CSCC One of Four Community Colleges to Receive Middle College Mechatronics Grant

CSCC One of Four Community Colleges to Receive Middle College Mechatronics Grant

Holly Vincent
Wednesday, August 15, 2018 12:00 AM
Academics, Community

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Cleveland State Community College was one of four Tennessee community colleges that received a $250,000 state grant to expand its Middle College Mechatronics Program. The grant was recently funded by a $1 million appropriation in the 2018-2019 state budget proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Middle College programs are partnerships between community colleges and the high schools in their service areas, giving high school students opportunities to earn their Associates degrees at the same time they graduate from high school or soon after. The Middle College path will also give them opportunities to earn industry training certifications as part of the degree programs.

“We are excited to be one of the colleges designated to receive this funding,” stated Dr. Michael Stokes, Vice President for Student Services. “It will allow us to accelerate our efforts through the Tennessee Valley Early College program with local school systems by supporting instruction as well as student tuition and fees. We appreciate the support that Governor Haslam, the legislature, and the TBR system office have provided to making Mechatronics programs available to students while still in high school.”

The allocation of grant funds was determined by the chancellor based on the colleges’ submissions of their plans for the Middle College Mechatronics project. Cleveland State, Chattanooga State, Motlow State and Roane State joined together in a Middle College Mechatronics Consortium in support of a pilot program that may be expanded if more state funding becomes available.

Mechatronics is a blend of mechanical, electrical and computerized technologies forming a complex system. CSCC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in advanced integrated industrial technology, or mechatronics. The training is a blend of precision engineering, control theory, computer science, mathematics and sensory technology. Mechatronics engineers and technicians work in most advanced manufacturing industries and fields.

Currently, Cleveland State offers STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) camps to students in elementary and middle school years. This grant will allow the college to focus on rising 9th graders in addition to appealing to current high school students throughout the CSCC service area. They will be starting their efforts in 8th grade as students choose the pathway they will be following once they begin high school.

The Mechatronics courses required in the Cleveland State Mechatronics Level I Certificate and Mechatronics Technology A.A.S. are taught by Siemens Mechatronics System certification Program (SMSCP) Level I and II instructors. Cleveland State has invested in training two Level I and two Level II instructors allowing the college to be a SMSCP partner school. This allows Cleveland State to partner with high schools to provide instruction, instructor oversight and certification training.

High school students will now have the opportunity to earn MOS certification, Siemens Level I Certification and possibly Siemens Level II Certification through participation in this program.

Because high school students don’t qualify for college scholarship assistance like Tennessee Promise and Hope Scholarships until they earn their high school diplomas, most of the grants will pay the costs of tuition, fees, textbooks and materials for the students who enroll in the colleges’ Middle College Mechatronics programs.

The program is also of interest to students who plan to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. The College System of Tennessee has transfer pathways in place with several state universities that guarantee credits earned in the community colleges will be accepted at the universities, as long as students follow the pathway requirements.

The program will help advance Tennessee’s Drive to 55 initiative to equip at least 55 percent of working-age Tennesseans with a college degree or credential by 2025. For Tennessee to remain competitive in recruiting jobs, the state must continue to produce a trained workforce.


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway