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SME Spotlight - Jeff Hardesty

U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

50 Year Celebration

NOCTI Staff Updates

  SME Spotlight - Jeff Hardesty

Jeff Hardesty Jeff Hardesty’s first encounter with NOCTI was about three years ago, when the Ferris State University (FSU) Welding Engineering Technology (WET) program began using the NOCTI test for Welding as a requirement for Perkins Grant funding. Upon review, the test was approved as a good evaluation instrument.

“NOCTI testing is an unbiased way to test a student’s knowledge that is independent of instructor or curriculum,” states Jeff. “As the WET faculty compared the NOCTI test results to our long-standing pre-/post-test we found very good correlation. This gave us the confidence to implement the test as prerequisite for program entry.”

Jeff Hardesty, Licensed Professional Welding Engineer, Certified Welding Instructor, Certified International Welding Engineer, and member of the American Welding Society, served as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on the recent revision of the NOCTI Job Ready Welding Assessment #4172. The SME team met online for 5 nights in January 2016 to review the written test and performance jobs. Each team member was given a homework assignment to write new test questions and develop new performance jobs. The work on the Welding test revision will continue until the test is released in September 2017, requiring SMEs to join web meetings to review pilot test data, finalize test materials, develop the study guide, and establish the cut score.

For Jeff, the most challenging part of the test revision work was finding questions that were valid for students across the country and across different education levels. “The test we were revising is given to both secondary and post-secondary students and needs to be challenging for post-secondary students but not impossible for high school students,” says Jeff. “Furthermore, different areas of the country emphasize different types of welding and use somewhat different terminology. I was surprised at how varied the team was but how efficiently we worked together.” The team was made up of secondary and post-secondary educators, and business and industry representatives. SMEs represented the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kansas, New York, and Oklahoma, giving the test perspectives from several regions of the country.

Working on a NOCTI test revision project, according to Jeff, can make you a better teacher and evaluator. It is a great opportunity to learn from the other members of the team, and get experience writing better test questions and procedures.

Jeff is a Professor of Welding Engineering Technology at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan where he is also the Program Coordinator. He teaches courses in welding automation in addition to his administrative responsibilities. Jeff worked in the automotive industry for 15 years before coming to FSU 111/2 years ago. His wife and he have been married 19 years. They have three sons who are all left handed (even though neither Jeff nor his wife is).

Thank you Jeff, for your contribution to NOCTI and tomorrow’s workforce!


 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to allow for recognition of up to 20 outstanding students demonstrating excellence in career & technical education (CTE).

The nomination process is now open for the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Each state is asked to submit nominations, including up to five CTE students. NOCTI supports the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, and encourages all CTE programs to consider submitting nominations for your outstanding students! Nomination window closes November 23, 2016, so be sure to submit your nominations today!

More information on the process and the selection criteria can be found here.


 We welcome comments
 and suggestions!


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