FCHS Counselors Tour College’s CIM Program

Farmville Central High School Graduation Coach Leslie Heath, Guidance Counselor Annette Glass, Guidance Counselor Chrissy Goodman and College Advisor Annabelle Webb, left to right, display tape dispensers they created using CIM equipment during their Nov. 17 visit to PCC.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College welcomed Farmville Central High School counselors to campus Tuesday for a tour of the college’s Computer Integrated Machining (CIM) program.

Organized by PCC’s Lynn Griffin, the “Lunch and Learn” session is part of an effort to introduce Pitt County Schools (PCS) staff to the CIM program, which is one of four options available to high school students participating in the PCC-PCS Technical Academy. The other three program options are Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology, Electrical Systems Technology, and Industrial Systems Technology.

Griffin, who serves as the academy’s director, said that while counselors are familiar enough with HVAC and electrical programs to discuss them with students easily, they probably aren’t quite as familiar with CIM, which involves the combination of computers and sophisticated machinery to create parts used in manufacturing.

“Most students understand the purpose of programs dealing with electricity or refrigeration, because they use it or see it daily,” Griffin said. “Machining is a little different, though. When you see a cup or a pen, you don’t automatically think a machinist or computer numerical control operator was involved in creating it.”

During their visit, counselors met with instructors Calvin Mayo and Paul Hill to learn more about the CIM program and participate in a hands-on training exercise. With Mayo and Hill leading the way, the group tweaked programming to make personalized tape dispensers they can use at work or for holiday giftwrapping.

“Since nearly all of the programs at PCC involve hands-on training, we wanted to give the counselors an idea of what our CIM students experience,” Griffin said. “Making tape dispensers was informative and fun, so it’s something we will continue doing as part of future visits by Pitt County Schools counselors.”

After learning more about CIM and career options available to its graduates, FCHS Counselor Annette Glass said the program is “a no-brainer” for students interested in computer-aided design, technology and machine manufacturing.

“(CIM) is a realistic pathway suitable for men and women seeking skilled, yet highly marketable, employment after program completion,” she said. “[It’s] such a reasonable tuition expense for hands-on learning and immediate skill immersion, in comparison to many other post-secondary options. I will be sharing this with my students.”

Launched as a pilot program during the 2018-19 academic year, the PCC-PCS Technical Academy offers Pitt County juniors and seniors an opportunity to train in technical programs not offered by their respective high schools. Academy participants can complete an associate degree one year after finishing high school and, with the skills they have acquired, move into well-paying careers that are in high demand.

To apply for participation, current high school sophomores should contact Griffin at (252) 493-7653 or lgriffin@email.pittcc.edu. Additional information is also available on the PCC Technical Academy Facebook page.

Students selected for the academy are bused to and from class on the PCC campus at no charge. The cost of their tuition, fees and books is also covered.