According to Ken Flowers, Technology Chair, "Drafting and design courses prepare students for the real world of work or for the continuation of their education. "Students are taught the skills and applications they'll see when they're on the job." The Drafting program offers students an opportunity to use and apply real world concepts that are introduced in class rather than just memorizing material to pass an exam.
Open Entry/Open Exit Course Format
Many drafting courses are presented in an open entry/open exit format. This provides you with several benefits including:
- Flexibility to enter courses at any time during the semester, as long as space is available
- Ability to move through coursework at your own pace
- Convenience of scheduling classroom time when it works best in your schedule
Expectations & Skills Taught
As a drafting and design student, you must be willing to work during class and outside of classroom time.
Drafting classes are a combination of lab and lecture. Overall, you will spend just as much time in the classroom as you will in the labs. For a class that meets two times a week, the first day will consist of a lecture and a lab that relates to the lectured material. The second session is all lab time, where assignment and due dates are distributed. At times, you will have to manage multiple projects.
Manufacturing classes are set up in traditional lecture style. To compliment the knowledge learned in class, you will visit industrial settings and see the principles at work. These trips provide a realistic perspective of what to expect on the job. After a trip, a paper will be assigned. Written communication is just as important as technical ability in this field.
Machine tool courses are roughly 50 percent lecture and 50 percent lab. These courses allow you to apply what you've learned in drafting classes. Because you will be building on previously learned skills, you must successfully complete the required drafting classes before you can enroll in machine tool courses.
Technology in the Classroom
"Lake Michigan College listens to local Manufacturing when it comes to purchasing the latest and greatest software," comments Ken. Updates on computer software are made quarterly and computers are upgraded every three years.
SolidWorks is the software of choice for Lake Michigan College and many others in the region as well. Students acquire specialized skills to efficiently use the SolidWorks CADD design software package. Participants gain an understanding of engineering drawing, and basic design concepts and principles to the point of creating and manipulating basic solid models using the SolidWorks interface.
Along with this software, programs are used in the classroom to complement lecture. While your instructor is lecturing, he will have control over your desktop computer. From his desk, he can view the work on your screen and even take control of your system to demonstrate a concept.
Getting the Most from the Program
At maximum capacity, the student-instructor ratio is 16:1. These small classroom sizes will allow you to get personal attention and feedback.
If you are still in high school, taking trigonometry, physics, and communication courses are recommended
High School Credits
Coloma, Lakeshore and St Joseph high schools offer direct credit options that could earn you Lake Michigan College credit hours. These high school courses are set up, task by task, equally with the courses at LMC. Students have the option of paying a fee to receive a letter grade that will earn them LMC course credits. Talk to your advisor for more details.