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The Florida Photonics Cluster (FPC) works closely with our partners at the University of Central Florida, Valencia College, and the Florida High Technology Corridor Council to develop education programs that meet industrial needs for graduates of degree programs and for continuing education of current employees. Inputs from FPC member companies are a primary resource for defining the needed programs. In addition, the FPC supports photonics-related programs for K-12 education in science and technology for both students and teachers.

Degree Programs at the University of Central Florida

The College of Optics and Photonics at UCF offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Optics. Full information on these programs is available at http://www.creol.ucf.edu/Academics/

Valencia College

Valencia College provides a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, with Lasers and Photonics as one of the Concentration Options: http://catalog.valenciacollege.edu/degrees/bachelorofscience/electricalcomputerengineeringtechnology/. The college also offers an Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology with Laser and Photonics Technician as one of the Certificate Options:http://valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/engineering/eet.cfm. For further information, please visit http://valenciacollege.edu/.

Indian River State College

(IRSC) offers programs in lasers, fiber-optics, robotics, automation, wireless networks, biomedical equipment, space exploration, and modern electric power generation – all cutting-edge technologies made possible by electronic engineering. The Electronics Engineering Technology degree offers specialization options in lasers and photonics, robotics and industrial automation, power plant technology, computer technology, and telecommunications. All classes are taught at the Kight Center for Emerging Technologies, with state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation.

Laser and Fiber Optics Regional Center (LASER-TEC)

A National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technical Education (ATE) program that is developing a laser and fiber optics technology center to develop new and expand existing photonics technician training programs in 8 states in the southeastern United States including Florida. The LASER-TEC website – www.LASER-TEC.org -- provides full information on the program, which is supported by the Florida Photonics Cluster.

For further information on the IRSC degree program, contact the Electronics Engineering Department at (772) 462-7621, email us at cpanayio@irsc.edu, or visit us on the web at http://www.irsc.edu/programs/advancedtechnology/RoboticsPhotonics/ to see full details on the current programs, including the NSF/ATE program LASER-TEC, Laser & Fiber Optics Regional Center.

Photonics Academy

Photonics Academy at Wekiva High School in Winter Park, Florida is a dual-degree program designed to engage students early in their high school career, and to prepare them for employment in laser and photonics related occupations as a technician. The Photonics Academy progrma enables a student to graduate from Valencia College with an Associate of Science (AS) degree with a Laser & Photonics Specialization at the same time they graduate from high school. For info, see https://www.ocps.net/lc/north/hwe/AC/subject/Pages/AppliedPrograms.aspx
and at Valencia College
http://valenciacollege.edu/asdegrees/engineering/eet.cfm(photonics certificate within AS-EET program).


OP-TEC, The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, is a consortium of two-year colleges, high schools, universities, national laboratories, industry partners, and professional societies funded by the National Science Foundation'a Advanced Technological Education(ATE) program. These entities have joined forces to support OP-TEC's mission to increase the supply of well-educated Photonics Technicians by building and strengthening the capacity and quality of photonics education in U.S. two-year colleges.


Photonics Certificate and Fiber Optics Certification programs at UCF

UCF Continuing Education offers a variety of courses and programs for technicians in the optics and photonics field as well as other Engineering and Technology areas. Go to http://www.ce.ucf.edu/Programs/19/Business-And-Workforce/ and click on “Engineering and Technology” to see the current list and links to the details of each program. The photonics certificate can be found at https://www.ce.ucf.edu/Programs/Program.aspx?id=2749 and there are several fiber optics certification options.

techPATH – Photonics

Recognizing the need for a high tech workforce, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC) established as one of its educational initiatives - techPATH. Involving representatives from a variety of educational affiliations and high tech companies, techPATH is "cultivating tomorrow's workforce" through a variety of innovative programs including techCAMPs, which are free one- or two-day high tech workshops offered to middle and high school educators to provide them with the knowledge and tools necessary to guide students in their pursuit of high tech careers. The FPC is working with the FHTCC, UCF, and Valencia Community College to develop a Photonics techPATH program. Go to http://www.floridahightech.com/techpath.php for current information on techPATH and techCAMP programs.

Other Resources

The international optical societies, particularly SPIE and OSA, provide a directory of programs. SPIE has a searchable directory on the web at www.opticseducation.org

Photonics Certifications
The FPC, with funding from Workforce Florida and strong support from CREOL - The College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida, OP-TEC - The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, and several other organizations, has developed a certification process for photonics technicians and precision optics technicians. The certifications are provided by ETA-International (ETA-I, http://www.eta-i.org/about_ETA.html).
For full information on the certifications, go to http://www.eta-i.org/stand_alone_certifications.html and look under "Fiber Optics, Data Cabling, Optics and Photonics on this page to find:
Photonics Technician Operator (PTO)
Photonics Technician Specialist (PTS)
Technician in Precision Optics (TPO)
Specialist in Precision Optics (SPO)(The prerequisite for the SPO is the TPO)

Members of the Florida Photonics Cluster also participate in local community outreach programs such as American Education Week's Teach-In, that inform middle and high-school students about the importance of math and science and career opportunities in technology fields, including photonics. Materials are posted here as shared resources for educators and other members. Please contact the FPC if you are an educator or community leader that feels their classroom or organization might benefit from our involvement:

What's New?
Visit us at the Florida photonics cluster pavilion at CLEO-2019 in San Jose, CA (Expo 7-9 May 2019). See full floor layout for the CLEO Expo here

Next FPC members meeting:
3:30 pm May 16 at the UCF Business Incubator, 3259 Progress Drive, Orlando with presentations on U. S. Army Futures Command, and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division and a tour of nearby facilities.

For additional information about the FPC, please contact us.
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The FPC is a 501c(6) not-for-profit corporation per the IRS and is registered with the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations. Tthe Employer ID number (EIN), assigned by the State of Florida for the FPC, it is 593352840.  Because the FPC is a trade organization, 501c(6) in the IRS classification, donations (including dues) are not deductible as a charitable donation.  They may be deductible as a business expense, but you will need to consult with a tax advisor to determine this for your company.
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