Washington State College of Ohio (WSCO) and Washington County Career Center (WCCC) announced an innovative partnership that will create an automation and robotics pathway to benefit local high school students. The program will allow career center students to utilize the robotics and engineering labs at the college to eApril 8, 2021arn high school credit, college credit, and receive recognized industry credentials.

MARIETTA, OHIO—Washington State College of Ohio (WSCO) and Washington County Career Center (WCCC) announced an innovative partnership that will create a robotics and advanced manufacturing pathway to benefit local high school students. The program, Robotics Automation Engineering, will allow Career Center students to utilize state-of-the-art labs at the college to earn both high school and college credit, as well as receive recognized industry credentials.

This new pathway is part of the two-year Automation and Robotics program at WSCO and delivers secondary education in a unique way. Students will enroll in the program through the Career Center and will be bused to the Washington State campus for Robotics, CNC, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and Principals of Engineering courses. The classes will be held in the institution’s state-of-the-art Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Center and will give students hands-on learning experiences.

WSCO President, Dr. Vicky Wood stated, “I am thrilled to strengthen the WSCO-WCCC partnership to expand educational opportunities for this region.”  She further commented, “Not only will students in this program benefit from the WCCC and WSCO curricula, they will learn using the Internet of Things (IoT) curriculum that is being designed by faculty from four Ohio community colleges: Belmont, Eastern Gateway, Zane State, and WSCO.” The IoT describes the network of physical objects or “things” that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

“The Washington County Career Center is excited about this innovative partnership with Washington State College of Ohio.  We believe this collaboration will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students to obtain the fundamental skills necessary to be successful in Industry 4.0.”, commented WCCC Superintendent Dr. Dennis Blatt.

Graduates will earn credentials that can lead directly to employment, and because they will have earned up to 30 college credits, they will also have completed nearly half of the coursework required for an associate degree. Dr. Wood described it as a fluid pathway that allows the student to gain in-demand skills that cross into a variety of occupations.

This pathway, developed by Dr. Dennis Blatt, WCCC Director Mike Elliott, WSCO’s Director of Workforce Development and Partnerships Gary Barber, and WSCO Dean of Technology George Bilokonsky, is the outcome of work the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) supported through Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills 4 (RAPIDS) program funding.

“The RAPIDS program has helped create strong partnerships with regional employers across the state while providing students with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen field,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “The robotics partnership between Washington State and the Washington County Career Center is one more great example of this work.”

An informational night (Open House) will be held at Washington State for interested parents and their students on April 19 and 20 from 7-8 p.m. Students may apply to the program online at www.thecareercenter.net or either night of Open House.  Parents may contact the WCCC guidance office at 740-373-2766 for more information. Application deadline is April 30.