Pierce: CSCC Mechatronics Program is the Future

Pierce: CSCC Mechatronics Program is the Future

Holly Vincent
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 12:00 AM
Community, Academics

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – When CSCC student Billy Pierce first heard about CSCC’s mechatronics program, he wasn’t sure what all it entailed, but after enrolling in the program, he couldn’t think of a better fit for him.

The retired veteran had been enrolled at CSCC for a number of years taking classes for personal fulfillment when he found out about the new mechatronics program. Mechatronics Technology can be described as “a blend of mechanical, electrical and computerized technologies that together form a complex system used by manufacturing, packaging and other modern operations.”

 “I listen to talk radio, and I’m a news buff and all I hear is that technology is taking jobs away from people,” stated Pierce. “If you get right down to it, that’s not really the case because if you pursue this, it’s putting you right back into technology by teaching you how to adapt to the technology and run the technology that is coming out.”

Pierce said he was never concerned about his grades in high school, but college is a different story. When he graduates from CSCC with his degree in Mechatronics Technology, he hopes to graduate with honors and is well on his way!

When he was in high school, Pierce said the only thing he wanted out of high school was “OUT.” He didn’t take academics seriously at all, took the easiest classes and graduated. It wasn’t until he joined the military that he realized how important education really was.

“I am a 57-year-old retired military veteran, and this training is just as equal, if not greater, to what I learned in the military the 25 years I was in.”

Susan Webb-Curtis, Dean of Business and Advanced Technologies, said, “When I heard Billy Pierce stand up in front of a room full of industry representatives at our Advanced Technologies Advisory Council breakfast in October, I knew our training was hitting the mark.  Billy shared with these employers that this mechatronics program was one of the best training experiences of his career.  We want prospective students to come talk with our instructors, take an individual tour and consider joining our program.  We know we have something great to offer!”

Pierce continued, “These classes are intense, but Dr. Tim Wilson and Mr. Charles Womac do an excellent job. When you read the material for this class, it’s terrifying. Writing programs yourself and putting them in the computer and making it run is just terrifying. When you read the material in the textbook, it’s also terrifying, but when they explain it, it’s like a lightbulb in your head goes off, and you’re suddenly able to understand it.”

With Dr. Tim Wilson, Technology Chair, completing Level I & II Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP) training, CSCC students can now sit for both levels of certification at Cleveland State earning a certificate or associate degree in Mechatronics Technology. Students can later transfer to other 4-year universities where they would receive their Level III training by earning a Bachelor’s of Applied Science. CSCC is one of only four in a system of 13 community colleges to receive Level II status and offer Mechatronics SMSCP training.

“We have been so excited about launching our new Mechatronics Technology program this fall semester,” stated Webb-Curtis. “Dr. Tim Wilson participated in Level I Siemens training offered at our sister school, Motlow State, and then traveled to Berlin to acquire Level II certification. Charlie Womac is Level I certified and will be acquiring Level II certification this summer.  Both of these instructors have years of teaching experience and are so excited about this new way of teaching and preparing students for the high tech world of today’s advanced manufacturing. Their enthusiasm shows….you can immediately see how engaged students are the minute you walk into the classroom. We will be sending additional technology instructors to Siemens training this summer so that we can expand the number of classes available this fall.”

“This is the future; this is a new era,” stated Pierce. “We deal with PLC’s, robots, pneumatic systems, hydraulic systems and electronic systems. We are learning a little bit of everything in this program. It’s very well taught, good training, and I’d recommend it to anyone.”

For more information on CSCC’s Mechatronics Technology program or other majors within the Advanced Technologies Department, call (423) 472-7141, ext. 447.

Pictured: CSCC Mechatronics student Billy Pierce


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