About TA3

Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance

Learning, Exchange, Research, and Innovation


The TA3 is a membership consortium of more than 30 leading community and technical colleges, and several state system offices, in the U.S., Europe and South Africa that promotes community colleges’ efforts to support their regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective on community college missions.

Technician-level educational institutions are critically important because they educate the emerging technical workforce, train existing workers, provide technical assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs, and assume leadership positions in local economic development.

The TA3 seeks to be a leading alliance in fostering international exchange and insight among community and technical colleges, particularly among industrialized nations.

The TA3’s mission is to support learning, innovation and exchange among institutions offering pre-baccalaureate technical education, to promote policies and research that support their ability to be effective leaders in regional economic development, and to disseminate lessons learned.

Started in 1988 as a Southern U.S. alliance—the Consortium for Manufacturing Competitiveness—the network became international and changed its name to the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance in 1995, acknowledging the global nature of the issues community and technical colleges face and the benefits of shared learning among national and international partners. Among other activities, the TA3 has:

  • Hosted 16 international conferences, each with a different theme, to facilitate exchange about policy, programs and practices.
  • Created multiple Learning and Innovation networks of groups of colleges that collaborate on specific topics. Networks focus on, for example, cluster-specific entrepreneurship, the medical device manufacturing industry, media arts, capacity to support regional creative enterprises, and integrating business management skills into IT programs.
  • Conducted policy research such as comparative studies of how U.S. and European colleges interact with and support industry clusters and a comparison of how Denmark and the U.S. train IT workers.
  • Enabled faculty exchanges between US and European community colleges in different nations.
  • Disseminated college best practices, including profiling 43 Benchmark Practices at technical and community colleges in the U.S., Europe and New Zealand that have direct positive economic impacts in non-metropolitan communities.
  • Facilitated trans-national study tours of colleges in the U.S., Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Scotland.

TA3 Benefits

TA3 activities target both policy—for college presidents and state or national policy leaders—and practice—for deans, heads of departments or programs, and faculty. The distinction between policy and practice benefits, however, will overlap.

Practice Benefits

  • Access to brokering assistance from RTS and CIRIUS to find partner colleges interested in collaborating on a particular issue or challenge in a Learning and Innovation network, with the rationale that working together is more successful and efficient than working in isolation. Each “learning network” of colleges develops an action plan for a specified period of time and members sign “memoranda of understanding” committing resources and staff time to work together.
  • A TA3 meeting, hosted by a TA3 member, held every 9-12 months and alternating between the U.S. and Europe. The meeting is where networking takes place, and presentations from regional experts and site visits to nearby member colleges are arranged. In addition, there is typically a one day conference with a theme that draws attendees from other community colleges in the region.
  • Opportunities to participate in study tours organized around a topic identified by members as a high priority. For example, the topic might be best practices in supporting entrepreneurship, distance learning, or training for industry. (Travel costs to be borne by members.)

Policy Benefits

  • Policy meetings in Washington, D.C. with federal agency staff and policy organization leaders on emerging trends and funding opportunities.
  • European members meeting to discuss current issues and policies in technical education and college collaboration.
  • For members representing state or national technical education systems, a Director’s network that focuses on how to support globalization of community and technical college programs, particularly links between the U.S. and other industrialized nations.


In 2002, the TA3 started moderately expanding its membership. Membership is currently 36 members from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Finland, South Africa and United States.

The TA3 is open to new members that offer pre-baccalaureate education (some members also offer degree programs), that embrace the TA3 mission, and that will be active members and partners. We require two individuals from each member to be the key representatives to the TA3. Typically these two are from among the college president, a vice president, the head of technical education, or the person in charge of international programs. The TA3 also encourages participation from other college faculty and staff in specific learning networks, study tours and other TA3 activities as appropriate. The TA3 will also accept as members state or national two-year education systems or offices.

New institutions (potential members) have an opportunity to attend a transatlantic TA3 conference and meet the colleagues of the network to find out if they find it valuable to become a member.

European membership dues: € 1,300 per year

US membership dues: $ 1,500 per year

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Yes, I would like to become a member of the TA3

Name ___________________________________

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Institution ___________________________________

Address ___________________________________

Address ___________________________________

Country/Postal Code ___________________________________

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Phone ___________________________________

We will send additional registration materials for you to complete and return.

US Institutions mail to:

Stuart Rosenfeld

RTS, Inc.

205 LLoyd Street, Suite 210

Carrboro, NC 27510


ph: +1.919.933.6699



Non-US Institutions mail to:

Lars Møller Bentsen


Fiolstræde 44

1171 Copenhagen K


ph: +45 33 95 70 00