November Good News: Part 2

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Jim Nichols and Fred Lokken Image

LTAP at TMCC is Featured in International Journal

The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) at Truckee Meadows Community College is gaining national prominence with a photo of TMCC’s Dandini Campus displayed in the July–August issue of the National Academy of Sciences journal, Transportation Research News.

“This publication is a widely-read magazine about the latest in transportation news and has an international audience—agency representatives in Europe read it,” said Jim Nichols, Program Director, Technical Sciences. “The 50 LTAPs are training centers in the U.S., and they are all at highway departments or universities, except for one. In Nevada the LTAP is here at TMCC.”

LTAPs started in the 1990s as centers for technical training, designed to help cities and counties with road and highway management, safety and maintenance, including the following focus areas:

  • Infrastructure management; technical developments and procedures to maintain roads in good condition
  • Workzone safety; best practices to keep highway workers and flaggers safe in construction zones
  • Workforce development; skill training in subjects such as practical math
  • Organizational excellence; leadership development

For the past five years, Nevada’s LTAP center has been housed at TMCC. The College hosts about 40 trainings each year for state, county and local transportation employees. Classes are taught by experts from across the U.S.; instructors travel to TMCC from as far as New York, Kentucky, Montana and other states, depending on their specialty. Training sessions usually last a full day.

“We’re on the cutting edge here—TMCC is even using a drone for measuring aggregate storage, the materials used in maintenance of roads,” Nichols said.

Typically state and local agencies pay for the employees’ training, but a grant from the Federal Highway Administration and the Nevada Department of Transportation helps pay for some of the costs.

“Since not as many new roads are being constructed, we have to manage our existing roads more efficiently and cost-effectively,” he added.

For more information about LTAP at TMCC, please call 775-829-9046.

Professor Fred Lokken Leads National Webinar

Political Science Professor Fred Lokken presented on Oct. 24 a continuing education webinar for college administrators and educators detailing the latest advancements in Web-based college instruction.

“We had a great national audience for the webinar on the topic of Federal Regulation Updates for Distance Education,” Lokken said.

The Instructional Technology Council (ITC) webinar covered technical and regulatory trends in the field of online learning, including the following:

  • Higher Education Act (HEA) re-authorization
  • Changes at the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) related to distance learning regulation
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility compliance
  • DOE Inspector General Report, and recommendations regarding Western Governors University (WGU)
  • Status report on the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)

Lokken took office as chair-elect of the ITC in June. The ITC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He will become chair for a two-year term beginning in July.

AACC is a nonprofit organization that provides advocacy, information resources, networking collaboration and career development opportunities for college staff members. There are 32 independent organizations that partner with the AACC, each with a functional role. One of these organizations, or councils, is the Instructional Technology Council.

Professor Lokken has presented at several conferences as an expert on federal legislation. He worked with former Sen. Reid’s staff members in 2007–2008 to draft clarifying language for the Higher Education Opportunities Act (2008) which recognized a student’s right of privacy as well as unnecessary costs associated with the distance education student authentication requirement.

For more information about online courses at TMCC, please call WebCollege at 775-673-7814, and for information about programs in Political Science, call 775-673-7825.

Contributions to TMCC Good News are Welcome

Additional contributions for good news are welcome. If you have an achievement or volunteer experience to share with the TMCC community, please let us know.