This project was a segment of a Department of Labor grant awarded to the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) of Clinton, Muscatine, and Scott.
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Iowa’s need for skilled engineering technology technicians is the driving force behind this project. Demand for engineering technology graduates remains high. The government projects that by the year 2018, Iowa’s advanced manufacturing segment alone will experience a shortage of 6,672 skilled workers due to older worker retirement and increasing need for Iowa products. This project seeks to meet this demand and provide a unique approach to learning about engineering technology.
The Associate in Applied Science Degree at EICC is designed so that roughly the first three semesters are identical and students can take courses at any of the three colleges.
In the final semester, the student has the choice of specializing in four different areas: Automation, Electro/Mechanical, Process Control or Renewable Energy. These courses are delivered with a hybrid approach that works for both people in the workforce and full-time students.
The courses are offered through the online platform of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC), and a classroom/hands-on lab environment. Students can enter the course at any given time throughout the year and instructors are available every day and night to help the students with their lab work. This unique approach allows students to complete the courses around their own schedules, but also get the personal face-to-face contact with instructors that is often lacking in fully online courses.