SHS Engineering Students Broadening Their Horizons

Corrine McCroskey, Staff Writer

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SHS faculty and administration are working with UMass Lowell to expand opportunities for students who are interested in engineering. Starting this summer, students will be able to work toward an Introduction To Manufacturing Technology Certificate, which may allow them to earn college credit while still attending high school.

The certificate program will offer five different engineering courses (12 credits total), ranging from Design and Graphics to Applied Computer Aided Manufacturing. Students have two options when they decide to pursue the program.

The first option, a Dual Enrollment Program for High School Students, allows junior and senior high school students to take courses at public colleges and universities to earn both high school and college credit. Another option is a departmental exam for course equivalency.

Many core aspects are integral to the program. Though AP classes are a significant option for high school students looking for a rigorous education, they do not hold the same weight as they did in the past and are difficult to use when trying to waive classes. This is why the certificate offers an appreciable alternative allowing students to obtain credits before college.

Bradley Mingels, an engineering teacher at SHS and adjunct Professor of Engineering at UMass Lowell and Northeastern University, is one of the main originators for the program. He shared his opinion about AP classes and the importance of offering college level courses to high school students.

“Many of my colleagues at both universities say that those universities (colleges that high school students may apply to) don’t even recognize AP anymore because so many kids take them–it doesn’t really make the kids stand out,” said Mingels.   

The program will also give high school students the possibility of acquiring credentials when applying to college or for internship positions. Currently, many colleges carry out their application process through the use of the College Board.

The College Board offers a relatively simple way to apply to schools. All facets of the application process are online and organized through the Board. Because the College Board is such a widely used source for application, students’ profiles are usually run under a scanner by the thousands. Having the certificate on an application may be a big enough differentiator in determining acceptance or not.

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SHS Engineering Students Broadening Their Horizons