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SKYCTC announces new industrial maintenance training program

Jun 26, 2017

Student being instructor on robotic weldingBy AARON MUDD amudd@bgdailynews.com Aaron Mudd - Jun 23, 2017

Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College is tuning up a new approach to industrial maintenance with the goal of balancing work and education for optimal learning and student convenience.

“It’s very difficult for a person to get their education and work at the same time,” SKYCTC President Phillip Neal explained to about a dozen local industry representatives during a seminar on the program Thursday.

During the meeting, Neal explained that traditional education techniques have favored educating students first, allowing them to experience industrial maintenance in a realistic work setting. The pendulum has swung to hands-on training before traditional classroom instruction, Neal said.

SKYCTC has been shifting toward a blended approach by partnering with regional industries for an apprenticeship program called the Southcentral Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, or SKY FAME.

The change in approach with the industrial maintenance program will continue that trend beginning this fall.

“The concept is that we want to be able to enhance the quality of training,” said Gene Basil, dean of advanced manufacturing technologies.

To accomplish that, Basil said much of the course content traditionally delivered through lectures will instead be delivered through online video and other material. Students must first master the online content before they participate in hands-on classroom training sessions.

“The new format is mastery based,” Basil said. “It’s a very structured approach to online learning.”

During a typical week of the course, Mondays will be “student support days,” where faculty will be on hand to help meet student needs. Available services will include coaching, tutoring, advising and make-up work with a computer lab available. Classes will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Kim Myers, SKYCTC’s director of workforce solutions, said the shift offers a fresh approach she’s excited for. “I think for so long we’ve been about learn and then work,” she said.

Brian Greenwell with Kiriu, a brake rotor manufacturer, said his company struggles to find good quality candidates to fill positions. He appreciates the program’s flexibility.

“This fits ideally,” with 12-hour shifts, he said, adding he’s also excited about the blended learning approach. “I think it’s awesome.”

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or at bgdailynews.com.