At BAE, Michael took advantage of the company’s tuition reimbursement offer to enroll in the EET associate degree program at NCC in 2019. Since then, he’s been balancing full-time work with as many as four classes per semester.
Despite the workload, Michael thrived and earned a high enough GPA to join the Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa. “I can’t believe it, I’m really surprised myself,” he said, and offered advice to incoming students who also have to balance college with full-time work. “Start off with a few classes, one or two, if it feels comfortable and you get into it, double up and push through and get your degree. It goes by quicker than you think.”
window blinds with the automated device attached to open and close the blinds by remote controlAs an EET student, Michael developed a comprehensive final project, or capstone project, to complete his degree (pictured right). “For my capstone project, I made electronic shades. I enjoyed it because instead of the professor giving you a project to do, you do whatever you want, and we give the professor updates along the way.”
Through manual setup, printing 3D components, programming, and a lot of troubleshooting, Michael was able to rig a remote control device to close the shades to his apartment. While the project was a success, he already has ideas on how to upgrade the design with new technology, such as a solar component.
As a non-traditional student, Michael said the college offers a lot of opportunity, especially for students who are not ready to dive into a four-year program. “If they want a foundation to get a bachelor’s degree; starting out with an associate degree program at NCC is an amazing opportunity,” he said. “Especially the EET program. With EET, you’re getting an ABET-accredited associate degree.”
ABET, or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, is the agency that oversees and accredits the EET program at NCC.
Michael is also still in touch with classmates from the Microelectronics Boot Camp, one of whom attended graduation as his guest.
Next, Michael is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in either Electrical Engineering (EE) UNH-Manchester while continuing his work at BAE.
Update Jan. 20, 2022:
Michael returned to the NCC campus this winter as an instructor, teaching inspection skills for a BAE Apprenticeship class. He’s currently enrolled at UNH-Manchester, and working toward his bachelor’s degree.
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