MARTINSVILLE – Patrick County High School students will soon have the opportunity to learn welding and earn both college credit and industry certifications in the process. Beginning in the fall of 2019, Patrick Henry Community College is launching introductory welding dual enrollment courses for PCHS students.
The school system will provide space for the program while PHCC will provide the instructor and some of the equipment. The Tobacco Commission will cover additional equipment.
Dual enrollment programs enable students to take college courses while in high school. Students earn both high school credit and college credit simultaneously in a dual enrollment course.
“We’re excited about this opportunity for our students,” said Dr. William D. Sroufe, Patrick County Schools Superintendent. “Any time students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills like this, and earn college credit, it’s a win for all of us. Welders are in demand and typically earn a very good wage so this could be a nice boost for our local economy.”
In addition to offering dual enrollment welding courses, PHCC will use the new welding lab in high school during the evenings to offer non-dual enrollment welding classes. These classes will be taught by PHCC welding instructors and will allow students to work towards industry-recognized certifications and career study certificates.
“Our welding program has long been one of our most successful programs at PHCC,” said Dr. Greg Hodges, Vice President of Academic and Student Success Services at Patrick Henry Community College. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring such an excellent program to two different groups of students in Patrick County. Our instructors are among the very best. They’ve maintained a 100% certification pass rate in their courses for decades. Successful students have gone on to earn very strong wages in the welding industry locally and across the country.”
Space renovation and equipment purchases will take place over the next year and a half to ensure that students are ready to enroll in the fall of 2019.