(ROSENBERG, Texas) – As a mechanical engineering student at Texas A&M University, James Hingle focuses on designing parts and drafting blueprints for their manufacture.
As a Precision Machining Technology student at Texas State Technical College this semester, Hingle is getting hands-on with the actual making of the parts he usually just designs.
“I think it gives a lot of insight,” he said. “It’s good to know how these parts get made because it helps in the design of those parts.”
Hingle is one of several Texas A&M students training at TSTC’s Fort Bend County campus this summer through the Bachelor’s+ Program, a professional education partnership between the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and TSTC.
With no other summer plans on the horizon, Hingle decided to take advantage of the opportunity to train at TSTC.
“I don’t want to fall behind or lack qualifications, because it can get really competitive when you’re looking for a job,” he said. “That’s what motivates me — wanting to get as much experience as I can with different types of things so I have a better chance of getting a job I would like.”
After he earns his degree, which he anticipates completing in 2024, Hingle hopes to work in the automotive industry designing cars.
“That could be powertrains, interiors, electrical systems, whatever — I’m open,” he said. “I just want to work.”
Hingle has enjoyed his experience so far in TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program. He has always wanted to learn how to machine parts, especially since following blacksmith Alec Steele on YouTube. Steele sometimes incorporates the machining of intricate parts on his builds.
“It’s been pretty cool,” Hingle said of his time in the lab. “I’ve already learned quite a bit. I really like the environment here. You get a lot more connection between you and the teacher, which I like.”
TSTC’s Precision Machining Technology program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree, certificates of completion and an occupational skills award at the college’s Fort Bend County campus. The program is part of TSTC’s Money-Back Guarantee, in which participating graduates are refunded their tuition if they are not hired in their field within six months of earning their degree.
CNC (computer numerically controlled) tool programmers can earn an average annual salary of $59,680 in Texas, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts the number of these positions to grow by 29% through 2028.
The Bachelor’s+ Program fulfills the Texas A&M students’ ENGR(x) zero-credit-hour requirement for graduation. To meet the requirement, the engineering students must participate in an approved engineering-centric activity that meets the criteria of a high-impact learning experience, followed by meaningful self-reflection.
For more information on the Bachelor’s+ Program, go to tx.ag/bachelorsplus2022.
Registration for the fall semester at TSTC is underway. For more information, visit tstc.edu.