Vocational training classes offered on campus allow students to work hands-on in fields they are interested in.
PREAP 111, an eight week, introductory-level course, covers various aspects of commercial and industrial infrastructure construction work in five apprenticeship areas: carpentry, sheet metal, drywall and lather, electrical and ironwork.
Students learn about workplace safety, various materials, tools and power tools. The knowledge that they gain is applied during the lab portion of the class.
Students participate in activities such as shoveling gravel, cutting wood, tying construction knots, practicing on an excavator simulator as well as on an actual small crane donated to the program by ARC’s diesel technology department.
Earlier in the semester, professor Stoker’s students in the PREAP 111 class made their own tool boxes, painting and decorating them as they wish.
Welding Technology major, Amber Johnson found the class to be an enjoyable experience where she was able to learn a lot.
“The hands-on, the lab, the playing with the tools,” said Johnson when asked what she enjoyed the most about the class.
Anthony Andrews, a construction major also spoke highly of the course.
“It’s great. You get to learn some things,” said Andrews.
Andrews went on to say that he is taking this class, “to be more valuable in the workforce,” and that the class teaches the skills he needs to have so that he opens his own business.
Stoker makes his class fun and will help students get the required material.
Said Andrews of the pre-apprentice professor, “Rick takes time with you to show how it’s done.”
By taking PREAP 111, students have an opportunity to work in their desired careers and receive feedback from their instructor and peers in order to improve their craft.
When asked what he wanted students to walk away from his class with Stoker said, “Confidence. Confidence that they know what their career goal is [in the industry].”
Knowledge of math (fractions, multiplication, division, etc.) is needed in the class because measuring and calculations are required tasks in the field.
In addition to PREAP 111, other classes are available in the vocational program that cover residential construction and offer other choices of professions.
“We give them (students) exposure to as many different trades as possible,” Stoker said about the programs available.