Working to Produce Better Prepared Graduates

While attending Mohawk in the early 1990's grad, Todd Midgley, sought to get more programs to have co-op components to them.

While attending Mohawk in the early 1990’s grad, Todd Midgley, sought to get more programs to have co-op components to them.

I’m often impressed with the way that Mohawk College is constantly striving to improve their programs and courses.  I once had a hands-on experience with this process while I attended Mohawk full-time studying for my Electrical Engineering Technician Diploma from 1989 to 1991.

While I was in my second year of studies in 1990-1991, I was invited by the Electrotechnology Department Chairman, Mr. Clive Morgan, to become a member of their Advisory Committee as a Student Technician Representative.  The Advisory Committee meetings involved both members of college faculty as well as representatives from various community employers.  This was my opportunity to submit my ideas for ways to improve the college programs in the Electrotechnology Department.

My main concern at the time was that there was no Co-Operative Education component (on-the-job experience) in the 2-year Technician program, yet there was one for the 3-year Technologist program.  I felt that the Technician graduates would be at a disadvantage upon graduation without the valuable on-the-job experience.  I asked the Advisory Committee to consider ways to implement some sort of work experience into the Technician program to help make the graduates more prepared for the workforce.  I can recall that Mr. Morgan had concerns about implementing a Co-Op component to the Technician program.  He felt that it would require the Technician program to be extended beyond the current 2 years, or 4 semesters, and didn’t think that it was in the best interest of the department to make those drastic changes.  However, the employer representatives recognized the importance of what I was suggesting and insisted that the idea be further discussed.  At the time that I left the Advisory Committee in April, 1991, the issue had not yet been resolved and was still on the agenda for further discussion.  I was satisfied that I had at least initiated what I felt was an important dialogue.

I kept an eye on the program beyond my graduation.  I later discovered that the Technician program had been drastically changed.  It was moved to the STARRT faculty in Stoney Creek and was to focus mainly on training future Industrial Electricians.  The program was to be implemented along the same lines of a trade apprenticeship, which is where the on-the-job experience would come in.  The theory would be somewhat similar to the original Technician program, but there would also be extensive hands-on training as well.  I immediately recognized the benefits of this new program and realized that this would produce better-prepared graduates.

I have often wondered if this program was the culmination of a series of discussions and meetings that carried along the ideas that I had originally initiated back in my days in the Electrotechnology Advisory Committee.  Regardless, I am very satisfied and pleased with the progress that Mohawk College has made in reviewing and improving many of its programs and courses.  I’m also proud that I was able to participate in that process.  I’m confident that it will benefit all of us, now and in the future.  May this process continue so that Mohawk College will be one of the best educational institutions in Canada.

ToddMidgley– Todd Midgley
Electrical Engineering Technician ’91
todd.midgley@mohawkcollege.ca

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