Phase II of the project will continue the improvement of the voluntary industry standards that have been presented in this report. Strong efforts will be made to distribute this report to both employers and educators who are concerned specifically with CPI technical worker qualifications. Several other activities intended to ensure that the work of Phase I will be useful as guidance for educators at both pre-entry and post-entry levels also will be included in Phase II.
Local control of CPI technical worker education and training is necessary because the specific nature of CPI technical work is so highly varied. An extended common core applies to CPI technical worker education; however, the differences between petroleum refining and pharmaceutical research, for example, are sufficiently great that many decisions about curriculum and instructional strategies should be made locally and involve both educators and employers. Thus, efforts will be made to develop recommendations about forming and operating local alliances to support CPI technical worker preparation.
Converting the Voluntary Industry Skill Standards to formats that can effectively guide curriculum and instructional materials development is a key objective. Phase II will develop "learning strategies" for both the secondary and postsecondary levels. This work is expected to have an important leadership role in education projects and programs that may be funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, other federal agencies, states, and locales.
The role of educational technology in training CPI technical workers is critically important because an objective of education in this area is to develop effective hands-on skills and to nurture problem-solving abilities in science-based applications. The limitations of simulations and the potential of information delivery in an educational form need to be examined in the context of the knowledge and skills required of the CPI technical workers.