Classes off campus branch out

The Midland College Advanced Technology Center is a partnership between Midland ISD, the community and MC. At the ATC, students are able to train in specific skills.

The programs are designed to put them to work, and if students finish with an Associates of Applied Science, they will get a job very easily.

The hiring rate is 100 percent, according to Curt Pervier, dean of applied technology.

MISD offers dual enrollment courses (Automotive, Welding, Energy Technology and Health Science) starting with Juniors in high school. This means that they can earn both high school and college credits through the programs. The students either drive to or are bused to the ATC during the day, Pervier said.

MISD houses it’s Information Technology staff at the ATC. There are many MISD offices and workrooms in the building. IT computers are also distributed through the center.

Workforce CE is housed in the ATC. This program offers specialized classes- anything from electrical, plumbing, computer graphics, Microsoft Word, Excel and Office as well as WordPerfect. Specialized training can be covered in all different applications.

The city of Midland as well as many businesses take advantage of these courses.

Training is also offered for the Midland Fire Department.

Regular college classes are offered, including the dual enrollment, in addition to non-credit courses. The non-credit courses are workforce oriented, such as safety and CDL truck driving.

A lot of the college courses are offered during the evening while the dual credit are during the day.

Because no academic courses are taught at the ATC (History, Math, English), MC students must commute between both the ATC campus and the main campus.

The schedules are coordinated and flexible between the two campuses. There are about 15-20 minutes allotted for transitional time back and forth.

EZ rider offers transportation between the two campuses. For students who live in the MC dorms, they can easily schedule a ride on the bus and get back and forth easily.

ATC students are considered MC college students.

In today’s economy, a lot of students are working during the day and taking courses at night. This means they are not “typical” college students in every aspect, but can still take advantage of any activities on the main campus.

Overall, the enrollment in the technical courses have gone somewhat flat. In previous years record enrollment numbers had been set, 2009-2010 was the peak, however there is no longer a growth spurt. Enrollment is stable, though.

Hannah Stickel is an MC student taking courses both at the ATC and on the main campus.

She is on the main campus three times a week for about nine hours and at the ATC once a week for about four hours.
For Stickel, it is not hard to attend both campuses. Her classes are scheduled at different times and the ATC is even closer to her house.

She is taking phlebotomy at the technology center and likes the classes that are offered there. The atmosphere is “more free” at the ATC.

While there are more people and more things to do on the main campus it is more laid back at the ATC, Stickel said.
The only negative aspect about sharing the building is having high schoolers interfere with studying.

The ATC needs to be a quiet area and sometimes the high school students can be disruptive, Stickel said.