By Jennifer Paugh, MIAT College of Technology Canton President
Fall is the season that students and families commonly associate with “going back to school” or “going off to college.” Even “new traditional” education (education and training for the “adult” learner) is impacted by the inclination for people of all ages and in all stages of life to return to college during the Fall.
MIAT College of Technology faculty and staff bear witness to the trend that a greater number of high school graduates as well as older adults are “going back to school” for career and technical education: We have had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the highest number of new students for enrollment in recent years at our Canton campus for the Fall 2018 start. Our total student enrollment this Fall is approaching 500, with new students who started classes on September 10 representing approximately 10% percent of the overall student population.
Why is enrollment increasing at career schools like MIAT?
While contributing factors are many, one is that the state of Michigan is embracing a “return to the trades.” This sentiment is forwarded in no small part by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder along with many other city and township elected officials who have identified the need for qualified industrial and technical workers as a priority for the local and state economies.
MIAT’s new Electro-Mechanical Technology program has generated considerable interest because trained technicians are needed for manufacturing, construction, automotive, and many other industry sectors. Also, with the celebration of our 50th year of continuous operation fast approaching in 2019, MIAT is benefitting from the excitement and support of our employer partners and the communities that we serve by helping them to address their training, workforce readiness, and employment goals.
What programs are the most popular this Fall and why?
We consistently experience higher enrollment in our aviation maintenance programs every Fall semester; however, this year, we’ve seen unique progress and exponential growth in our Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) program. Our HVACR faculty is doing an excellent job of being actively involved with the communities surrounding our Canton campus, and our local HVACR employers are spreading a positive message via “word of mouth” about the quality of the students who are graduating from this program. People characteristically want to be a part of a professional team, and our HVACR students, graduates, and faculty are enjoying great success in Michigan and around the country.
Student and employer satisfaction are top priorities.
Not only does MIAT offer extensive services to students while they are enrolled in our programs, we also continue to offer outstanding career services support upon their graduation. Last week, we hosted a career fair at our Canton campus with the active participation of about 40 employers, thus enabling both our current students and graduates to interact and interview with potential employers throughout the day. Last week’s career fair is one of many that we plan to host on campus throughout the coming year. As an additional benefit, MIAT has an open invitation to employers to come to our campus to present to students or to interview candidates for open positions and externship opportunities.
Special thanks are due!
To all the students who have entrusted us at MIAT with their education and training, we want to say thank you for choosing MIAT. We are committed to addressing the needs of our students throughout the course of their training, ensuring that our students have a positive and productive experience with our school and that they acquire the skills necessary for a successful and rewarding career following graduation.
Our Admissions team does an excellent job of ensuring a mutual fit for our incoming students. The Financial Aid team works diligently to ensure that students have a financial package that is appropriate and manageable for them. Student Records coordinates the registration process and all new student orientations. The Training Department assists students in adapting to MIAT’s learning environment both in the classroom and in the lab.
Supporting the needs of all students, alumni, and the families who expect financial and quality of life benefits from our graduates, as well as meeting the expectations of the employment community for trained workers, is truly a huge group effort at MIAT. I am especially grateful to every one of the dedicated women and men who make our school and our campus the welcoming and effective place that thousands have come to know and trust. Our faculty and staff are outstanding.
For more information on our programs or to arrange a campus tour, please visit www.miat.edu or call 800-447-1310.