Moberly Area Community College’s new mobile lab will increase accessibility to the college’s mechatronics program while saving money on costly equipment.
While industries in the communities of four of the other MACC sites have expressed interest in technicians trained in the mechatronics program, the communities are too small to support a full program. With the new mobile lab, MACC will be able to meet these needs without purchasing expensive equipment for each site.
Students from these communities would have to drive anywhere from 72 to 196 miles roundtrip to attend classes at the Columbia site where the program is presently housed.
By offering the program in a hybrid format, students can complete the coursework at home on their own time, and then attend the hands-on portion when the mobile lab comes to their campus.
The mobile lab features six work stations, as well as a generator that can provide heating, cooling and electricity, so the lab is self-contained.
Not only is the mechatronics program using the hybrid format, it is also built around the competencies of the MSSC-Certified Production Technician as well as competencies requested by local industry partners.
These industry partners are actively involved in the Mechatronics Advisory Committee, which has contributed significantly to the choice of competencies, credentials and courses. The program’s certificates are also stacks, so students can earn credentials throughout the program and can enter, leave and return at will. Because the program is mapped online, students will always know where they are and what needs to come next.