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Welding Programs in Central Florida

Discussion about tradeschools, techschools, universities and other programs.

Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby BumpStick » Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:38 pm

In Central Florida, Orlando Area there are 4 choices for welding programs:

-Orange Technical College - Mid Florida Campus... This is school is run by the Orange County School system

-Mech Tech Institute

-Southern Technical College

-Seminole State College

I have visited all 4 schools. I'm not a fan of the local county school system. Mech Tech has a shop that is more than just a welding lab they have breaks, benders, chop saws, and plasma cutters. Southern Tech has newer Lincoln equipment and the program is an A.S. degree, but when I was trying enrolling and registering the administrative side proved to be incompetence costing me extra money and headaches. Seminole State College is a good school. They are were I got my Business degree from.

Does anyone here have experience with any of these schools?

The first 3 programs are 15-18 months and include basic math, English, and humanities classes. Seminole State College is a 9 month program.
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby Boomer63 » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:33 am

To obtain a technical certificate, just about any school is going to require you to take some math and communications. You will likely not be able to graduate without it.

I teach at a community college in Indiana. The first semester for the students is grueling and sucks. But they need to learn the basics, and the only way to do that is to weld a fixture over and over and over again. Very boring! But very, very necessary!

I think any welding program can get the job done in one year. There are two year programs out there, but the welder will not make twice the money just because he as twice the schooling. So I think the two year program is a waste. Also, I get students who ask me about wanting to move up into management at their job, so wouldn't a two year degree in welding be beneficial? My answer to that is that they might want to think about a two year, on line degree in Management, since they will be moving up into Management .... right?

The big question, and one I ask all perspective students, is why do you want to take the welding classes? Career goals, hobby, etc?
Gary
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby BumpStick » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:38 pm

Boomer63 wrote:
I teach at a community college in Indiana. The first semester for the students is grueling and sucks. But they need to learn the basics, and the only way to do that is to weld a fixture over and over and over again. Very boring! But very, very necessary!

The big question, and one I ask all perspective students, is why do you want to take the welding classes? Career goals, hobby, etc?
Gary


I have no problems doing repetitive welding. Practice makes permanent, so the proper repetition is needed to make good habits muscle memory. But I don't need those math and English classes.

I already have a BS in Business and ran a shop for 5yrs which included a welder along with the mechanics. But I'm a disabled vet that in the words of the VA doctors "will not be able to rejoin the workforce and maintain gainful employment." When I can I work on and build cars, motorcycles and 4x4s. Not being able to weld means that I have to out source those parts of the projects. Will welding be a career, No. Its something I want to lean for me. Yes it will be hobby work but I know I will do work on projects for people in the automotive circles I am in. There is a local Jeep shop that needs a welder and fabricator. They haven't been able to fill the position because they are a small shop so its only part time work. For me that would be perfect. I want to weld part-time as a supplemental income to be able to build my projects.
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby Artie F. Emm » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:52 am

Can the school apply credit for the math and English from the other school?

The oother thought I had was, if you want the weld training classes only, could you simply not sign up for the math and English. They wouldn't award you the degree, but do you want the degree?
Dave
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby BumpStick » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:48 am

Artie F. Emm wrote:Can the school apply credit for the math and English from the other school?

The oother thought I had was, if you want the weld training classes only, could you simply not sign up for the math and English. They wouldn't award you the degree, but do you want the degree?


I want to take the welding classes only because I don't need/want the degree, BUT all the schools will NOT let me sign up for JUST the welding classes. You have to do the entire program. Yes the all can apply the credit for the math/english/computers/etc but depending on the school all it means is that I come to class later or leave earlier each day, or the 4 weeks that they do those general education classes I just don't have to show up to class. Both those options can cause problems with my GI Bill. For my GI Bill I have to be a full time student to get full benefits. So if I'm not in class all day the VA could say I'm not a full time student and if I don't have class for 4 weeks at a time the VA says I dropped out and then I have to go through the paper work again before the next class starts up. Either way its not something that the administrations at school have dealt with so its going to cause me stress having to chase it around... Large amounts of stress to learn a hobby will make the hobby not as fun to learn and could easily piss me off to the point where I drop out of the program before I learn what I wanted to.
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby Boomer63 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:45 am

BumpStick wrote:
Artie F. Emm wrote:Can the school apply credit for the math and English from the other school?

The oother thought I had was, if you want the weld training classes only, could you simply not sign up for the math and English. They wouldn't award you the degree, but do you want the degree?


I want to take the welding classes only because I don't need/want the degree, BUT all the schools will NOT let me sign up for JUST the welding classes.

That is a problem! I want to get my program to that point; as it exists it is an utterly disorganized nightmare. If I were you, I would get in touch with the Welding Department Head and tell him your problem. He is likely to tell you that you really do need all of the welding classes. One thing you can do is to sign up for the whole program, gen. ed. classes and all, and then drop the gen. ed. classes after the semester starts. Or just say that you want to take the gen. ed. classes in the following year after the welding, and then blow off the useless crap. (It mostly is crap too, but I don't say that too loud for fear of offending the suit and tie folks who have paper work).

Taking the entire welding program, say something that runs from September to May, is not a bad thing. You should get all content, all processes, and print reading. All the knowledge works together, so it will all do you some good. If you came to me, that is what I would advise, but I would also encourage you to take all of the welding classes, in all of the processes.

I understand your frustration. Remember, these programs have as the ultimate authority the 'educated' people, who have advanced degrees. My 'paperwork' comes from 35 + years of work experience and accumulated knowledge; these 'educational' folks have a piece of paper to tell everyone and to remind themselves that they have 'knowledge'.

Again, go talk to the weld department head. If any vet came to me, someone like you in your position, I would do everything in my power to help you out. I would bend procedure, make allowances, redesign programs and simply give you an OK to attend class if that is what it would take to get you to where you need to be.

I hope this post was helpful! Feel free to message me if you have any other questions!
Gary
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby BumpStick » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:47 pm

Seminole state is the only one who's program does not include math, english, how to us a computer, and personal/interview skills classes. They are also the shortest program at 9 months and opposed to the other programs has more than just one class on TIG. But since they are a STATE accredited 4yr college you have to have minimum scores on the College Aptitude/Placement test to enroll. If you don't have the minimum scores you can't enroll in the program till you get those scores up or you take Pre-college Algebra, English, or what ever you didn't pass. Seminole State is where I have my Business Degree from so I meet all the prerequisites already. The other schools start a new welding program class ever 30-60 days. Seminole State only has a class starting in spring and fall. I tried to get into the spring class but they were already full. Fall registration doesn't open till the summer. I have talked to the welding instructor and he has reserved me a spot in the fall class.

I was an instructor in the military for a little while. The classes I took over were a Cluster F*<^ mess. They were being thought by people who had a piece of paper saying they were trained to be an instructor but had never actually done any of the things they were teaching other than in the training environment... Nothing ever followed the text book example exactly with no deviations. Plus when you don't have the same assets available to you in the real world as in the class room. Then when the S4!t Hits the Fan the the classroom manual won't cover that.

The problem I have will all of these programs is not one of them has an instructor with more than 5yrs of welding experience. I know that everything I learn in the classes will be helpful in some way or the other but I worry about not learning how to deal with issues from personal experience.
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Re: Welding Programs in Central Florida

Postby Boomer63 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:55 am

@Bump Stick - You are hitting the problem right on the head. Too many welding classes are taught by guys who have 'paperwork' - degrees - but have only a few years in the field playing welder; and that typically only single process jobs. It is a load of crap. When I first started applying for instructional positions, they wanted seven years of multi-process experience. Now they want two or four year degrees. Bullshit. The AWS seems to push this, or does nothing to correct it.

I would not hire a full time instructor, who has to teach multiple processes, unless he has multi-process background and can prove that he/she can weld. Joe College Boy who played welder for a few years can't describe to the students what it is like to move from job to job, or have to relocate, or travel. Or what it is like to get laid off and be unemployed for a period of time. It pisses me off to no end. I recently took the seminar/exam for CWI and what I discovered about being a CWI is that it is not about welding and understanding processes and actual welding, it is all about applying code to the weld. Big F-in Deal!!! In other words, AWS and any welding governing bodies, or welding educational bodies, are not run by welders, but real welders have actually very little representation.

Bump Stick, it is easy to design a program/curriculum and follow it. But that doesn't allow for 'odd balls' like you to get training. I would take each guy like you on a case by case basis, and if I figured you were sincere, I would put you into one of my classes. I would expect you to act like the other students, I don't need to be undermined, but I doubt that would be an issue with you.

Anyway, you bring up a very real and frustrating problem in welding education. But guys don't want to quit the field. I wouldn't have fallen into this, but I was too busted up physically to continue working; no matter how much I lie to myself and tell myself that 'one of these summers' I am going back to field work. Not a chance in the real world.

I hope you are able to find something. If nothing else, get yourself a good welding unit, and put out a lot of posts here on the forum displaying pictures of what you are doing, and I guarantee you will have a hundred and one opinions about how to help you! You seem like a smart guy, you will learn to weld that way. I am going to look up some only text books that I have, and see if there are any good TIG books.

Gary
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