do not know about CS/CIS and the relationship with the real world
•Strategy – Create a positive image of CS/CIS
•Strategy – How can CIS/CS be used in all areas of life and work
•Strategy – Improve retention for existing CS/CIS students and encourage potential students

This is still a work in progress and we will continue this work on May 23rd at our next meeting at Folsom Lake College, 10AM. Looking forward to getting your ideas recorded!

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Symposium Survey Results (Click image to view)

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Growing CPATH Computer Poppies

Growing Poppies – A Holistic Approach

I have been growing California Poppies in my yard for several seasons now. At first, I had less than total success. But I learned from this several year long process that it takes the presence of all the elements to have a successful poppy crop. It takes water, good soil, fertilizer, correct planting depth, sun, season, and lastly, lots of water. And all of these things are equally important. Omit one, and no poppies will grow. Get them all right, and poppies will grow like crazy.
I failed because I tended to focus on one thing, say water for example, and forget about all the others. I would complain when the poppies didn’t grow, and would sometimes find and latch onto some simple reason to justify my failure.
“These poppies don’t grow because they don’t have water! If they just had water, they would grow! Why can’t everybody else see that!?”
These complaints sometimes made me feel better, but usually they didn’t, and they certainly didn’t make the poppies grow.
So now we are trying to grow computer poppies here with CPATH. Let’s suppose that we come out with some awesome solution to some problem we are discussing. All the elements have to be there to ensure success. A simplistic solution to a problem can actually be the reason for its failure. I realized this lesson from watching poppy seeds being washed away as I stood there with a hose, overwatering.
And for computer poppies, each of these elements is provided by different stakeholders. This is why the community building aspect of this project is important. Because these stakeholders have to be aware of the contribution they are making and the important piece that that contribution provides. Otherwise, that element will be missing, and the poppies will die.
Submitted by Dan Ross

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Meeting Details for Friday, April 25, 10AM

Our next CPATH meeting is scheduled for:

Friday, April 25th
ECS Deans' Conference Room, Riverside Hall 2018
Sacramento State Unversity

Driving directions and a campus parking map can be found at:

Visitor parking permits must be picked up in person at Visitor Information Booth #2 on State University Drive South, off College Town Drive. The Visitor Information Booth is clearly visible from the street and has a “drive-through” area.

The parking permits will be under the meeting name: CPATH ADVISORY BOARD. There are meetings immediately before and after ours, so please leave plenty of time to find a parking space.

The meeting is in the ECS Dean’s Conference Room, Riverside Hall 2018. You can find the building on the “Interactive Campus Map” by selecting that link at the above URL. You can also find parking lots by selecting the “Campus Parking Map (PDF)” at the above URL. You can park in any space on campus, including in the parking structures, as long as it is not a handicapped (or other specially marked space). (Ignore any signs in parking structures that say only students can park there.)

The department telephone number, in case you get lost, is 916-278-6834.

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"Designing a 21st Century Curriculum" by Dan Ross

Maybe the curriculum design exercise that follows could be a proposed activity in the application for the next grant. Maybe a workshop with group(s) for several flavors of degrees. Food for thought...Dan Ross
(You are invited to make comments on this post. Thank you in advance from the CPATH Team.)
An Exercise in Blue-Sky Curriculum Design


What constitutes an educated person in a society where computing technology is increasingly pervasive?

From the NSF CPATH initiative:
The CPATH vision is of a U.S. workforce with the computing competencies and skills imperative to the Nation’s health, security and prosperity in the 21st century. This workforce includes a cadre of computing professionals prepared to contribute to sustained U.S. leadership in computing in a wide range of application domains and career fields, and a broader professional workforce with knowledge and understanding of critical computing concepts, methodologies and techniques.

Goal: Design a 60-unit Associates degree with computing concepts as a core.

Ground Rules:

The Degree will have a 60-unit limit. General education is important. Computing concepts will be a fundamental core, in particular, creating an understanding of the capabilities of computing technology in a broad-based and forward looking way are important. Critical thinking is important. Knowledge management is extremely important.

Basic skill remediation, including language, math, and computer literacy skills, is beyond the scope of this exercise. Also not part of this exercise is updating traditional computer science curriculum.

Courses do not have to exist. There is total flexibility in design, any specific existing general education requirements do not have to be followed.

Sample Degree Titles

Computational General Education
General Education and Computing
Computational Informatics and Knowledge Management
I Know Computers, Plus!

Workshop Agenda

1) Vision 30 minutes
a. Vision
b. Pervasiveness of computing
c. Deliverables
d. Ground Rules
e. Some Sample Degree Titles

2) Degree Title
a. Brainstorm Descriptive Words/Phrases 10 minutes
b. Select a “Working” Degree Title 10 minutes
Long is OK for now

3) Course Selection/Creation
a. Brainstorm Descriptive Course Titles 10 minutes
Descriptive Titles
Existing courses are ok
Course does not have to exist yet

b. Course Selection 10 minutes
c. Paring Courses Down to 60 units 10 minutes

4) Wrapping Up
a. Refine the Degree Title 10 minutes

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"Symptoms of Growth" by Dan Ross

As I read the Executive Summary of the ICER report ( several key things stand out.

1) The content of the field has changed radically.
2) There is no uniform agreement about what constitutes Computing.
3) Graduates lack a systems approach to deal with complex systems.

What do these three things have in common? They are all symptoms of growth. Moore’s Law is alive and well, inexorably driving growth of the entire field.

Here’s an analogy. I occasionally hear the phrase “Google is the next Microsoft,” as if Microsoft has gone away somewhere. In truth, Microsoft is alive and well and bigger than ever. We forget that browsers and other software run on Windows.

This pattern repeats as increasing computer power and connectivity make more things possible in more and more fields, continually adding to the breadth and depth of human knowledge. We still need the Microsofties, but now we ALSO need the Googlers. In addition, we need the geographical scientists, the bioinformaticists, the weather modelers, the chip verifiers, etc. We need them all - and then we go to India to get even more skilled people.

1) So has the content of the field changed radically? Are linked-lists gone? I don’t think so. There is just a whole lot MORE going on, with some bits of knowledge more important to some people than to others.
2) Is there no uniform agreement about what constitutes Computing? Of course there isn’t, if the only word we have to describe Computing is “Computing”.
3) Do graduates lack a systems approach to deal with complex systems? Maybe, if they are narrowly trained in one traditional discipline, with no room in the curriculum to add more new stuff.

So, what is the solution? Is the solution “specialization”, (a depth-first approach), or is it “interdisciplinarianism” (a breadth-first approach), or is it something in between, or is it something else entirely?

Please comment!

Dan Ross
CIS/Engineering, Folsom Lake College
Folsom, CA

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The Global STEM Imperative

"The more recent goals—to internationalize colleges and universities and promote global citizenship for students—have occurred coincidentally with the realization that U.S. students are becoming less interested in preparing for careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Just as there is a plethora of documents devoted to the education of students to work in a global world, there is an equivalent number of reports addressing the needs to create a broader pipeline of students interested in STEM fields, to enhance the number of well-qualified teachers in the STEM disciplines, and to promote a greater understanding of how essential these fields are to the future of society and to the national and global economies."

For the complete article © 2008 Karen A. Holbrook in EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 43, no. 2 (March/April 2008) please follow this link:

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Salaries Strong for Scientists and Engineers

From the Sloan Career Corner Center:

"Employers are projecting a 16% increase in college hiring in 2007-08, the fifth consecutive year of double-digit increases, and starting salaries are reflecting this positive growth, according to the 22nd edition of Salaries of Scientists, Engineers and Technicians: A Summary of Salary Surveys, recently released by the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. Among the findings:
Chemical engineering bachelor's degree recipients received the highest average starting salary offer in summer 2007 ($59,361). In contrast, psychology graduates received an average offer of just $31,631.
Gains were seen in starting salary offers across all science and engineering fields in summer 2007, with the most significant increases in chemical engineering (up 5.4%), civil engineering (up 5.4%) and computer engineering (up 4.8%).
By occupation, median salaries were highest at the bachelor's level in 2003 in engineering ($70,000) and computer science and mathematics ($68,000), and lowest in the life sciences ($42,000) and social and behavioral sciences ($45,000).
Information technology (IT) salaries are back on the rise after three years of relatively stagnant pay. In 2007, IT staffers can expect to earn a median base salary of $74,000, and $78,000 in total compensation. IT managers can expect to earn a median base salary of $97,000, and $105,000 in total compensation.
Find out more about salary ranges for careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, computing, and medicine online... "

Article recommended by:
Emir José Macari, Dean College of Engineering and Computer Science Riverside Hall 2014 California State University, Sacramento 6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6023(916) 278-6127 phone(916) 278-5949 fax

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Photos from Friday's Symposium

A totally engaged discussion group focuses on "The Right Message."

Symposium panelist, Dan Francisco, contributes enthusiastically to further discussion.

Glenda Golobay, K-12 Partner from Sac City School District, leads one of four discussion groups.

Bernard Gibson, moderator for the symposium, directs group reports as impetus for future CPATH action.

Students were an important constituency represented in the symposium guest list.

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Intel holds technology symposium-Folsom Telegraph

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Symposium Agenda

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Comments from Dan Ross re: discussion 3.14.08

Here’s some thoughts related to some of the things alluded to in today’s CPATH meeting.

Engineering emerged as a defined discipline sometime in the 1800’s. However, it took till the 1950’s and the events of WWII and its aftermath for this country to fortify and enhance the institutions related to the production of engineers and the related scientific research and development institutions. In part, this delay is because it takes time for disciplines to mature to the point where the institutions that support them can be replicated on a larger scale – mass produced, in effect. Another reason for the time lag is that the infrastructure – the electricity, gasoline, steel, etc - took time to become commonly available, and this infrastructure is the soil in which this generation of technologies grew.

Today, we benefit from the investments foreseen by the leaders of this “greatest generation”, but in unforeseen ways. The computers, the Internet , and all the other technologies we sometimes take for granted today were created using the basic scientific and engineering principles spurred by the space race and the cold war aerospace and defense industries. We don’t live in cities on the moon, but nobody told me in 1975 that I’d be typing this email instead.

Today we are in an analogous situation. We are on the verge of great advancements in technology in a huge variety of disciplines, both existing and as yet to be created. We need people to do this – to create the next age of technology. The soil is fertile – interconnected computers of increasing power are almost ubiquitous. But we need the seeds – the people with the required skills – to grow this next wave of technology.

However, the computing discipline does not have the benefit of age. It is more amorphous and undefined. It is only 60 years old, not 150 like engineering was in 1950. Consequently, the breadth and depth of the computing discipline is not commonly recognized by the general public, which tends to associate computing with programming (This is analogous to associating any discipline, like Business for example, with the writing of English sentences, paragraphs, and, if you are really good, maybe even entire pages!!)

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Blog explains Blogs!

Just came across this, what else, blog that does a nice job of explaining how blogs are supposed to work... <3 minutes and this guy explains most of the basics with simple illustrations!

Video: Blogs in Plain English

Thanks to Phil Tierney, who brought this to our attention!

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Subject: Computer Science Course Enrollment Dips in U. S.

Listen to All things Considered on National Public Radio (3/12/08)

All Things Considered, March 12, 2008 · The number of students enrolled in computer science programs is at its lowest in at least a decade.

"Comp Sci" was one of the hottest majors during the dot-com boom of the late '90s, but the numbers dropped after the bust of 2001.

Now, despite a strong market for IT professionals and a resurgence in Web millionaires, college students just aren't interested in studying computing.

Larry Abramson talks to some students and professors to find out why.

Sent to us by:
Emir José Macari, Dean
College of Engineering and Computer Science
California State University, Sacramento

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Link to Registration for Symposium

Follow this link to register electronically for the Symposium on March 28th !

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Important Meeting Friday March 7, 2008

Hi, CPATH Participants,

If you are part of the advisory board for the CPATH Grant, please plan on attending the next two meetings, March 7th and March 14th at 10AM at Folsom Lake College, in Aspen Hall, Room 8, next to Gary’s office.

The Agenda for this Friday, March 7, is to finalize “Nuts & Bolts” for the March 28th Symposium, including reports on the Symposium activities thus far, e.g., attendees, security, event planning, and publicity through local media outlets. Scott Crow, our FLC PIO will be on hand for the latter. We will also discuss in detail our March 14th agenda, which will be centered on orientation for our speakers, panelists, group facilitators, recorders and event managers.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday.

Thanks for all your contributions!

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Information for Symposium Speakers and Panelists

(Click image to see full size) See narrative on the link under meeting notes labeled, "Dear Speakers...2.27.08"

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5 Reasons CPATH Must Succeed

Peter Huber, writing in the latest edition of Forbes, outlines five investment themes that (my interpretation) will absolutely require more, not fewer, workers with broad and deep understanding of the tools that enable the technology development. Investors don't necessarily care where those workers come from, but we should. Transforming the menu we place in the educational cafeteria is our challenge and must be our mission.

"...Prosperity and profit still depend, above all, on human ingenuity... No serious student of science technology can be anything but bullish about the long-term prospects for profit and growth in the ingenuity-driven economy." See the complete (1 page) article.

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CPATH Milestones defined

Please see the link to the right entitled "CPATH Milestones" or click this link

for a description of the focus of our CPATH Grant group. We invite your comments.

CPATH Grant Steering Committee

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More updates to "Goals and Initiatives" (Click image to enlarge)

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Some of our CPATH Grant Participants

Our CPATH Group met on February 8 at the Folsom Lake College Campus. Pictured are some of the attendees. From left to right:

Jason Pittman, Gary Hartley, Barry Brown, Walt DiMantova, Dan Francisco, Linda Santoro, Sandy Feder, Phil Sandoval, Ricky Zilkie, John Popenuck, Glenda Golobay.

Our next meeting will take place on March 7th at the Folsom Lake College Campus, Aspen Hall, Room 8, 10AM. We will do some more detail planning for the March 28 Symposium. Please join us!

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Future Meeting Dates

Please carefully note the following meeting dates. There have been a few changes:


March 7, 2008...Folsom Lake College...10AM....Symposium Planning
March 14, 2008...Folsom Lake College..10AM..Panelists, facilitators

March 28, 2008...SYMPOSIUM at Intel...7AM Registration

April 14, 2008.....Folsom Lake College....3PM to 5PM (Please note time)
April 25, 2008....Sacramento State.........10AM (Please note location)
May 9, 2008.......Folsom Lake College....10AM
May 16, 2008.....Folsom Lake College....10AM
May 23, 2008.....Folsom Lake College....8AM to 12 CPATH NSF Proposal

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Some Helpful Data from The Business Education Resource Consortium

"This document outlines State standards for information technology career paths offered in California Community Colleges. You may find it helpful in your thinking on curriculum and programatic issues."

CTE = Career Technical Educational, aka vocational education

Thanks for investigating!

Gary for the CPATH Group

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Join us on Friday, February 8th!

This Friday, February 8, we will meet as usual in room 08 (right next to my office), to clarify the roles of speakers, panelists and group facilitators, with the result a written schematic for how it will all flow together.

See the previous post for the CPATH “boxes” diagram with a few revisions. Please take a look and see if it matches what we talked about last Friday.

For the latest update on Symposium Planning, see the minutes in the link to the right under Meeting Notes for Advisory Board Meeting 2.1.08.

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Updated Goals and Initiatives

Click image to view full size.

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Follow this link for statistics related to employment in California:

  • State employment will reach almost 20 million jobs by 2025.

  • Employment will shift from manufacturing to service-related industries.

  • California’s future economy will likely prove less taxing on infrastructure.

  • Education needs of the workforce will rise substantially.

  • Workforce education needs exceed projected educational attainment.

The full report and press release are available on the PPIC website:

Thanks to Sandy Feder for pointing us to this data provided by the:

PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA; 500 Washington Street, Suite 600; San Francisco, CA 94111; tel 415-291-4455 ; fax 415-291-4428; web

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CPATH Advisory Board Meeting-February 1, 2008

Please mark your calendars for the next CPATH Grant Advisory Board Meeting:

Friday, February 1, 2008-10AM
Folsom Lake College; Aspen Hall Room 8
We will do some more work on finalizing details for the upcoming Symposium to be held March 28 in Folsom at Intel's Campus on Prairie City Road. A few agenda items have already been determined for Friday's meeting:
A. Get feedback on the list of groups and organizations which are sources for attendees for the Symposium

B. Suggestions for panelists (There are two confirmed panel members: Emir Macari and Dan Francisco)
C. Plans for training Symposium facilitators

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Steering Committee Meeting January 25, 2008

A small group of CPATH Grant members met on January 25th at Folsom Lake College to discuss further details regarding the upcoming Symposium on March 28th.

A summary of the discussion:

I. The group determined that 60 to 65 attendees at the Symposium would be an effective number.

II. Various sources of attendees were suggested.

III. Agenda Items for this coming Friday's (Feb. 1) Advisory Board Meeting

For complete minutes of today's meeting please click:

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For New Readers to our CPATH BLOG

If you are new to our CPATH Blog, please keep reading for a summary of what we are all about, as well as a description of what will take place at our Symposium on March 28, 2008:

The CPATH grant is a National Science Foundation project focused on revitalizing undergraduate computer education. Since last summer, a dedicated group of educators, students and private industry representatives have worked on plans to provide an approach to offering computer education which is attractive to students, relevant to industry and interdisciplinary in nature. We believe that the future of computer education lies in continued dialogue and partnership between these groups.

The CPATH activity thus far has included the work of a steering committee, an advisory board and seminar groups, working to sift through the various issues that both created and sustain the problems computer education currently faces: demand for these skills in the workplace continues to rise, while enrollment in related college classes is flat or declining. NSF funded a small number of partnerships for one year of planning activity, with a view to creating a plan that will raise computer and technology education to a place of prominence in college and university offerings.

The CPATH Symposium event, held in Folsom at Intel's Campus on Prairie City Road March 28, 2008 from 7:30am-noon, is an opportunity to become informed about and involved in this project. A keynote speaker, panel of experts and group discussion will form the basis of the CPATH project’s work throughout the 2007-08 academic year. More information is available on the CPATH BLOG at or by contacting Gary D. Hartley, Dean of Instruction and Technology, Folsom Lake College.

Phone: 916.608.6615

Gary D. Hartley
Dean, Instruction and Technology
Folsom Lake College

See the San Francisco Chronicle Article

Click this link to read "Flagging economy needs science investments" :

Feel free to post comments in response to this post!

(Thanks, Dan for sending this our way.)

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Symposium Planning....January 11, 2008

Please click the link to the right (blue panel under "Meeting Notes") for a detailed description of today's planning session.

Summary of today's discussion:

I. Schedule proposed

II. Some suggestions for keynote speaker....please email Gary, Omid, Walt or Sandy with more suggestions

III. Invitees limited to 60 or 70; coming from various groups for a good cross section

IV. Panel members--who? what is the goal?

Next planning meeting will take place January 25th at FLC, Aspen Hall, Room 8, 10AM

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Agenda for Friday, January 11, 2008

10:00am FL1-08

Objective: Planning for the symposium

1) Welcome and Introductions
2) Advisory Board Meetings
3) Symposium Planning
.......a. Speaker selection
.......b. Invitees
..........· #1 – Members invite network contacts
..........·#2 – Members target specific connections in the field and invite them
.........· #3 – Earmark Grant contact list
.........· #4- Goal of ~50-60 invitees
.......c.Panel Discussion
...........· Who are the “heavy hitters” that are available
...........· Intel IT inclusion
...........· Other members involved
.......d. Group Work
..............· Centered around the four goals
.............· Plan implementation
4) Matrix GAP Analysis
........a. Current vs. Desired State GAP Analysis worksheet
........b. Work conducted prior to the symposium
.........c. Work completed during the symposium
.........d. Work and feedback provided post symposium
5) New Business
6) Adjournment

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January 4th Meeting postponed to January 11th

Sorry, we have cancelled the January 4th meeting because of inclement weather conditions. We WILL meet next Friday January 11th at Folsom Lake College, Aspen Hall Rm 008 at 10AM.

Please join us:

January 11th, 10AM
Folsom Lake College, Aspen Hall, Rm 8
Purpose: Symposium Planning Session

We look forward to seeing you there!

The CPATH Group

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