NORTH MANKATO — South Central College has received a three-year Advanced Technological Education grant from the National Science Foundation to do distance learning of the mechatronics program.
The first year of funding of $299,937 will allow SCC to begin working on the creation of iMEC — the distance-learning model that builds on the college’s existing mechatronics engineering technology program.
The project will use online and simulation tools and remote access methods to adapt the college’s face-to-face mechatronics curriculum so it can be delivered to students, industry, and other partner organizations, no matter their physical location.
“This is the college’s second NSF grant,” said SCC President Keith Stover in a statement. “We’re really excited to have continued support from this organization, especially for a project that will increase accessibility to technical education on a regional, statewide, and national level.”
There is a growing need for skilled workers in the mechatronics field regionally and nationally, SCC officials said. Through the remote access of SCC’s state-of-the-art laboratory systems, students will develop the troubleshooting knowledge and skills needed to become mechatronics engineering technicians. The iMEC program will integrate best practices from partners at Moultrie Technical College and the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center.
“My team and I are thrilled to have been given the opportunity from NSF to develop iMEC,” said SCC Dean of Academic Affairs Suzanne Nordblom in a statement. “The innovative educational model will allow us to deliver mechatronics technology education anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.”