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New degree path at Blinn to get students in technology careers, fast

Posted at 10:35 PM, Mar 24, 2022

BRENHAM, Texas — As industries seek more qualified workers with technical skills, Blinn College is paving a path for students to enter technology-based jobs at a faster rate.

Blinn College announced this week the implementation of a new degree path and an associated one-semester and two-semester certification program, in the field of mechatronics.

Mechatronics will be offered as an associate of applied sciences career starting this fall at Blinn College’s Brenham campus, eventually to also be offered through the Bryan RELLIS campus. Students taking this two-year program will gain skills applicable to the fields of biotechnology, aerospace, manufacturing, computer engineering, and even medicine or pharmaceuticals.

“I would like to define the mechatronics program as just a combination of electrical engineering and mechanical engineering," explained Jenifar Aktar, program coordinator of engineering technology for Blinn. "When we talk about mechatronics, we are also talking about sensors, motors, automatic controls, etc.”

Blinn will also offer a one-semester and two-semester certification with mechatronics known as an occupational skills award.

"The associate's degrees and these types of certificates that are being offered by the Blinn college district, are really really hitting the nail on the head in terms of current job openings and needs of employment," said Matt Prochaska, CEO for the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation

Prochaska noted that with the completion of the Bush Combat Development Complex, graduates of these programs will be even more sought after in the local economic landscape than they already are.

"So what we’re seeing is this wonderful partnership between all of our partners, with education as well as industry to come together," he said. "And that will make us that much more competitive in this particular field of defense.”

Blinn officials note that students can also opt to expand their education with a Tarleton State University bachelor’s degree, should they wish to advance beyond the associates.

Aktar is excited to welcome students young and old with an interest in STEM, even if they’re just getting started.

“Most of the engineering program you will need calculus and other prerequisites," Aktar said. "We do not require it for most of our courses [in mechatronics]. If anyone does not have any expertise on that, they can start from scratch and start this new program.”