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A new Roane State Community College certificate program in mechatronics will train students to become technicians who operate, maintain and repair high-tech automated manufacturing systems.
The one-year mechatronics program is under way at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility, 214 Nave St. (the old armory) in Clinton. Anyone interested in the program should call (865) 481-5424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A mechatronics certificate leads to excellent careers,” said Roane State’s Jack Parker, who led development of the new program. “We invite anyone who may be interested to call us, and we will help you get started.”
Classes are held four evenings a week.
“The evening schedule is a great fit for working students,” Parker said.
The program is organized in cohorts. Students start the program at the same time and stay with the same group as they take the courses. Cohorts give students a supportive network of classmates as they progress through the program.
“The cohort structure also means students do not have to worry about picking classes. The program is already set,” Parker said.
Mechatronics includes instruction in electronics, mechanics, computer science, robotics and process control. The program prepares students for jobs as robotics technicians, controls technicians, engineering technicians and other occupations related to repairing and maintaining high-tech industrial equipment.
“Because the mechatronics program teaches various skills, people trained in mechatronics often have more job opportunities than if they had qualifications in only one area,” Parker said.
For example, Roane State courses include subjects such as Fundamentals of High-Tech Manufacturing, Programmable Logic Controllers, Industrial Robotics, Pneumatics and Hydraulics, and Electrical Systems.
The mechatronics program was developed with funding from a $19.7 million grant awarded to the National STEM Consortium (NSC) and 10 community colleges in nine states under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) grant program.
The goal of the grant was to develop certificate-level programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that could be implemented nationwide to meet critical labor market needs. Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland leads the National STEM Consortium.
Instructor Reid Kress teaches “Introduction to Industrial Electronic Systems” at the Clinton Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility, 214 Nave St.