For the sixth year, every mechatronics student at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) has passed the national certification exam.
That means the program has maintained a 100 percent certification pass rate since its inception in 2013.
This year, however, the number certifications these students have earned has exponentially grown. Since August 2018, PHCC has awarded more than 300 certifications through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3). All of these certifications were earned by the 60 students studying mechatronics at PHCC.
While studying for their associate degrees, the students in this program can take up to nine industry certifications offered by NC3 in areas such as hydraulics, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers, and robotics. When a potential employer views a résumé with NC3 credentials, it show that the applicant has the required skill competencies for the job.
Some of these students have already accepted job offers to begin working after graduation, and some have been offered starting salaries of $28 to $32 per hour.
“When our students start looking for jobs, these credentials are really going to set them apart,” said PHCC Instructor Daniel Edwards. “The certifications prove to all the local companies who are trying to hire people who have these skills that our students have what it takes. They’ve proven themselves through these national exams.”
When PHCC partnered with NC3 at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, the college was among the first institutions in the nation to offer NC3 certifications. Starting this summer, PHCC will take the lead again by becoming one of the first institutions to offer the second level of Industry 4.0 training through NC3.
The National Coalition of Certification Centers develops and authenticates certification courses that prepare students to enter some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. With real-time industry data the coalition collects from a global network of industry experts, NC3 develops programs that meet current and future labor market demands.