June 4, 2013

Students Choose Areas of Specialization

New AAS Technology Degree Focuses on Job Preparation

Students practice skills in the college machine shop.
Students practice skills in the college machine shop.

Western Nevada College is offering a new Associate of Applied Science - Technology degree that teaches students broad-based technical skills, giving them an edge in today's workforce. The degree has five individual emphases, including automated systems, construction, general industrial technology, machine tool and welding. The emphases allow students to choose a specialization that best fits their career interests or strengths, while incorporating a sampling of each of technology to help them develop well-rounded career skills.

Professor of Computer Information Technology Emily Howarth has worked extensively to develop the new degree, and is energized by the way that it responds to the employment needs of northern Nevada.

“We recognize that a student who has seen the theory and practiced the skills of more than one line of work has the best chance of being an asset to an employer,” says Howarth. “The economic climate has caused a shift in the needs of businesses and manufacturers. Rather than investing in new equipment, they are finding more value by investing in people who can operate and maintain the equipment they already have. The technology degree offers students the opportunity to train to meet the demands of our local industries.”

Automated systems and general industrial technology are newly added emphases for the college, while the construction, machine tool and welding emphases are redeveloped versions of existing WNC programs.

“The goal is to help diversify the workforce,” says Howarth. “Students can try different skills; they are not locked into a singular expertise.”

The curriculum adds courses in drafting and applied industrial technology to the existing emphases to provide students with a more diverse skill set. New classes in pneumatics and hydraulics will be available, and shop mathematics and technical writing have been added to teach students practical math and English skills for the workplace.

The AAS Technology degree also offers a great amount of flexibility for students, enabling them to complete degree requirements more quickly. Some classes can be taken online, and because of the hands-on nature of these trades, WNC is able to offer day and evening open labs, allowing students to complete coursework at times that don’t conflict with work or family schedules. Course options also tie to the Tech Prep program for students who enter degree programs through Fast Track classes while still in high school.

“The degree allows the college to maintain an identity as a vocational training facility," Howarth said. "There are many embedded opportunities for nationally recognized industry certifications along the way, and Certificate of Achievements for each specialization will be updated soon” says Howarth.

Schedule an appointment to meet with a counselor . . . 445-3267

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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