Any Time is the Right Time for School
By John Willis, MIAT College of Technology President, Houston
August and September are traditionally associated as “Back to School” months. As a lifelong educator, I believe that any time is the right time for school. I am one of those individuals who has never left school: I have been attending or involved with some type of educational or training institution for the last 40 years. Whether you are a recent high school graduate, military veteran returning to civilian life or looking for a career change, I encourage you to pursue your educational goals. The first step is always the most difficult. It may not always feel like the “perfect” time, but it is always the “right” time to start school.
Joining MIAT College of Technology as president of the Houston campus three years ago was the perfect opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the educational community in Houston. I had been working at the same career institute for almost 20 years, and I knew I was ready to accept a new challenge. MIAT College of Technology exists to help student of all ages and at all stages of their life and career. I am honored to have been chosen to lead and grow our enrollment and our curricula with the goal of making a positive, lasting impact on our students, their family, their employers, and their communities. And I am extremely thankful for the support of my enthusiastic and committed team of instructors, advisors, high school representatives, and administrators.
What’s happening here at MIAT in Houston?
Quite a lot, fortunately!
- MIAT Houston is a viable alternative to a traditional four-year university education. Our school provides essential career and workplace readiness training that combines classroom instruction with hands-on skills development. Most of our graduates are employed soon after, if not before, completing their program at MIAT.
- Our enrollment has increased from 48 students in 2015 to a robust 275 students over the last 36 months.
- Our Federal Aviation Association-approved aviation maintenance programs are being extremely well-received, with enrollment in our aviation programs accounting for about 70 percent of our total enrollment. Rich Whiteside is our Director of Training and is a Designated Maintenance Examiner (DME) with the FAA.
- Our aviation high school program that we established through the Houston Independent School District with Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School in 2015 year allows students to pursue an aviation maintenance technician’s certificate at no cost to them. MIAT provides the curriculum and the instructor. Our involvement with Sterling Aviation High School was the topic of a Houston Newsmakers community affairs segment that aired as recently as Sunday, July 29, on KPRC Channel 2, a Houston CBS affiliate.
- We are launching our Welding Technology programs, with our first classes starting on September 10. Welding has a high demand in the Houston market and offers strong employment opportunities for skilled welders. The goal of our program is to offer skills that will allow students to gain entry level employment and grow within the industry. We developed these programs with input from employers who are looking to hire qualified welders for the oil and gas, chemical and petrochemical, power generation, construction, manufacturing, and ship-building industry sectors.
- Interest in our Wind Energy Technicians and Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians programs is increasing – and our students enjoy their hands on “assets.” For example, our wind energy students can walk through, crawl atop, and work within a real wind turbine donated by one of our employer partners, and our HVACR students have constructed a mock attic that enables them to simulate an attic in a residential or commercial facility.
- Siemens, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines and Standard Aero are some of many employers that work closely with our Houston campus faculty and staff.
- International students are most welcome here, provided they complete the appropriate admissions requirements. Our admissions team members can step them through the process of applying and securing the necessary student visa that will allow them to live and study legally in the U.S.
- We earned the School of Distinction designation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) during our re-accreditation visit in 2017. This award recognizes member schools that have demonstrated a commitment to the expectations and rigors of ACCSC accreditation as well as a commitment to delivering quality educational programs to students, graduates, and employers.
These are just a few of many highlights for MIAT’s Houston campus that I am proud to share.
What does the future hold?
As a native Texan and a long-time resident of Houston, I am a self-proclaimed ambassador for this state and the ever-expanding Houston metropolitan area. Texas continues to be one of the top states for business, with one of the strongest economies and lowest costs of living in the nation. Our Houston faculty and staff join those of our Canton campus in the Detroit metro area in training and certifying skilled workers to address the needs of employers in the Gulf Coast, other regions of the United States and other countries. We know we are making a meaningful difference.
If you have not visited our Houston campus, please do schedule a tour. Our counselors and advisors are available to answer questions about course work, financial assistance, housing and other needs.
At your convenience, please check out some of our recent television commercials via these links:
I look forward to producing the MIAT College of Technology President’s Blog for the Houston campus on a regular basis. For more information or to schedule a tour, please see www.miat.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest and support.