October 22, 2014

High school students weld college and high school together

Kevin Drescher
Students who are or will be taking part in welding classes at Delta College as dual enrolled students at the high school include (l-r) Standish-Sterling Central High School students Charles Mason, Zach Bugh, Zac Neid, Anthony Bloxsom, Evan Skarbeck, Lucas Cowdry, and James Pepple.
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Standish — Some students at Standish-Sterling Central High School are just concentrated on getting through their complicated high school career. But a few, like some of Jim Proctor’s students, get to weld together their college and high school education.

Teaching Delta College courses Exploratory Shielded Metal Arc Welding, and Exploratory Gas Metal Arc Welding at the high school, Proctor gets the chance to help his students advance to the next level as his SSC students earn one credit toward their college degree at Delta for the class.

“I think it gives them a (great) experience,” he said. “The first (class) is full.”

With their high school teacher teaching the course, the local students get a chance to learn a college level course in a friendly environment.

“It gets you above the starting level for college,” said junior Evan Skarbek, who is taking the shielded metal class. “I think it’s easier to understand. You learn more because of the one on one.”

The shielded metal course addresses skills and safety in arc welding, which is also known as stick welding, while the gas metal class, which starts June 8, teaches the basic skills of gas metal arc welding, also known as MIG welding.

“It’s a good class,” said fellow student Zac Neid about the stick welding class. “It’s awesome.”

Getting the chance to take a college level course with the same teacher whom they have known for years is something that the students said they liked.

“It felt like the real world,” said junior Zach Bugh. “He’s a real good teacher.”

Thanks in part to both the Standish-Sterling Teachers Union, and the High School Athletic Boosters club, Bugh along with his fellow students don’t have to pay, as both sponsor five students for every class.

Because of the current success that the stick welding class is having, Proctor said that he expects the two classes to be offered in the upcoming school year.

“What I would like to do, in the best case scenario, is to offer these classes two times a year,” he said. “This is something we want to do in the winter again.”

Proctor said that offering the classes at the high school was Delta’s idea, and that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe helped by giving them a 2 percent grant last year to buy the equipment, which is used for the classes.

“We needed the Tribe. It wouldn’t have been possible without them,”said the instructor about how the college approached him with the idea. “Delta’s program is doing really good since the economy went down. They’re trying to branch out.”

Though the first class is currently full and in session, Proctor says the second class still has some open seats for more people to join.

“It’s 10 max. The second one only has five seats left,” he said about the MIG welding class. “If people want to sign up, they have to go through Delta.”

For more information on the admission fees and process at Delta College visit www.delta.edu.

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