The Louisiana Board of Regents has granted approval to Delgado Community College to establish an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Instrumentation and Control.
The new degree program was approved by the Louisiana Community and Technical College (LCTCS) Board of Supervisors earlier this year.
The new AAS in Instrumentation and Control program will contribute to immediate and long-term local and regional economic development, connecting with existing and emerging industries. Delgado plans to begin offering program courses in the Spring 2015 semester at the Delgado West Bank Campus in Algiers.
The program is designed to prepare individuals to enter the employment market as process control operators and instrumentation technicians; graduates will have the background and entry-level technical skill for instrumentation and control operations as diverse as distillation, boilers, refrigeration, cooling towers and reactors as they are used in chemical, oil and gas, water, waste management and food production processing.
The objective of the 67-credit-hour AAS is to prepare graduates to apply basic engineering principles as well as to have the technical skills required to support engineers engaged in developing measurement and control systems and procedures. The curriculum includes instruction in instrumentation design and maintenance, calibration, production testing and scheduling, automated equipment functions, applications to specific industrial tasks and reporting. Graduates will be prepared to apply critical thinking to solve problems related to the process equipment, instruments, systems and operations within manufacturing industries.
Because the sophisticated instrumentation, digital interfaces and multi-functional machinery of today require seven to ten years of on-the-job training for high school graduates to become technically competent production workers, companies – particularly in deepwater oil and gas production – need pre-qualified, pre-skilled replacement workers. Discussions between Delgado officials and business and industry partners including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Daybrook Fisheries have identified the need for individuals who understand both the foundations of instrumentation and how their work impacts and sustains the processes of a company as a whole.
The program’s industry-based Advisory Committee facilitated the creation of the program, assisted in development of the curriculum, and has expressed interest in supporting the program through internship/externship experiences, evaluation of program effectiveness and hiring its graduates. This will be Delgado’s first program exclusively focused on developing and maintaining instrumentation and control systems. All 10 instrumentation courses in the major will be new to Delgado.
The new AAS will be a limited enrollment program. The College anticipates as many as 20 new students to enroll each year and projects an 80 percent completion rate.
The program will be administered by the Division of Business and Technology and new facilities have been identified and assigned for the proposed new program. Through various grant initiatives, the College has been able to acquire equipment and furnishings for the program, including training simulators and educational models, as well as Process Control Simulators with temperature and analytical process control learning systems.
Delgado will seek accreditation for the program through the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).