Notes from the President
Chris Gray, Ph.D. | Founding President, Erie County Community College of Pennsylvania
If you’ve been around since the beginning, you know that EC3 started small; we offered a limited selection of courses during our first semester as we worked to get our institution off the ground. We did this deliberately; we wanted to intentionally choose programs that would meet our students where they are while simultaneously working to help fill employment gaps here in Erie County.
Since that first semester, we’ve been adding courses and programs slowly but steadily. Our logic in making these additions has been to focus both on community demand and student need. We’ve used data to drive our decisions, and we’ve been careful and deliberate in our actions. In addition to offering courses to help students prepare for transfer programs, we have remained committed to workforce development as well through the strategic deployment of degrees and certificates that impart skills designed to help students enter the workforce immediately upon completion.
As part of my comments here, and as we get ready to usher in our fourth semester as a college, I thought it would be useful from time to time to provide a deeper dive into some of the programs that we offer. To usher in this new feature here on the blog, I’d like to begin by sharing a bit about our brand new CNC Operator/Programmer program, currently still in its infancy and set to launch in Spring 2023 – just a few short weeks away!
First, we need a definition. What is CNC? It’s a term that gets bandied around but is not always widely understood. The acronym CNC stands for Computer Numeric Controlled machines, and our certificate program is comprised of nine courses. Students take two introductory courses in Industrial Manufacturing Technology, an introductory course in Technical Math, an introductory course in Metrology – The Study of Measurement with GD&T, two intermediate courses in CNC Programming, an intermediate course in CNC Toolpath, and finally Advanced CNC Programming.
When completed, this curriculum prepares students to work in entry-level positions that can lead to a career in application engineering with skills in advanced manufacturing machine safety, blueprint reading, technical math, metrology, and proper part inspection methods. In a growing manufacturing economy, this program fills an identified need and sets EC3 students up for success in their careers.
Students begin this program with IMT-102, Industrial Management Technology I. Because we realize that many of our students are likely working already, we have elected to offer this course in the evenings to accommodate their schedules, and it will be an eight-week course that begins in February and meets on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 5:15pm to 9:00pm. Students can also complete two of the nine courses required in a single semester since IMT-104, Industrial Management Technology II, begins after Spring Break. For ease of scheduling, this second course will be offered on the same days and at the same time as its predecessor.
We are so excited to welcome the first CNC students to EC3, but there’s still time to enroll also! If you’ve been contemplating a career in manufacturing, or if you know someone who has been thinking about this in-demand field, I encourage you to reach out to our advisors as soon as possible. We hope you’ll join us soon!