MCHS Juniors: Motlow offers free Mechatronics degree

Jesse Donaldson (left) recently graduated with a Mechatronics degree from Motlow before he graduated from Franklin County High School. Jessie is one of 11 graduates to complete the program in May 2020. {Photo Provided}

MOORE COUNTY — Motlow’s dual enrollment program allow Moore County High School (MCHS) juniors to get a jump on their college careers. Many MCHS students graduate high school with their Associates Degree already in hand. Now, Motlow State offers another outstanding educational opportunity for local students … free dual enrollment courses to high school juniors interested in pursuing a degree in Mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a synergy of mechanical, electrical, and computerized technologies that together form a complex system used in product engineering, manufacturing, and packaging operations. Opportunities for employment with a Mechatronics degree are wide-ranging across the business landscape.

“High school juniors are now able to earn an associate degree, at no extra cost to them or their families, while they earn their high school diploma,” said Motlow Administrator of High School Initiatives Sally Pack. “The high demand for qualified employees in Mechatronics, along with this free opportunity, is a win-win for families, area industries, our students, and the college.”

Motlow leads the state in the number of dual enrollment students it matriculates each year. In May 2020, 11 high school seniors became the first graduates from the Middle College Mechatronics program, funded by a grant awarded to Motlow in 2018. Michael Walton of Murfreesboro earned his associate degree in Mechatronics from Motlow and his high school diploma from Oakland in the spring of 2020.

“Earning my Associate Degree in Mechatronics through the Dual Enrollment program at Motlow, with no debt, and graduating from Oakland at the same time gives me a head start on my career,” said Walton. “The program is challenging, the last three months even more so, but I completed it. I’m starting MTSU this fall to earn my bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics.”

The Mechatronics program’s goal is to prepare local students for high-wage employment as high skilled technicians. Many Motlow graduates have gone on to successful careers at Nissan, Bridgestone, and many other Tennessee companies.

“We are very proud of our dual enrollment program in mechatronics,” said Motlow Dean of Career and Technical Programs Fred Rascoe. “High school students are taking advantage of this offering and obtaining their certificate or AAS degree in Mechatronics. They are well on their way toward a gratifying career.”

Motlow Mechatronics is nationally recognized and certified by the Association for Technology Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) as a premier educational program with a high job placement rate of graduates. Motlow Mechatronics instructors have been awarded two National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1 million in the last three years.

Additional to partnerships with high schools, Motlow engages in 2 + 2 partnerships with universities and colleges. An example is the Mechatronics 2 + 2 partnership with Tennessee State University, allowing Motlow graduates to pursue their bachelor’s degree in mechatronics and remain on a Motlow campus.

For more information, visit the Motlow State website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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