Asnuntuck Community College offers students, from nine area high schools, the opportunity to explore the field of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and earn college credits while still in high school. This fall, 100 high school juniors and seniors will travel by bus from their high school to the college, for a half-day of instruction in Asnuntuck’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, each day, during the week. This educational opportunity is Asnuntuck’s College Connections program. Students from Enfield High School, high schools in East Granby, Granby, Windsor Locks, Suffield, East Hartford, Bloomfield, Hartford and Pathways High School of East Hartford are enrolled in the program.

The college recently has completed renovations to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for the program. The college’s welding area encompasses 1,044 square feet; the new College Connections’ machining area is 2,616 square feet, with an additional 5,000 square feet dedicated to the electro-mechanical program. The College Connections program is a combination of coursework and hands-on opportunities in lab settings.

The College Connections program has been designed to meet the needs of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology business community, in the region. According to Mary Bidwell, Dean of Advanced Manufacturing Technology at the college, a significant number of students who participate in the program, continue with Asnuntuck after they complete high school. Credits earned as part of the program can be applied toward degree and certificate programs at Asnuntuck and credits can be transferred to the Industrial Technology and Engineering degree programs at the State Colleges and Universities (Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State University).

A Department of Economic and Community Development grant, along with funding from the College of Technology and its NSF Regional Center for NEXT Generation Manufacturing, in addition to financial support from local high schools, provides the resources needed to fund the program.

For information about the College Connections Program, which features Machine Technology, Electro-Mechanical Technology, and Welding Technology, please call Paul Felici at 860-253-3189.

Photo: Asnuntuck Community College (ACC) graduate Ethan Geiger (right) and current ACC student Jared Burgess were machining students in Asnuntuck Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program last semester. Asnuntuck will welcome high school students enrolled in their College Connections program this fall to a newly expanded and renovated lab and classroom space.