Congratulations to NC3’s August 2022 School on the Rise, Pratt Community College! Located in the south central region of Kansas, PCC has developed career and technical programs that provide their community with opportunities for educational and economic growth. PCC has established exceptional Snap-on automotive and Lincoln Electric welding programs since becoming an NC3Start Member in 2021.
Daryl Lucas has been an educator at PCC for over thirty years. Despite spending time in the industry as an automotive technician, he describes education as coming naturally to him. He enjoys using his knowledge of welding and automotive techniques to help others improve their lives. Mr. Lucas was influential in the development of PCC’s automotive program, which has been Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified for over 30 years. Partnering with local businesses and high schools, PCC’s automotive program now provides tuition-free courses, internships and apprenticeships to students as young as sophomores.
Mr. Lucas noticed a workforce demand within the welding industry, and went to work reestablishing the school’s welding program. He now teaches both subjects and continues to coordinate both programs. NC3’s curriculum, along with the Train-the-Trainer process, has been helpful in guiding PCC’s newer instructors.
“NC3’s Train-the-Trainer provides instructors with clear instructions on what to teach, and creates better communication across remote locations. NC3’s curriculum has made my life a lot easier.” ~ Daryl Lucas, PCC
Many of PCC’s students are excited to progress through the curriculum. He likes to recognize the girls and young women enrolled in PCC’s automotive and welding programs through events called No Boys Allowed. As students are recognized for their achievements, their confidence is reinforced. Mr. Lucas described how NC3’s curriculum helps motivate and prepare students for employment.
“The certifications are relevant to the industries. There’s a wide variety of technical skills. Employers see that a student has successfully completed a curriculum that is very specific to the industry. The local employers know what they’re getting from us. By offering NC3 certifications to high school students, they become interested in skilled trades at an earlier age.” ~ Daryl Lucas, PCC
Dr. Michael Calvert is the President of PCC. He enjoys being involved in CTE programs available to a wide range of students. Local high school students can take approved college courses free of tuition. These students become aware of the available pathways after high school, including 2-year or 4-year schools, or entering the workforce. Though many students become employed before completing an associate’s degree, those at PCC encourage students to explore their potential.
“The core of our institutional aim is student success. We measure that in a variety of ways. If a student gets employed, that’s student success to us. For the last six years, the average Pratt graduate has the highest starting salary of associates degree graduates across the state. This speaks volumes for our CTE programs.” ~Dr. Michael Calvert, President of PCC
So, what’s next for PCC? Mr. Lucas and Dr. Calvert expressed their excitement for their new welding facility. They look forward to engaging younger students in the welding program and expanding their NC3 certification offerings. Mr. Lucas has received an overwhelming response for online welding and automotive courses. He looks forward to growing his remote locations and mentoring other career and technical instructors. Dr. Calvert plans to focus on supporting Mr. Lucas and other instructors with school and local business partnerships.
Congratulations again to Pratt Community College! We are honored to recognize you as NC3’s August 2022 School on the Rise, and we look forward to what’s on the horizon!
Stay tuned for our next School on the Rise recipient in September 2022!
Questions about NC3’s School on the Rise? Please contact Erika Staackmann, Customer Success Coordinator, 847.533.6985, Erika.Staackmann@nc3.net