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Career training grads back at NCC

As a champion of continuing education, Nashua Community College strives to meet students where they are at and then provide the next logical step. To that end, NCC is facilitating new pathway between the Microelectronics Boot Camp and the Electronic Engineering Technology associate degree program.

The Microelectronics Boot Camp was founded in the fall of 2016 along with BAE Systems, and has since trained more than 115 graduates in advanced manufacturing assembly. The non-credit boot camp is an accelerated, 10-week, 40-hour per week training program that prepares students to immediately begin work. Nearly 3 years in, it has been a success with about a 95 percent hiring rate for graduates.

The graduates find themselves in a stable industry with good pay and benefits, and many chose to stay put. But lately some have returned to campus seeking a new challenge.

Corporate, Community, and Continuing Education Coordinator Jon Mason explains, “In most instances, these companies will hire you in assembly, where you can stay for the next 30 years, and they will be perfectly happy to have you. There’s also a driving force to come in and start moving up the ladder, and to do that, education is key.”

NCC’s founding partner, BAE Systems, and other partners such as Mercury Systems, employ boot camp graduates who have returned to NCC for classes in Electronic Engineering Technology, or EET.

“They work for about a year, and then they come to class,” said Jon. “The majority of students are analytical thinkers and gravitate toward STEM-related fields, and once they get into that work environment, they see how they can progress within their company.”

Typically, the students have the support of their employers through tuition reimbursement benefits, like Michael Magliozzi at BAE Systems. Michael had his sights set on returning to NCC before graduating from the boot camp over a year ago, “When I was in class, our instructor mentioned electrical engineering and what it entails; it explains the basics to electrical engineering and it really piqued my interest. Then, when I was applying for companies to work for, the company that I applied for offered reimbursement for schooling. So, I made the decision when I was in the class that as soon as I was eligible for reimbursement, I would sign back up for school.”

The balance of online, evening, and beginning this fall – Saturday classes – accommodate student schedules so they can continue working while progressing toward their degree.

A new initiative may move the Microelectronics Boot Camp alumni further ahead as NCC faculty are currently reviewing if the students may be able to get additional credit toward the EET Associates Degree in the form of a major elective. Engineering and Computer Science Department Chair Vance Poteat and EET Program Coordinator Don Marcotte are reviewing this now with the Microelectronics faculty.

Learn more about the Microelectronics Boot Camp at nashuacc.edu/academics/microelectronics-boot-camp. For information on Electronic Engineering Technology, see nashuacc.edu/academics/associate-degrees, or call 603.578.8908.

Lucille Jordan is president of Nashua Community College, located at 505 Amherst Street, Nashua.