A look at Campus Life at Various Community and Junior Colleges
Mercer County Community College (N.J.) President Jianping Wang (left) accepts the contribution of an original creation from artist Robert Giovannetti of Bucks County, Pa., who specializes in aviation art. The creation is a computer-processed photographic file on canvas entitled “Foreign Dreams Acrobatic Team,” featuring the Chinese aerobatic squadron as an homage to Wang’s Chinese heritage. Also pictured (right) is MCCC Vice President for College Advancement Ed Gwazda.
Students in North Lake College’s (Texas) concretepouring class are very familiar with the nationwide shortage of skilled construction workers. They see it and live it every day because many of them already work in that industry. Most of the students welcome the news because it means they’ll have a chance to get a good job after they graduate, but others worry about how the scarcity of workers might affect their current employers. Ireta Angley, one of those students and a project manager at a company which specializes in building multi-unit housing, said her company has experienced so many delays due to the labor shortage. Angley, who is studying construction management at North Lake so that she can advance at the company, added that many workers left the industry during the recession, and it has been difficult to get that experience back. Michael Cooley, dean of the construction management program at North Lake, said most students who take his classes already are working in the field, so they attend classes at night to specialize in specific areas of construction, whether it’s carpentry, framing, interior finish, electrical or other career pathways. “One of the advantages of this program is that it’s immediately applicable to the field work itself,” stated Cooley. He added that contractors hire his students because they can put them to work and they produce immediately. “They don’t need additional training and, if they do, it is minimal,” Cooley said.
Community College of Beaver County’s (Pa.) nationally distinctive Aviation Academy is expanding and soon will be accessible to students in 12 school districts in Allegheny County. The program will be offered at a second location, Parkway West Career and Technology Center in Oakdale, Pa., starting in August. The growing program is also offered at CCBC’s Aviation Sciences Center at the Beaver County Airport. Darby Copeland, executive director of Parkway West Career and Technology Center, contacted CCBC when he learned about the success and growth of CCBC’s Aviation High School Academy. Copeland and his colleagues offered the use of one of their buildings, which provides ample classroom and office space to host the program at the Parkway West location. “This new partnership with the Parkway West Career and Technology Center allows CCBC to utilize classroom space at the Center and provides a convenient location for high school students in Allegheny County to earn college credits and get an early start on a promising career,” noted Reber. Starting in summer 2016, students in grades 11 and 12 from participating Allegheny County school districts will have the opportunity to experience hands-on aviation instruction through four distinct pathways: professional pilot, air traffic control, aerospace management, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). As a dual-enrollment program, the Academy allows students to spend half of the day at their home high school, then the other half taking courses in science, technology, engineering and math, taught by CCBC faculty members at the new CCBC Aviation Academy location.