Enterprise State Community College’s Mechatronics program was named an NC3 School on the Rise for September, highlighting the program’s growth since its first class was held in August 2019.
NC3, or the National Coalition of Certification Centers, provides industry-recognized certifications that meet national skills standards. These certifications are created through partnerships with business and industry leaders as well as educational institutions.
According to Mechatronics Instructor Aubri Hanson, ESCC’s program was nominated for the recognition by the College’s Festo Program Manager Lisa Marshall. NC3 chose ESCC’s program out of 900 to be recognized.
“NC3 is looking for schools that are steadily increasing their number of certifications every month which is an indication of a growing program,” Hanson said. “Schools are typically chosen by NC3 leadership, but ESCC was the first to be nominated by our program manager.
“We are excited to receive the September School on the Rise recognition from NC3, as it validates a lot of the hard work ESCC has put into developing our new Mechatronics program. In the first year since opening in August 2019, this program has awarded 326 industry certifications to both students and working professionals in our service area. 309 of those were NC3 certifications. I believe that the publicity we will receive as a result of this recognition will give us greater visibility in our local area and beyond.”
Offered at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State, the Mechatronics program provides training in electronics, motors, automation, robotics, and other advanced manufacturing processes for students interested in industrial automation jobs.
Since its start, ESCC’s Mechatronics program has quickly grown. In addition to the associate degree in Mechatronics, Hanson has added a short-term certificate to the program to help students enter the workforce sooner. Similarly, local high school students can now join the workforce pipeline thanks to the creation of the College’s Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician certification course that uses the Mechatronics curriculum.
Hanson works with business and industry leaders to offer business and industry-sponsored scholarships to Mechatronics students, and through the program, students also have the opportunity to work directly with local businesses through a new internship program with Wayne Farms.
Additionally, Hanson offers NC3 certification training to employees of local businesses, including a new addition: the mikeroweWORKS certification.
Hanson applied to serve as one of 21 schools to offer the new certification worldwide. The certification consists of 12 classes that coincide with the Mike Rowe SWEAT Pledge, which focuses on soft skills like work ethic, having a positive attitude, and taking personal responsibility.
“This is unlike the other certifications we are offering in Mechatronics, which are related to technical skills, but I believe it goes hand in hand with what we are already doing in that it gives the students tools they need to find personal satisfaction in their chosen careers,” Hanson said.
Dean of Instruction Danny Long said the NC3 recognition and the addition of a new certification show the leadership of Hanson and the great growth of the program.
“Aubri has done a fantastic job with this program at our Ozark campus,” Long said. “When we developed this program, we knew we wanted to offer a program unique to the area that would provide needed training. Every possible step has been taken to expand this program to continue with our mission to meet the needs of our local and state workforce, whether that is offering more NC3 certifications or developing internship opportunities with local businesses to create a workforce pipeline.
“We are a community college, and our mission is to see our students and community be successful and grow. I would say we are well on our way to accomplish our mission, and I’m proud that NC3 sees the great work and potential of our program.”
Cutline: Three students recently completed NC3 certifications in electricity and pneumatics through the Mechatronics program led by Aubri Hanson, right. Pictured, from left, are certification recipients Jabriel Pryor, Brandon Shinaberry, and Daniel Pruitt.