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Ag Power students get paid while earning their degree

22 October 2019

The Pratt Community College Agriculture Power Technology (APT) Program gives students the opportunity to earn while they learn. The goal of the technical program is to provide students with the skills to enter into a career workforce ready. This is achieved by spending time in the classroom, on-campus APT shop and being placed in a paid internship for a large portion of the curriculum.

Ag Power students spend the first eight weeks of each semester in the classroom and on-campus shop. The second half of the semester students are placed in a paid internship and continue learning and enhancing their skills in a real-world environment. This format is followed throughout the duration of the two year program. After their freshman year, during summer break, many students return to their internship and work for the summer.

“The main focus of the Ag Power program is to learn how to be a dealership employee,” said Ralph Williams, Ag Power instructor.
With the focus of learning how act in a professional environment, Williams also teaches respect, responsibility, excellence and safety.

“You must respect yourself and your coworkers. Be responsible for your actions, even when you mess up,” said Williams. “Excel and take pride in what you do and be safe in the work environment during day to day operations.”

Another skill Williams emphasizes is customer relation skills. During their time at PCC students learn how to conduct themselves in their internships and the community relationships.

PCC Ag Power has relationships with many dealers in the local area. These dealers include Kinchelo’s, Kanequip, and BTI, just to name a few. Some dealerships have loaned equipment to the program for demonstration and learning experience purposes. The most valuable relationship the program has with PCC though is the opportunity for students to gain internships while earning college credit.

“This year we have one student interning in Junction City, they are branching out and spreading the word about the program,” said Williams.

Students are able to find internships across the state and some students go back to their hometowns for their internship.

High school students are also able to get ahead and take Ag Power courses while they are still in high school. In January 2012, former Governor Sam Brownback announced a bold and innovative plan to enhance career technical education in Kansas and better prepare high school students for college and careers. The legislature responded with Senate Bill 155 which provides new state dollars to pay college tuition for high school students earning college credits in technical courses and at the same time, earn an industry credential valued by employers. The free college tuition applies to any and all technical courses in approved programs at public community and technical colleges. For more information about the PCC College Start Program or SB155 initiative visit prattcc.edu/collegestart.

The APT Program offers an Associate of Applied Science Degree that prepares students for a career as an agricultural technician. With this degree, graduates have the option of continuing their education to earn a Bachelor's degree, or go directly into the workforce. For more information about Ag Power visit prattcc.edu/ag.

The mission of Pratt Community College is maximum student learning, individual and workforce development, high quality instruction and service, and community enrichment. PCC is proud to be a part of the community in Pratt, Kansas. With more than 80 years of history, PCC remains humbled to serve our community and students who come to build a foundation for their future. PCC is a two-year public, comprehensive community college and an area vocational school. For more information visit prattcc.edu or call us at 620-672-5641.