A new mechatronics-focused articulation agreement was made official between the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Volunteer State Community College during a virtual meeting on Friday, Nov. 4.
The articulation agreement, signed by UTC Chancellor Steven R. Angle and Volunteer State Community College President Orinthia Montague, guarantees UTC admission to mechatronics students who have successfully completed the 60-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science in the Mechatronics degree program at Volunteer State Community College, located in Gallatin, Tennessee. The articulation agreement lays out a clear path for the remaining 66 course credits to be completed at UTC to receive a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology.
“Providing more opportunities for students in Tennessee, helping to drive the economy and providing a trained workforce for businesses allows us to fulfill our missions as public institutions,” Angle said. “We’re delighted to partner with you and to provide opportunities for your students.”
Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of study focusing on integrating electrical and mechanical systems and includes robotics, automation and industrial controls.
The UTC mechatronics program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
“This agreement will provide students from Middle Tennessee with a seamless pathway to receive an associate degree at Vol State and a BAS degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology at UTC,” said UTC College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Daniel Pack. “Given the continuing growth of Tennessee’s manufacturing industry, the pathway is one way higher education institutions working together to contribute toward the state’s efforts to generate additional workforce needed in the state’s evolving manufacturing sector.”
To make transfers to UTC from community colleges and area four-year universities as seamless as possible, the College of Engineering and Computer Science works with regional partners to develop plans so that students know what classes have to be taken before enrolling at UTC.
According to Dr. Ahad Nasab, Engineering Management and Technology Department Head and Burkett Miller Chair of Excellence, the program at UTC is a natural next step for regional mechatronics students looking to further their education.
“The BAS Mechatronics program at UTC is designed to provide the knowledge and skill set demanded by the transition of manufacturing to Industry 4.0,” Nasab said. “We hope to serve as a unique conduit for community college students to advance in the exciting field of automation, robotics and mechatronics.”
The College of Engineering and Computer Science also has agreements with Pellissippi State Community College, Lee University, Motlow State Community College, Chattanooga State Community College and Cleveland State Community College in Tennessee; Dalton State College and Covenant College in Georgia; and Enterprise State Community College in Alabama.
“To have this seamless transfer agreement in place for our students in a time when graduates in this area are in such high demand is quite exciting,” Montague said. “This transition is a natural progression for our students looking to further their education to the bachelor’s degree level and beyond.”
Dr. Shane Talbot, dean of the Math and Science Division at Vol State, said, “Mechatronics allows students to pursue a career in advanced manufacturing with foundations in computer programming and engineering technology. It is a great degree for those students who have an aptitude for hands-on learning.”
Dr. Tim Dean, professor and chair of the mechatronics program at Vol State, said, “This agreement will offer a fantastic opportunity for past, current and future Vol State mechatronics students and graduates who choose to continue their education at UT-Chattanooga and pursue a bachelor’s degree. Mechatronics is a field that requires a commitment to life-long learning and this agreement will provide a pathway for our graduates to continue their education.”