It didn’t take long to spark James Nunn’s interest in Tech.
Nunn enrolled in Meridian’s Electrical Safety and Repair short course in February 2018. Two nights a week the adult student drove from Ponca City to Stillwater to attend class. It was such a great experience that he later transferred working in retail in Ponca City to Stillwater so he could enroll full time in the school’s Electrical Technology program.
“I took the night class because I wanted to know how to do basic repairs around the house. I never expected it to turn into a career,” Nunn said of the unexpected turn of events.
After a semester in the program, he is now skilled at planning, laying out, installing and testing electrical wiring. He’s had hands-on experience in the classroom and the real-world working on houses for Habitat for Humanity and a variety of construction projects. With just a few months left in the program, the future looks bright for the Stillwater student.
“There’s no doubt that James is ready to go to work,” said Wayne Ford, Nunn’s Electrical Technology instructor. “He’s skilled in his craft, he has a solid work ethic, and he’s eager to learn. He’s going to make a great employee.”
Thanks to changes in the framework of the Electrical Technology program, Nunn will be ready to work after just one year in school. When he graduates in May, he will have 600 hours that will count toward the requirements to achieving a journeyman’s license. The remaining hours for the certification will be earned on the job under the supervision of a master electrician.
Connecting the Classroom to Careers
Until recently Electrical Technology and many of the other programs at Meridian were designed as two-year programs. High school students would spend part of their time at Tech, coming in either the morning or the afternoon session, and part of their time at their home high school. Adult students had the option to follow this same educational plan, or if they preferred, they could attend both sessions and complete a program in half of the time.
The restructuring of some of the school’s programs allows students to go from the classroom to a career with foundational skills in 10 months. Students in the one-year programs have the option to enroll for an additional year of training to advance their skills. The new format provides a faster way for students to transition from the classroom to a career.
“I thought about college, but four years seemed like such a long time to spend in school to get a job,” Nunn said. “Coming here is different. I like the idea of being able to get in and out in one year. It’s a quicker way for me to reach my goals. I no longer think about what my life could be like. I think about what it will be like.”
With the format of Ford’s program, Nunn will have an opportunity to interview with local companies before he graduates in May.
“We set up interviews with companies right here in my office,” Ford said. “Students get the opportunity to show prospective employers their skills. More often than not, many of them walk out with job offers. There’s no doubt in my mind that James will be one of those students.”
Additional programs with the one-year option include Carpentry, Culinary Arts, Energy and Power, Network P.C. Support, Precision Metal Fabrication and Welding. Facilities Management and Pharmacy Technology are also one-year programs; however, they do not have advanced training options.
High school, home school and virtual school students who live in Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts can attend Meridian tuition-free during their junior and senior years. Sophomores can enroll for afternoon programs when space is available. The Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Engineering STEM Academies are open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. The priority application deadline for fall 2019 is February 1 for high school students. Applications will be accepted after this date for programs that have space. For more information on Meridian’s career training programs visit meridiantech.edu/programs. Enrollment for adult students opens April 1.