During a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1, a new Mechatronics-focused articulation agreement between Enterprise State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was made official after 18 months of discussions between the two institutions.
According to the agreement, students completing the Associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics degree at the Alabama Aviation College, a unit of Enterprise State, will be able to transfer all ESCC credits to UTC and continue training to complete the Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechatronics.
Instrumental in establishing this partnership was Mechatronics instructor Aubri Hanson, who reached out to UTC while searching for transfer options for students.
“Looking at the curriculum for UTC’s BAS in Mechatronics, I knew this would be a great match and path for our students,” she said. “Completing a two-year degree in Mechatronics qualifies students for many jobs in a variety of fields that command a high wage. Going on and completing the four-year degree will allow students to move into engineering and management level positions in Mechatronics. Either path a student chooses will lead to a wealth of opportunities in a broad range of industry.”
The transfer agreement between the two institutions guarantees admission to ESCC students completing the associate degree in Mechatronics who graduate with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA. Hanson said this agreement would have students completing 67 credits at ESCC and the final 62 credits required for the bachelor’s degree at UTC.
“We are excited about this transfer articulation agreement for the Mechatronics program and welcoming ESCC students to UTC to complete their four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degree,” Dean of UTC’s College of Engineering and Computer Science Daniel Pack said. “With the new border state tuition discount, UTC is a smart choice for students in Alabama. We look forward to working with ESCC to develop pathways for other programs in engineering, technology, and computer science.”
Since its start during the Fall 2019 semester, ESCC’s Mechatronics program has grown to include three short-term college credit certificates, one long-term college credit certificate, and an increased offering of NC3 certifications, which are industry recognized and meet national skills standards. In addition to training opportunities, Mechatronics students have access to business and industry-supported scholarships and internships. Dual enrollment students are also able to receive skills training through a combination of online content and on-campus labs.
ESCC’s Mechatronics program provides training in electronics, motors, automation, robotics, and other advanced manufacturing processes for students interested in industrial automation jobs. According to Department Head of Engineering Management and Technology/Burkett Miller Chair of Excellence at UTC Ahad Nasab, the bachelor’s program at UTC will continue this training to help students go even further in industry.
“The BAS Mechatronics program at UTC is designed to provide the knowledge and skillset demanded by the transition of manufacturing to Industry 4.0.,” Nasab said. “We hope to serve as a unique conduit for community college students to advance in the exciting field of automation, robotics and mechatronics.”
Vice President/Dean of Instruction Danny Long said the agreement with UTC was exceptional and the College is excited about the opportunities students would have available to them.
“It’s rare to have all courses for an entire program, especially a career technical program, transfer to a four-year institution,” Long said. “We have a great Mechatronics program here at ESCC that combines several areas of industry into a one-degree plan. It’s all led by Aubri Hanson. She’s a fantastic instructor who understands the needs of the workforce and industry today.
“Through our associate program, our Mechatronics students already have access to great jobs when they complete their degree at ESCC. We’re excited about this agreement with UTC because our students can continue their training and have more opportunities available to them in the workforce. We are proud to be able to offer this amazing and unique opportunity to our students, and we are looking forward to seeing how our new partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga grows in the future.”
UTC: Mechatronics students who transfer to UTC will continue their training in automation, robotics and other areas, which can lead to more employment opportunities in a broad range of industry.
Mechatronics: Instructor Aubri Hanson works with student Tanner Levey on the Motor Control Trainer in the Mechatronics lab. Students completing the associate degree in Mechatronics at ESCC now have the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree at UTC thanks to a new articulation agreement between the two institutions.
Mechatronics 2: Mechatronics student Coree Crittenden works on an Electropneumatics circuit in the lab.