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/// Program Spotlight

Electromechanical Controls Technology
Wired for learning

Do you start your day with a cup of coffee or tea? Then you benefit from the efforts of those skilled in the field of Electromechanical Controls Technology (EMCT). “We prepare students to work on electrical and mechanical systems that cross every industry, and that includes the equipment used to pack coffees and teas,” says Thomas Stout, program head of EMCT.

Electromechanical Controls Technology prepares workers like no other, and is the only program of its kind in Hampton Roads. The program covers motor controls, hydraulics, computer programming, pneumatics, programmable logic controllers and more.

Offered at the Chesapeake Campus since 2000, the degree program trains workers to advance in the field and prepares students for work in new construction, maintenance and on assembly lines in major manufacturing plants. "Most lines have hundreds of motors and sensors and a computer with programmable logic that tells the line to stop, start and do multiple functions," Stout says. "To be successful, employees have to understand the sequence and how it all comes together."

EMCT is suited for technically savvy students who enjoy hands-on work. Students spend 40 to 50 percent of the time in classroom instruction and the rest in state-of-the-art laboratories. “The lecture portion provides in-depth theory, and the labs bring it all together,” Stout says. “Most of the instructors are industry pros, giving students a real world view of the required work.”

Wycliffe Miller

Students seeking associate degrees have the option of choosing an electrical or mechatronics concentration, depending on career preferences. “Electrical is a growing profession, so students are finding work in that area,” adds Stout, “And mechatronics, which includes process controls, robotics and computer programming, is required for advanced manufacturing, and is an up-and-coming field.”

Justin McDaniel

EMCT also includes certificate programs for Marine Electrical, Renewable Energy Technologies and Fiber and Data Cabling Installation.

Students interested in Electromechanical Controls Technology can apply for a CIBA Foundation scholarship. Recent graduate Justin McDaniel, a CIBA scholar, is now employed full-time with Hampton Roads Sanitation District.

“I feel like I’m on top of the world,” McDaniel says. “After two years at TCC, I have a set career path and a job with benefits, vacation time and tuition reimbursement for further education.”