MIMIC Fair CANCELLED

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815 N. Orlando Smith Rd.
Oglesby, IL 61348

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

 

One of Illinois Valley Community College's most celebrated and innovative programs turns 25 this semester. Making Industry Meaningful In College (MIMIC) debuted in spring of 1995 with computer aided design (CAD) and accounting students working in teams to design, build and sell products.
At this year's MIMIC Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 in the cafeteria foyer, the 25th groups of CAD and business students will be selling six products they designed and built in their five teams, called "companies."

The products are: a cutting board/charcuterie with slots to use for cutting and/or serving: a smart mirror that will display time, date, weather, and a ticker tape of news; a portable desk usable as a lap desk or as a podium; a see-through bird house with a bird bath; a key chain holder made from retrofitted seat belts and mounted on a board; and a cord organizer.

While the longevity of MIMIC is not unusual, its continuing recognition as an innovative program is. A year ago, MIMIC was one of ten finalists nationwide for the Bellwether Legacy Award; and in 2012, MIMIC was a finalist for the Bellwether Award, an honor recognizing excellence and innovation in community college programs. The Legacy Award distinguishes Bellwether winners that have been offered for five or more years and have been replicated elsewhere.

How is a 25-year-old program still innovative? According to Dorene Data, co-developer of the project: "MIMIC continues to evolve, responding to our students' needs, workplace needs and what we learn."

In 1995 Data, program coordinator of CAD/CAE, collaborated with Alice Steljes, accounting professor now retired, in creating MIMIC.

"We could see our students were learning their technical skills but needed to be better prepared for the workplace," Data said. "So we decided to have our students work together as they would in a business or industry, and we could provide training in the skills they needed."

Their students in a CAD course and an accounting course, which met at a common time, were organized into teams to operate like companies, and the students received training in and opportunities to practice skills, especially in problem-solving, goal-setting, time management, teamwork, leadership, and communication.

Since that time, MIMIC has provided employability experience to hundreds of students while it also reinforces the students' career field skills.

Data said students emerge from the project with a much better understanding of students in other career fields and of the entire business/industry process.

"Students learn that people in different career programs don't think alike," she said, adding that she remembers one of her first MIMIC students saying: "I don't know what these accountants are thinking; all they worry about is the cost, not whether it will work."

In addition to addressing communication issues, the project also exposes students to the procedures and the technology in other fields. MIMIC business students, for example, have experienced the capabilities of 3D printing, on industrial quality machines, for more than 15 years.

Over the past 25 years, students from a number of fields have been part of MIMIC. Plastics technology students became part of the teams in the first year and participated while the plastics program was offered. Electronics students were added to the project in 1996 and continued through 2016.

Marketing students joined the teams the first year and continue today. Steljes developed a MIMIC business course called Integrated Business Operations which is still a capstone course for students in a number of Associate of Applied Science (AAS) business programs. Amber Fox, business professor, teaches the class this semester and is working with Data on MIMIC.

Manufacturing students participate as consultants, and students in other fields such as welding, graphic arts and technical writing participate by invitation from MIMIC companies.

Teams of engineering and business students continue to meet during the one MIMIC semester, but today, students begin working on the project in earlier classes.

With support from a $230,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, MIMIC was utilized as a catalyst to embed continuous quality improvement (CQI) throughout the two-year programs in engineering design and electronics. As a result, engineering students design and re-engineer possible products in introductory courses, and marketing students review possible products and develop marketing surveys before the MIMIC teams are formed.

During the spring MIMIC semester, students from each field are assigned to a company, which is assigned a product. Students assume responsibility within their company based on their company needs: engineering students are design and project managers, marketing students develop advertising and packaging, accounting students provide costs analyses and product viability and business administration students plan the fair where products are sold.

In earlier years, typical products were smaller items such as lamps and clocks. More recently, products have included a variety of accessories for electronic devices, electronic games, and a number of larger pieces such as yard decorations, yard toys and fire pits.

MIMIC has generated attention at the state, national and international levels, starting with its first year when it won an award for Innovative Curriculum Integration from the Illinois State Board of Education.

MIMIC instructors have given presentations at a number of national and international conferences including: the International Colloquium of the American Society for Engineering Education at Tsinghua University in Beijing, People's Republic of China; several American Society for Engineering Education national conferences; League for Innovation in the Community College; National Association for Workforce Improvement; Lilly Conference on Excellence in College Teaching; Society of Educators and Scholars; National Institute for State and Organization Development; and Tech Ed.

With NSF support, MIMIC instructors offered a two-and-a-half-day workshop to community college and high school instructors from around the country, training them in adapting the MIMIC model to their schools.

The project is the subject of several publications including one article named Best Paper at a national convention, and a manual to assist teachers in adapting the MIMIC model continues to be distributed.

Data explained that the attention MIMIC generates is traceable not only to its success in preparing students for the workplace, but also because it appears to be the first community college program that teams technical and business students in an entrepreneurial and industrial simulation.

"Courses and programs including entrepreneurship have become popular only recently," she said.

Rose Marie Lynch, retired instructor who provided communication training to MIMIC teams said, "At universities, it had been common for teams of engineering students to design and develop products, but at the under-graduate level, those teams didn't include business students."

In addition to Data, Steljes, Fox and Lynch, other IVCC instructors who have been MIMIC leaders are: Jim Gibson, program coordinator of electronics who was with the project for 20 years; Rick Serafini, program coordinator of accounting; Bob Reese, instructor of business administration; Tim Bias, program coordinator of manufacturing; Cyndy Bruch, former plastics instructor; Becky Andrews, former marketing instructor; and Susan Koepke, former business instructor. A number of other instructors have provided training in employability skills to MIMIC teams.

For information about this year's fair, contact Data at (815) 224-0221 or Dorene_data@ivcc.edu.

One of Illinois Valley Community College’s most celebrated and innovative programs turns 25 this semester. Making Industry Meaningful In College (MIMIC) debuted in spring of 1995 with computer aided design (CAD) and accounting students working in teams to design, build and sell products.

            At this year’s MIMIC Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 15 in the cafeteria foyer, the 25th groups of CAD and business students will be selling six products they designed and built in their five teams, called “companies.”

The products are: a cutting board/charcuterie with slots to use for cutting and/or serving: a smart mirror that will display time, date, weather, and a ticker tape of news; a portable desk usable as a lap desk or as a podium; a see-through bird house with a bird bath; a key chain holder made from retrofitted seat belts and mounted on a board; and a cord organizer.

            While the longevity of MIMIC is not unusual, its continuing recognition as an innovative program is. A year ago, MIMIC was one of ten finalists nationwide for the Bellwether Legacy Award; and in 2012, MIMIC was a finalist for the Bellwether Award, an honor recognizing excellence and innovation in community college programs. The Legacy Award distinguishes Bellwether winners that have been offered for five or more years and have been replicated elsewhere.

            How is a 25-year-old program still innovative? According to Dorene Data, co-developer of the project: “MIMIC continues to evolve, responding to our students’ needs, workplace needs and what we learn.”

            In 1995 Data, program coordinator of CAD/CAE, collaborated with Alice Steljes, accounting professor now retired, in creating MIMIC.

“We could see our students were learning their technical skills but needed to be better prepared for the workplace,” Data said. “So we decided to have our students work together as they would in a business or industry, and we could provide training in the skills they needed.”

            Their students in a CAD course and an accounting course, which met at a common time, were organized into teams to operate like companies, and the students received training in and opportunities to practice skills, especially in problem-solving, goal-setting, time management, teamwork, leadership, and communication.

            Since that time, MIMIC has provided employability experience to hundreds of students while it also reinforces the students’ career field skills.

            Data said students emerge from the project with a much better understanding of students in other career fields and of the entire business/industry process.

            “Students learn that people in different career programs don’t think alike,” she said, adding that she remembers one of her first MIMIC students saying: “I don’t know what these accountants are thinking; all they worry about is the cost, not whether it will work.”

            In addition to addressing communication issues, the project also exposes students to the procedures and the technology in other fields. MIMIC business students, for example, have experienced the capabilities of 3D printing, on industrial quality machines, for more than 15 years.

            Over the past 25 years, students from a number of fields have been part of MIMIC. Plastics technology students became part of the teams in the first year and participated while the plastics program was offered. Electronics students were added to the project in 1996 and continued through 2016.

Marketing students joined the teams the first year and continue today. Steljes developed a MIMIC business course called Integrated Business Operations which is still a capstone course for students in a number of Associate of Applied Science (AAS) business programs. Amber Fox, business professor, teaches the class this semester and is working with Data on MIMIC.

            Manufacturing students participate as consultants, and students in other fields such as welding, graphic arts and technical writing participate by invitation from MIMIC companies.

            Teams of engineering and business students continue to meet during the one MIMIC semester, but today, students begin working on the project in earlier classes.

With support from a $230,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, MIMIC was utilized as a catalyst to embed continuous quality improvement (CQI) throughout the two-year programs in engineering design and electronics. As a result, engineering students design and re-engineer possible products in introductory courses, and marketing students review possible products and develop marketing surveys before the MIMIC teams are formed.

            During the spring MIMIC semester, students from each field are assigned to a company, which is assigned a product. Students assume responsibility within their company based on their company needs: engineering students are design and project managers, marketing students develop advertising and packaging, accounting students provide costs analyses and product viability and business administration students plan the fair where products are sold.

            In earlier years, typical products were smaller items such as lamps and clocks. More recently, products have included a variety of accessories for electronic devices, electronic games, and a number of larger pieces such as yard decorations, yard toys and fire pits.

            MIMIC has generated attention at the state, national and international levels, starting with its first year when it won an award for Innovative Curriculum Integration from the Illinois State Board of Education.

MIMIC instructors have given presentations at a number of national and international conferences including: the International Colloquium of the American Society for Engineering Education at Tsinghua University in Beijing, People’s Republic of China; several American Society for Engineering Education national conferences; League for Innovation in the Community College; National Association for Workforce Improvement; Lilly Conference on Excellence in College Teaching; Society of Educators and Scholars; National Institute for State and Organization Development; and Tech Ed.

With NSF support, MIMIC instructors offered a two-and-a-half-day workshop to community college and high school instructors from around the country, training them in adapting the MIMIC model to their schools.

The project is the subject of several publications including one article named Best Paper at a national convention, and a manual to assist teachers in adapting the MIMIC model continues to be distributed.

Data explained that the attention MIMIC generates is traceable not only to its success in preparing students for the workplace, but also because it appears to be the first community college program that teams technical and business students in an entrepreneurial and industrial simulation. 

“Courses and programs including entrepreneurship have become popular only recently,” she said.

Rose Marie Lynch, retired instructor who provided communication training to MIMIC teams said, “At universities, it had been common for teams of engineering students to design and develop products, but at the under-graduate level, those teams didn’t include business students.”

            In addition to Data, Steljes, Fox and Lynch, other IVCC instructors who have been MIMIC leaders are: Jim Gibson, program coordinator of electronics who was with the project for 20 years; Rick Serafini, program coordinator of accounting; Bob Reese, instructor of business administration; Tim Bias, program coordinator of manufacturing; Cyndy Bruch, former plastics instructor; Becky Andrews, former marketing instructor; and Susan Koepke, former business instructor. A number of other instructors have provided training in employability skills to MIMIC teams.

            For information about this year’s fair, contact Data at (815) 224-0221 or Dorene_data@ivcc.edu.

Wednesday, 15 April, 2020

Contact:

Dorene Data

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