CSCC Begins Recruitment For Inaugural Mechatronics Institute

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cleveland State Community College will begin recruiting students for the inaugural Mechatronics Institute that will begin in the fall of 2018. This new approach for attaining an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics Technology will be offered to new graduating seniors. Students who have a desire for working in a multi-skilled manufacturing position or may be looking to move into an engineering/STEAM field will be ideal candidates for this program.

Students selected for the institute will be working not only in a classroom setting, but supplementing that learning with real-world training in a manufacturing setting while getting paid.

“This new Institute is an exciting advancement for our college,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President. “Our Advanced Technologies Department has done an excellent job being responsive to the needs of area employers. The Mechatronics Institute provides future students state-of-the-art education and real-world experience at the same time. Coupling Tennessee Promise and a paid position while attending college will make this one of the best opportunities in our region.”

All candidates will submit an application for the college, a separate application for the Mechatronics Institute, as well as a 500+ word essay about his/her interest in the manufacturing/engineering field. These prospective students will be selectively chosen and accepted based on the following:

  1. Academic success (measured through grades and class rank)

  2. ACT/SAT scores showing scholastic capability (College readiness in all areas, i.e. Math 19, Reading 19, and Writing 18 ACT scores, equivalent SAT scores, and/or CSCC placement test score)

  3. Written essay showing communication skills

  4. Commitment to work in a team and problem-solving environment

The next step in the acceptance process will be meeting with and interviewing with the industry partners. The current local companies who have partnered with Cleveland State Community College include: McKee Food Corp., Denso, Eaton, Bayer, Thomas & Betts Corporation and Wacker. Individuals from each company, along with a steering committee, will determine not only which candidates are chosen for the program, but also which company the student will have the opportunity to work/train under.

Jason Hobbs with McKee Foods Corp, stated, “Interviewing students to assess their soft skills along with their technical abilities will allow the Mechatronics Institute to provide the best candidates to the partnering companies.”

The Mechatronics Institute will blend classroom instruction with on-site manufacturing experience at various industry partner sites. Classes such as Electrical Components, Mechanical Components & Electric Motors, Electro-Pneumatic & Hydraulic Control, and Digital Fundamentals and PLCs will be offered, among numerous other courses geared toward a career in the manufacturing industry. Upon completion of the program graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics Technology. For those students interested in an engineering/STEAM path this will be an easy transition to MTSU, and possibly UTC.

As an accepted student in the Mechatronics Institute candidates will:

  • Attend two full days of classroom instruction per week, including CSCC mentor meetings.

  • Maintain a "C" or higher in all classes to remain eligible for the Mechatronics Institute.

  • Work two/three eight hour days per week earning a wage starting at $13.80 per hour, potentially increasing up to $16.15 per hour.

  • Adhere to the guidelines established by the industry partners.

  • Receive an Associate of Applied Science degree that includes Siemens 1 & Siemens 2 certifications.

  • Obtain two years of paid working co-op experience that will include highly sought after business principles and best practices of world class manufacturers.

  • Possess the skills and ability to compete for available multi-skilled technical positions at locally-based manufacturing companies.

  • Earn, over the two years, as much as $21,567 to cover educational expenses, making the education completely debt free. The estimated cost of the degree is $13,000 and there are also potential grants, scholarships, and other financial aid options available. This educational opportunity is covered under Tennessee Promise.

Any high school student/parent who would like further details or questions answered can contact Marci Reiter, Cooperative Education Assistant Professor with Cleveland State Community College at 423-614-8718 or email her at

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