“We have reinstated the Machine Tool and Computer Aided Drafting and Design programs. The Machine Tool certificate along with the Electrical Technologies and Welding certificates are offered in a new Open-Entry/Open-Exit format,” said Dr. David H. Devier, president, Glen Oaks Community College. “This format provides an alternative to traditional classroom learning in that they are self-paced programs. Meaning students have flexibility in the pace and timing of their instructional and related laboratory work”.
The reinstated Computer Aided Design and Drafting certificate is in response to the greatly increased employment opportunities in the region for individuals who possess the latest computer software skills utilized by industry to design products, parts, and assemblies to meet the increased consumer demand.
“The recession placed financial pressure on the hard technology programs (Machine Tool, Welding and CADD) due to reduced enrollments,” said Devier. “This led to the decision to place the programs on hold until such a time that the need re-emerged. “ In the eighteen months since I arrived at Glen Oaks, I have met with many area industrial leaders who have expressed their need for skilled workers” On several occasions we held Manufacturing Round Tables where we ask employers what their needs are. This prompted us to re-launch the curriculum’s to serve these needs”.
“The biggest challenge was obtaining machine tools,” said Devier. “An opportunity came along when Vicksburg Schools donated a number of machines as did Sturgis Public Schools.” These donations along with some inventiveness helped us establish a well-equipped machining laboratory”.
The Welding and Automotive programs are also offered to the high school Career Technical Education students who come to the college each day from area schools. In addition, the Three Rivers and Sturgis CADD students also receive college credit. The CTE offerings may well be expanded to the Machining and Electrical areas next year.
Since the beginning in 1965, Glen Oaks has offered career programming to educate students to enter into such fields as nursing, automotive technician, computer aided drafting, machine tool, medical assisting, nurse’s aid, computer technology, business occupations and more.
The College also serves unique training needs of the County via the Business Outreach and Services Office. These offerings provide customized training and contract services for regional employers for both incumbent and pre-service employees. These trainings may range from a few hours; to weeks, in providing the needed knowledge and skills that employers are seeking to advance their business operations.
Glen Oaks will continue to serve the career, occupational, and technical educational needs of the region’s students and business and industry. This has been a corner stone of the college’s mission and will be for the foreseeable future.