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August 31, 2000

Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-3937, 650/604-9000

mmewhinney@mail.arc.nasa.gov


Elizabeth Irwin

University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Phone: 831/459-5226

emirwin@cats.ucsc.edu


Sylvia Hutchinson

San José State University, San José, CA

Phone: 408/924-1174

shutchin@sjsu.edu


Kurt Hueg

Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA

Phone: 650/949-7645

hueg@admin.fhda.edu


Terri O’Connor

De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

Phone: 408/864-8672

oconnor@admin.fhda.edu


UNPRECEDENTED ACADEMIC COLLABORATION FORMED TO ADDRESS CRITICAL SILICON VALLEY EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC NEEDS

RELEASE: 00-57AR

NOTE TO EDITORS & NEWS DIRECTORS: In addition to the Sept. 5 news conference from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., news media are also invited to attend an outdoor VIP luncheon in front of the NASA Ames Administration Building, N-200, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101. At the Moffett Field main gate, turn right into a small parking lot and enter the Visitor Badging Office to obtain entry badges.

The University of California at Santa Cruz, San José State University and the Foothill-De Anza Community College District are forming the "Collaborative," an innovative partnership to address Silicon Valley’s critical education and workforce needs through joint research and education programs to be located at the proposed NASA Research Park at Moffett Field.

Top officials from the three academic institutions and NASA will discuss this unprecedented action during a news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. The news conference will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Center’s main auditorium, Bldg. N-201. Participants will include Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood, Chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz; Dr. Robert L. Caret, President of San José State University; Dr. Leo Chavez, Chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District; and NASA Ames Research Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald. Former State Senator Becky Morgan will serve as master of ceremonies.

"Our goal is to develop a world-class, shared-use R&D campus by partnering with industry, academia, and nonprofits in the NASA Research Park," McDonald said. "I am delighted that the NASA Research Park provided the impetus for a number of our academic planning partners to form this unprecedented partnership for education programs that will be conducted here," he said.

"While Silicon Valley is recognized worldwide for its innovation, high technology and as a catalyst for change, the area also faces a critical shortage of teachers and engineers," said Greenwood. "We wondered what public higher education could accomplish if we focused our collective energy and resources on a shared solution. By crossing traditional boundaries, our collaboration with San José State and Foothill-De Anza will leverage our collective strength, provide innovative programs and services and produce results of value to Silicon Valley and the State of California," she said.

"The NASA-Collaborative provides us with a unique opportunity to serve the needs of this region together," said Caret. "Since each of our organizations had signed separate planning agreements with NASA Ames for joint efforts in the NASA Research Park, we decided that we could be a stronger force if we worked collectively on the critical Silicon Valley needs. The NASA Research Park will provide the optimal environment for collaboration. Through these collaborative programs, we look forward to building a world-class facility that will house teaching, research and economic development programs for the Silicon Valley and the State of California," Caret said.


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"By working together, the Collaborative hopes to leverage its collective talent, resources and intellectual leadership to solve the valley’s increasing demand for education and workforce development," said Chavez. "In terms of work-force preparation, higher education needs to go the extra mile to meet the needs of our community, especially to prepare underrepresented groups and minorities for jobs in the high-tech Silicon Valley, " he said.

"By collaborating with the best in higher education, other partners of the NASA Research Park and NASA Ames’ extensive resources, the Collaborative will offer Silicon Valley a visionary opportunity for advancement," said Bernadine Chuck Fong, President of Foothill College. "To make a difference in the lives of Silicon Valley students historically underrepresented in higher education, De Anza College is proud to partner with NASA, UCSC, SJSU, Foothill and our local high schools to provide new educational models to give our students the math, science and technology skills they must have to be successful in our new economy," said Martha Kanter, President of De Anza College.

"This is not business as usual. Over the last several months, we have crafted a shared vision, strengthened our relationships and are now eager to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work for the benefit of the region," Greenwood said.

Founded in 1965, the University of California Santa Cruz is developing its Silicon Valley Center, which is expected to be located at the proposed NASA Research Park at Moffett Field. The main campus is situated on 2,000 acres of redwood forest and meadows, overlooking Monterey Bay. UC Santa Cruz also operates the Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology Center (MBEST) on 1,000 acres of the former Ft. Ord in Monterey County. Nationally recognized in astronomy/astrophysics, economics, and education among other disciplines, UC Santa Cruz enrolls approximately 12,000 students who study a variety of majors in natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts, and humanities.

Founded in 1857, San José State University (SJSU) was the first public institution of higher learning established on the West Coast. From its beginnings as a normal school to train teachers for the developing frontier, SJSU has become Silicon Valley’s "Metropolitan University," with an enrollment of 27,000 students. Through its eight colleges the university offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 134 programs. The university’s College of Engineering is ranked as one of the nation’s best. The university’s location in the Silicon Valley makes it an exceptionally rewarding learning environment for students. Silicon Valley firms and agencies seek SJSU students for internships, summer work programs and for assistance with research projects.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District was founded in 1957 to serve residents of Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and portions of Santa Clara and San José. The district also serves as the primary high school to community college link to the Fremont Union, Mountain View-Los Altos Union and Palo Alto Unified high school districts. District officials say the challenge of the 21st century includes the need to serve a growing and diverse student population. Since 1957, Foothill-De Anza has responded to the needs of more than one million students who have enrolled in its day, evening, off campus and online courses. The innovative workforce that has transformed the Silicon Valley is comprised of more than 500,000 former Foothill-De Anza students.

NASA Ames Research Center recently announced the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations to develop the land at Moffett Field under NASA ownership. The proposed developments include the area called the NASA Research Park in which the academic, industry and nonprofit partners hope to conduct their research and education programs. NASA Ames has a vibrant education outreach program, hosting many events onsite and delivering NASA education materials to classrooms nationally. NASA plans to develop with these academic and nonprofit partners a teacher institute, which will include teacher enhancement programs, development of multimedia products for students and teachers, and host onsite and internet-based education events. NASA Ames is partnering with organizations to conduct research in astrobiology, nanotechnology, information technology and other aerospace-related research areas.

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