MentorLinks grant has Mechatronics program off to a great start

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Southeastern Community College will begin offering an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Mechatronics starting with the fall 2018 semester. The college received the National Science Foundation’s MentorLinks grant to facilitate the program startup. The grant has allowed Mechatronics Program Director Jeff Hester and Technical Programs Division Chair Angela Ransom the opportunities to attend a conference about Mechatronics, host a visit to SCC by our mentor, Jim Hyder, and have a reverse site visit to college who recently launched a Mechatronics Program.

Ransom and Hester’s reverse site was hosted by Virginia Western Community College. They toured the college’s facilities, which were very similar to SCC, and learned about the implementation of many initiatives that have made their program successful.

“We left that site visit prepared to adapt many of their successful concepts to SCC,” said Ransom.

During Hyder’s visit to SCC’s campus, he was able to familiarize himself with the college faculty and staff and program offerings, as well as participate in an Industry Group Meeting hosted by the college. His presentation to the group outlined the significance of the grant and the successes of his previous mentees. Both of the schools Hyder previously worked with went on to receive additional National Science Foundation grants, a goal he feels is attainable for SCC, also.
“Participation in this process has helped us shape the pathway for the Mechatronics Engineering Technology program,” said Ransom. “We value Mr. Hyder’s knowledge and advice as we navigate the launch of what we hope to be a very successful program that will contribute to economic development in Columbus County.”

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