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Motlow/UTSI Partnership Leads the Way

Motlow State Community College and the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI) signed a partnership in June that brings the mechatronics degree to Tullahoma with two classes this fall, and a plan to offer the full mechatronics associate degree at UTSI by Fall 2022.

Motlow is a national leader in the development of a two-year mechatronics degree. The mechatronics program is a high-demand and high-wage career field that is helping transform the local economy. Through this partnership, Motlow’s mechatronics associate degree is now available locally to those in the UTSI area.

“This partnership allows us to share the costs of expansion of this program so that it can reach more students,” said Dr. Michael Torrence, President of Motlow. “Mechatronics is one of the highest demand degree programs in Middle Tennessee. It is critical that we recruit and graduate more students so that we can meet the regional workforce demand.”

UTSI Interim Executive Director James Simonton and Motlow President, Dr. Michael Torrence began discussing the new partnership in the fall of 2019. By Spring 2020, UTSI proposed a location for a mechatronics lab at the UTSI Research Park in Tullahoma.

“Situating the Mechatronics Lab in UTSI Research Park offers an excellent environment for student engagement and learning, and is a feather in the cap for Franklin County and the State of Tennessee,” said Simonton.

“We are excited about having a new presence in an area located between three large High Schools:  Coffee County, Franklin County and Tullahoma.  Also, as you know, there are many adult students in this area who would have an easier commute with the program at this location,” said Keith Hamilton, retired corporate manager of Bridgestone North America. “Our hope is to bridge the gap between the Associate Degree that Motlow has with the post graduate programs at UTSI by getting UT Knoxville to deliver their bachelor programs in Engineering to the UTSI Campus.”

At this time, students can begin their associate degree in mechatronics through Motlow at the UTSI site. Completing an associate degree can move graduates directly into high-demand, high wage jobs. Motlow has a greater than 95 percent job placement rate for its mechatronics program.

Students can also choose to continue their education. Motlow has agreements with Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, and University of Tennessee Chattanooga for Motlow graduates to pursue bachelor degrees with seamless transfer and scholarship opportunities. For students interested in pursuing an advanced degree in engineering, UTSI can offer that.

Graduates will be available to local companies struggling to fill much-needed technical jobs. It expands the opportunity for those wanting to obtain skills by putting a training facility close to home.

“This partnership solidifies an educational pathway from secondary through post graduate,” said Larry Flatt, Motlow’s Executive Director – Automation and Robotics Training Center. “It has the potential for extending our partnerships with organizations such as Arnold Engineering Development Complex.”

For more information on how to get started, contact Motlow at info@mscc.edu, or call 931-393-1868.

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. Current news director for On Target News and manager of Rooster 101.5 FM. Knott can be heard on 93.9 The Duck, The Rooster 101.5 and Whiskey Country 105.1 and 95.9. He is currently the play by play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders on The Rooster 101.5. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,500 sports events on Radio & TV. He also served 4 years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for 6 years at Grundy County High School.

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