Tatianna Studer not only graduated from River Valley High School in Mohave Valley, but she also became one step closer to earning a welding certificate.
“Welding is a very technical process, very meticulous,” said the 17-year-old. “I have no idea what I’ll do once I graduate, to be completely honest. I’ll probably take more classes at MCC and try to earn a certificate in welding.”
Buddy May, MCC welding program director, began teaching shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) in January in the high school’s hands-on, instructional welding laboratory. The college’s welding program is based in a state-of-the-art laboratory on MCC’s Neal Campus-Kingman. Two RVHS students and five adult learners worked on earning their certificate during the spring semester.
“It’s been great to partner with River Valley,” May said. “It is the perfect opportunity for the college to expand its AWS-certified (American Welding Society) instruction to another Tri-City without having the expense of building and equipping another classroom lab.”
Studer said her father is a welder and a college instructor, so she wanted to take a welding class.
“I really wish there were more girls in welding,” she said. “It’s such a male-dominated industry.”
Mason Bronston, who just completed his sophomore year at RVHS, said he has always had a fascination with welding.
“It’s interesting to use welding to just be able to warp metal or bind it to other pieces of metal,” he said. “It feels pretty good knowing that I can take a college-level course. Even though I want to become a police officer, welding is a good trade to know in case I need back-up.”
Zach Drew, a 25-year-old Bullhead City resident, said he works in the welding industry and was excited to have the chance to earn certifications.
“I wanted to take the classes to learn my job,” he said. “It’s interesting that people have a trade that they work hard at. The program is a lot of fun. The teachers are really great. You don’t realize how many jobs that are out there for welding. You don’t realize here how much opportunity there is.”
RVHS completed its welding lab in 2010-2011. The Western Arizona Vocational Education (WAVE) district assisted with equipment funding, in addition to an instructor during normal school hours. Betsy Parker, WAVE superintendent, said she saw a student demand at RVHS for the program.
“In partnering with Mohave Community College, we can offer dual enrollment during the day, as well as concurrent enrollment during the evenings,” she said. “We hope the students continue to earn certifications. There is a nationwide shortage of welders.”
MCC partners with regional high schools to offer dual enrollment classes. At no cost to them, students earn college credit for classes they take on their high school campus. Concurrent enrollment is offered to high school students who wish to take additional college classes at an MCC campus or an approved off-site classroom. Although scholarships often assist students to eliminate or reduce tuition for concurrent enrollment, students are responsible for their tuition and fees for concurrent courses. WAVE also currently fully funds tuition for concurrent career and technical education (CTE) programs for students who attend a WAVE high school.
MCC is currently enrolling students for the summer and fall semesters. For more information, visitwww.mohave.edu/summer2015 or call (866) 664-2832 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays and between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends.
MCC RVHS welding: Tatianna Studer prepares to practice welding techniques during an MCC welding class offered at RVHS.