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New Associate Degree Programs for Fall


Effective fall 2011 semester, students who are enrolled in the Automotive or Heating and Air Conditioning programs at Drake State will have the option to pursue an associate degree.  The associate degree option is in addition to the two certificate options currently available in both of these program areas.

“As a student centered institution, we listen to what our students want. They have inundated us with requests to expand these two programs,” says Dr. John Reutter, director of planning and accreditation.  “We have evaluated the workforce demand for graduates of these programs as well as the potential for transfers to four year institutions and determined the associate degree options provide excellent opportunities for our students.”

From a workforce development perspective, employers are always looking to hire the most qualified and credentialed applicants available.  Completion of a degree is evidence that a student has created a career plan and has the ability to complete that plan.  Also, because an associate degree requires more general education courses, students have the opportunity to utilize articulation agreements with four-year institutions to further their educational pursuits.

To succeed in the Heating and Air Conditioning program, students must develop multiple skill sets including welding, electrical, soldering, and general construction principles.  With an associate degree in this program, students are provided with the foundation to become small business owners, skilled HVAC technicians or pursue a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology.

The Automotive Technology program is designed to encompass all areas of automotive system repair.  The associate degree option incorporates additional general education courses which elevates a graduate’s knowledge base in preparation for advancement to supervisory positions or small business ownership.

The current options for students enrolled in the Heating and Air Conditioning or Automotive Technology programs include a Career Entry Certificate requiring 59 credit hours and a Career Skills Certificate requiring 29 credit hours.

For more information about these programs visit

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