During the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) 8th Annual Leadership Summit, hosted virtually this year, Enterprise State Community College was named as a recipient of one of 18 awards for leading the way for career and technical education.
Each year at NC3’s Annual Leadership Summit, awards are presented to top-performing people and institutions in the NC3 Network for their leadership and innovation in career and technical education.
ESCC’s Mechatronics program has displayed remarkably rapid growth by quickly expanding its program to become an NC3 Leadership School that implements seven Snap-on certifications, 14 Festo certifications, one Dremel certification, one MRW Work Ethic certification, and two Greenlee certifications. In their first two years with NC3, they issued nearly 700 certifications in 23 areas of study!
Manufacturing – and Advanced Manufacturing – is one of the top five needed professions in the State of Alabama, which is why Enterprise State Community College decided to pursue a Mechatronics program.
Aubri Hanson, Enterprise State’s Mechatronics program manager and instructor, developed this program to mirror leading industry standards, value student academic-life balance and provide graduates with the tools they need to enter the workforce.
Coming from industry herself, Aubri said she recognized the value that NC3 certifications bring to her students. She stated, “I spent 12 years in industry before I started teaching, so I understand that having those certifications is what the industry values in their employees. Employers are looking for Snap-on or Festo certifications.”
Aubri continued to describe why she chose Festo equipment. She explained, “I had the opportunity to choose all of the equipment and the direction to take the program. In meeting and seeing the different vendors and equipment, I really liked that Festo equipment was tied directly to industry certifications. I love that Festo equipment is used in industry and that it’s modular, so you can totally disassemble and reassemble everything on those trainers.”
Despite having joined the NC3 Network just two years ago, ESCC students are already benefiting from their certifications. Aubri says, “In the short time that our students have been earning NC3 Certifications, I’ve already had students acquire jobs because of the certificates they’ve earned. Already in their first semester, we offered NC3 certifications, and it’s paying off for our students.”
Through its Mechatronics program, Enterprise State also offers several short term certificates that offer focused training for high-demand careers. One of the newest certificates is the CNC Operator/Programmer certificate, which includes training in blueprint reading, CNC turning and milling, and more.
Through the development of their Mechatronics program, ESCC launched a new and innovative class structure. Aubri explained, “We’re offering our Mechatronics program in a brand-new format that is not being done anywhere else in Alabama. Our program is 100 percent flexibly scheduled. After completing the theory portion of the certification, our students can go online to a calendar and book lab time to complete the hands-on portion of the certification. There are no set course times.”
She continued, “The students can come into the labs at any time that’s convenient for them. We keep the lab open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. so students can come in around their schedule. This flexibility allows students to work around their own schedules, whether they have other classes throughout the day or work full-time jobs. This creates the opportunity for more one-on-one learning experiences with our instructors too.”
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