SEMI High Tech U wins Innovative Program Award

The SEMI Foundation today announced that its flagship High Tech U (HTU) program received the Innovative Program Award at the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC).  The Innovative Program Award recognizes advanced technology education professionals that have designed and implemented a significant innovation, which has led to a positive impact on student enrollment, retention, or advanced technological education. The HI-TEC event and award are sponsored by a consortium of National Science Foundation-funded centers and projects.

“We are honored that SEMI High Tech U has been recognized by stakeholders in the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) workforce programs,” said Leslie Tugman, executive director of the SEMI Foundation.  “It has been very rewarding to work with our industry partners to emphasize the importance of STEM skills and inspire young people to pursue careers in high technology fields. Seventy percent of HTU alumni graduate college with STEM degrees and work in STEM careers.”

“The SEMI Foundation is a leader in the delivery of hands-on, STEM-based, career exploration programs,” said Michael Lesiecki, Ph.D., executive director and principal investigator for the Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center (MATEC) and ATE member. “Leslie’s work at the SEMI Foundation in 2001 to bring this model to industry partners has developed over time to become a standard of excellence in early workforce development.”

The nonprofit SEMI Foundation has delivered SEMI High Tech U to more than 6,000 students at SEMI member industry facilities in eleven U.S. states and nine countries internationally since 2001. The three-day interactive program brings students onto industry sites where industry instructors teach the HTU modules. This unique delivery system enables students to meet engineers and industry personnel in a face-to-face setting. HTU motivates students by showing them the relevance of their classwork through connections to real-world problems and technology. For their latest Impact Report, visit:

Sponsored by a consortium of National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education centers and projects, HI-TEC is a national conference that presents postsecondary and secondary educators and stakeholders with professional development, educational materials, collaborative ventures, and insights essential to developing and advancing the technical workforce of the 21st century.



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