Roane State Community College has been awarded a $250,000 grant that will fund scholarships for high school students to complete Roane State mechatronics courses.
The scholarships will pay for tuition, all fees, all books, all supplies, a specialized mechatronics toolkit, and transportation costs, a press release said. Approximately 30 students will be selected for the scholarships, which will be awarded beginning with the fall 2018 semester for the 2018-19 academic year. The grant was awarded by the Community College System of Tennessee.
Roane State offers a one-year certificate and two-year associate degree in mechatronics, and courses are offered at the college’s Higher Education and Workforce Training Facility in Clinton. Mechatronics students learn how to troubleshoot and repair modern automated production equipment, and elective classes include robotics, the press release said.
The purpose of the grant is to encourage students to complete mechatronics courses while in high school, which will prepare them for manufacturing careers, the release said. Students who participate in Roane State’s Middle College program can complete the full two-year associate degree before they graduate from high school.
Roane State was one of only four Tennessee community colleges to receive the block grant, the press release said. Approximately $50,000 of the grant will be used for faculty professional development.
“We are excited about offering this great opportunity to high school students in our area,” said Markus Pomper, dean of the Division of Mathematics and Sciences. “We will be able to pay for students’ tuition and fees, as well as their books and school supplies. In addition, each student will receive a small tool kit, personal protective equipment, and a personal programmable logic controller.”
Program director Gordon Williams was equally enthusiastic. “We were able to place all of our recent graduates from the mechatronics program in well-paying jobs. This scholarship program gives students the opportunity to earn upwards of $35,000 annually right out of high school.”
The program prepares students to earn two internationally recognized industry certifications—the Siemens Level 1 Mechatronics Assistant and Level 2 Mechatronics Associate. The scholarship pays for the fees for both certification examinations.
The program is also of interest to students who wish to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. Students who graduate from the mechatronics program can transfer to Middle Tennessee State University and earn a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering. A high school junior who completes the program while in high school could gain admission to Middle Tennessee State University and earn a bachelor’s degree just two years after high school graduation, the press release said.
Interested students or school administrators should contact Gordon Williams at (865) 354-3000, extension 4899, or [email protected]; or Markus Pomper at (865) 882-4533 or [email protected] for additional information.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release was submitted by Owen Driskill.
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