DCCC Offers Guidance for Careers in Advanced Manufacturing through ‘BIG BAM’ Kits
July 2, 2013 – Davidson County Community College is hoping to appeal to potential students who may have an interest in an advanced manufacturing career by offering “BIG BAM” – Basic Investigative Guidance for Beginning Advanced Manufacturing – curriculum kits.
Made possible by a grant funded by the United States Department of Labor, DCCC offers six different BIG BAM kits, which correspond with the six advanced manufacturing programs that are currently available on campus. The kits, used by instructors in the classroom as a teaching tool, provide an opportunity for students to consider different programs at an introductory level without having to make a commitment.
“The main purpose of the kits is to allow students to explore basic advanced manufacturing concepts in a user-friendly and hands-on environment,” says Craig Gallimore, instructional coordinator for the College and Career Readiness and North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. “In turn, it is hoped that those same students will gain an understanding of the advanced manufacturing job opportunities within the same community and transition to DCCC by applying to one of the programs.”
The kits are a component of the beneficial changes being implemented as part of the grant, which connects DCCC with nine other community colleges in North Carolina to form the North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. The organization’s goal is to offer fast-track pathways to high-skilled jobs for displaced workers, including the unemployed, underemployed and veterans, in various fields within advanced manufacturing. Career-oriented courses have been restructured and transformed into hybrid formats that will allow students to take courses online, while implementing lab time to provide hands-on industry skills.
The six BIG BAM kits at DCCC will help students gain an understanding of the various advanced manufacturing programs offered on campus, including computer-integrated machining technology, electronics engineering technology, global logistics technology, manufacturing technology, industrial drafting and design, industrial systems technology and welding technology.
The kits each contain different learning components that give students a variety of tools to learn and experience the program, such as vocabulary games, program specific content, career development and hands-on activities with topic-related materials, video explorations and more. The advanced manufacturing programs available offer a pathway to employment; Gallimore notes he finds 100 to 150 job openings or more at any given time within a 50-mile radius of DCCC.
Gallimore says the kits are designed for students who are working to obtain their high school credentials or need refreshers before entering college classes, as well as those who are either interested in Advanced Manufacturing or are unsure of which pathway to follow when making a career decision. Once these students “test drive” the programs, they either find they love the program they were considering, or find that it’s not a good fit for them.
“It’s really a ‘try before you buy’ marketing concept that so many of us use today regardless of our age or station in life,” Gallimore says. “Students who explore these kits gain confidence, and that occurs through the teambuilding and topic exploration activities they experience. They walk into their college classes already aware of the technical jargon, knowing basic concepts, types of careers they can work toward and more by having already experienced hands-on activities and video visuals as part of the kits.”
*Editor’s Note: The first photo shows, from left to right, Chance Davis and Torey Lane working with a robot they built at “Get Real,” a Lexington-based program designed to prepare out-of-school students ages 16 to 21 for meaningful employment and economic independence through educational and career training opportunities.
The second photo shows, from left to right, Kiley Zubke and Faith Plumley following a wiring diagram that helped them build a radio at the Get Real program in Lexington.
Pictured in the third photo are Craig Gallimore and student Annallely Santos. Gallimore is shown teaching students at DCCC’s Uptown Lexington Campus using the BIG BAM curriculum.
Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully-accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations, and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College on the Web at davidsonccc.edu.