2019-2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Central Community College

Building Mechatronics With Instrumentation and Controls

Central Community College (CCC) implemented the Mechatronics with Instrumentation and Controls (MwIC) project to address Nebraska's growing need for Process Instrumentation and Control technicians. In collaboration with MwIC’s Business and Industry Leadership Team, the project developed a new instrumentation and control (I&C) pathway as part of CCC’s Mechatronics A.A.S. degree, making it the first two-year instrumentation program in Nebraska. Funded in part by a National Science Foundation grant, MwIC developed six new courses in instrumentation, created a new state-of-the-art customized I&C lab facility for hands-on learning, engaged secondary schools throughout Nebraska to increase the awareness of Mechatronics careers, and provided professional development for more than 100 secondary and college educators from 50 institutions while helping establish multiple scholarship and internship opportunities. These efforts led to more than 25 percent increase in Mechatronics program enrollment from the 2016-2017 to the 2018-2019 academic year.

Innovators: Nate Allen, Susan Baer, Daniel Davidchik, Pauley Douglas, Sharon Gutierrez

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