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New Classes Allow Students to Graduate With an Associates Degree

New Mechatronics Courses Added to LCHS

Abigail Kennedy, Staff Editor

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    There are many different types of classes offered here at Lenoir City High School, but a new series of courses is coming during the 2018-19 school year. This program is called mechatronics, and it will be run through Roane State for college credit. Although, the classes will in fact be held in the F-Wing computer lab. Mechatronics is a type of technology that combines electrical and mechanical engineering along with computer sciences. This class will be “a good head start for anyone wanting a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering,” said Mr. Kevin Smith (pre-engineering and mechatronics teacher at LCHS).

   The classes will not be honors because they will instead count for college credit through Roane State Community College. Smith elaborated on the significance of them by saying, “when the students graduate Lenoir CIty High School, thay will have an Associates Degree.” This allows for students wanting to do engineering and computer sciences a straight shot into the workforce without having to go through college. This will make a real difference in how early people begin to start working and begin building their careers. Most people cannot start building and working on their career until his or her early to mid twenties.

    Another upside to this program is that because it is through the school, it is free. This will be most helpful to students who would like to earn a degree but would not have the means to pay for it even through financial aid or they could not leave town to go to school. Now high school can have more of a purpose to some people because of the appearance of a real future and not having to deal with financial hardships.

    After taking these classes, there are many different places these students can work. Any production industry would have occupations that this class would prepare them for. When asked the types of professions this could prepare students for, Mr. Smith replied, “programming automated assembly lines and any sort of high tech production [would be ideal for these students].” Just about any sort of company has robotic and electricity designed assembly lines to speed up productions, and those companies are looking for people who have a  degree in mechatronics.

    Many students most likely noticed the list of courses that will be offered when signing up for classes this past week. For convenience, the classes are listed below in the order a student would take them:

  • Robotics and Automated Systems (10)
  • Digital Electronics (10)
  • Electrical Systems (11)
  • Pneumatic and Hydraulic Control Circuits (12)
  • Digital Fundamentals (12)

    Many students interested in the program are starting to wonder how he or she will be able to take the courses since the classes are starting up in the middle of his or her high school career. Vice Principal and CTE director Mr. Mark Weeks made a statement saying, “We are trying to make sure that our pathway meet the needs of students going halfway through their high school career.” Now that this information is made known in the school, it is clear that administration and the guidance offices are working furiously to make sure the students who are willing to put forth the effort and take these classes are able to and have a well laid out path to follow.

    It has also been confirmed by Mr. Weeks that mechatronics will be a new field to enter in the STEM Academy. This allows the students graduating through this program the chance to have the STEM logo on their diplomas which can aid them with continuing their education later on if they wish to do so at a true college campus.

    A common question popping up about the class is how it will impact the school as a whole. Many may think of as another elective, yet Mr. Smith disagrees. He says, “It’s more than an elective because it is a college class.” Other electives aren’t able to hold up to these same high standards even if all of the classes are honors. This could in turn raise the overall GPA, ACT scores, and graduation rate at Lenoir City High School. For instance, student are beginning to build their anticipation and excitement for the classes, and when these emotions build up so does the motivation to do schoolwork especially when now students have the option for free college courses that can get them into well paying jobs and careers. Also when students obtain this motivation, they are more likely to complete their final classes to graduate.

    Another trait separating this set of courses from others that are already in place is the equipment that will be available to use. Smith said, “We will be the first high school in the area to allow the students a degree in high school and the real advantage is the equipment they can get their hands on.” The school board is spending a large sum on this class as an investment in the lives of many future and present students. These classes open the doors to many opportunities that were not available before to the people here at Lenoir City High School.

    Overall, these new course and class options give even more freedom to the students and allow them to have an even higher potential than they could ever imagine. It will prepare high school students for the workforce, equip them with a versatile degree, and allow them to continue their educational career if they wish to do so without the hassle of two years of extra schooling after high school. This new addition to Lenoir City High School can highly improve the school and will definitely make a difference in the statistics about the school and the overall attitude in the student body about graduation and plans for after high school.

http://www.nacep.org/docs/presentations/UVU-ADinHS-Advisor’s_Prospective.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechatronics

https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1096138

 

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