OSHTEMO — The Groves Center at Kalamazoo Valley has developed the next fast track career academy, adding to its line-up of hands on technical training programs.
The 20-week accelerated Mechatronic Systems Technician Academy provides the
opportunity for students to gain skills needed to work on industrial robots, automated
equipment found in retail, manufacturing and entertainment sectors and other
technologically advanced systems.
The Academy’s first session begins on April 1, 2013. An informational session about the
Academy is set for 4 p.m. on Dec. 11 at Kalamazoo Valley’s Groves Center, 7101 Elm
Valley Drive, in Texas Township. The program is guided by area employers who support
student learning through facilitation of tours and field work experience. Classes will be
held at Kalamazoo Valley’s Groves Center.
“The skill sets employers demand transcends a traditional approach to technical
education,” said Cindy Buckley, executive director of training for Kalamazoo Valley
Community College. “A mechanical specialist or an electrician is seldom able to solve the
problems which arise on automated equipment without crossing over into areas we used
to consider separate occupations. We call the technicians with the combined skills and
capabilities Mechatronic Systems Technicians.”
The program will accept only 14 trainees into the 20-week, full time, competency-based
The small class size in necessary to assure maximum opportunities to learn by doing.
Applications are required to assure those accepted have the perquisites for success in
the course in their future careers. Math skills and proven aptitude for electro-mechanical
work is necessary. Also required is the drive to be self-directed and solve problems.
“A new trade is emerging in response to technological changes that have fundamentally
altered the way we interact with machines,” Buckley said. “This program will focus on
fundamental knowledge of electricity, computers, mechanical fundamentals and
automation so that our graduates can perform work, day one in their new careers and
more importantly, in their futures.”
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.
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