Trustees Approve New Applied Technology Degree

Trustees Approve New Applied Technology Degree

May 6, 2021 |

The East Central College Board of Trustees approved a new technology degree geared toward students seeking a broader-based exposure to skilled trade.

On May 3, the board approved a new Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology certificates and degree, which is designed so students can earn a certificate, or stack certificates, from varying technical areas into a degree.

Completing this program will equip students with the skills needed to get hired and quickly join the workforce.

According to Robyn Walter, vice president of academic affairs, the Applied Technology certificate and degree allows for students to combine a wider variety of courses, such as welding and building construction, to broaden their scope of skills within a manufacturing setting.

“It is very flexible and something local employers are looking for,” Walter said.

The new certificates and degree also will help businesses looking to train their employees.

“There have been many situations where an employer is seeking employees with skills in the areas of HVAC, welding, precision machinery and industrial engineering technology, but not solely in one concentration,” Walter added.

Walter explained that the Applied Technology certificates and degree provide a flexible approach to customized credit-hour training or apprenticeship programs for employers.She said that businesses submitted letters of support, including Mercy hospital, which is looking to expand its field of facility technicians with training in HVAC, computer systems and precision engineering.

ECC will offer the Applied Technology program through the Career and Technical Division, which includes programs such as welding, building construction, automotive technology, precision machining, industrial engineering, business and HVAC.

Dean of Career and Technical Education Dr. Richard Hudanick said the ECC Center for Workforce Development (CWD) can better customize training for local businesses that want their employees trained in multiple technological areas through this new program.

“There is always a lot of interest in our technology courses,” he said. “This gives students a lot of access to the options in the Business and Industry Center.

“Historically degrees and related programming have been concentrated in a specific skill-trade. For instance, HVAC students typically focused on HVAC programming,” Dr. Hudanick added. “This new degree pathway allows for cross-programmatic programming. That same student can now take HVAC and welding, or other courses offered in the advanced manufacturing building.”

For more information about the new program, visit

Businesses and industries can contact Melissa Richards, CWD Apprenticeship & Business Training Program coordinator, at 636-649-5806 or