OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP — Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s newest career academy, Mechatronics, is being renamed to better describe the training and type of employment that graduates can expect to attain. The new training program is now called the Mechatronic Systems Technician Academy. This training program will prepare students to perform the work of installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting mechanical and electrical equipment that is controlled by electronic and computer driven components.
“Both locally and nationally, employers have difficulty recruiting skilled workers,” said Cindy Buckley, Executive Director of Training for Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She explained that the academy was developed with input from area employers and was specifically tailored to meet their hiring needs.
Because mechatronics is a new field, Buckley and her staff members are working hard to explain the academy’s purpose.
“Key to understanding the term mechatronic is the word system,” Buckley said. “The functionality of everyday products — from automobiles to heating and air conditioning equipment to manufacturing lines — requires programmed control systems to operate. Each of these examples include common components or motors and gears that work together based on programmed logic.”
Applications are now being accepted for the academy’s first class will begin on Jan. 22, 2013. Informational sessions regarding the academy are being held at Kalamazoo Valley’s Groves Center on Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Oct. 18 at 4 p.m.
Trainees will be prepared for jobs which require electrical, mechanical, computer, robotics and automation skills sets. The academy is a 20-week, full time, competency-based training program designed to ensure that graduates have the knowledge and skills essential to perform troubleshooting, service, and repair on automated industrial systems.
Students who are admitted to the program will participate in structured classroom learning and hands-on practical application of skills in the learning lab. The program is guided by employers who support student learning through facilitation of tours and field work experience. Classes will be held at Kalamazoo Valley’s Groves Center.
Modules of study in this academy include Fundamentals of Electricity, Mechanical Systems, Integrated Information Technologies and Automated Control Systems. These modules are taught in context of their relationships to one another, with a strong emphasis on diagnosis of faults and troubleshooting.
Trainees can expect to be eligible for jobs including mechatronics technician, field service technician, engineering technician, and employees who specialize in test and verification set up, operation and documentation.
The academy is one of several training programs housed at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Groves Center. The Groves Campus, located eight miles southwest of downtown Kalamazoo, is one of three campuses associated with Kalamazoo Valley Community College.