Engineering Programs Build the Future

March 24, 2017

Are you fascinated by how things work?

Want to study toward a rewarding career in advanced manufacturing or engineering?

Greenfield Community College is the place to start! Whether your goal is to work in local advanced manufacturing companies or pursue an undergraduate or graduate engineering degree, GCC has the right program for you.

GCC’s new Engineering Technology Certificate (EGT) program prepares students with the fundamental skills needed to enter the advanced manufacturing field and work at local machine tool companies. Engineering Technology Certificate students are eligible to receive financial aid such as grants, loans, and work-study programs.

GCC’s popular Engineering Science Associate in Science (EGS) degree offers the first two years of mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals of a standard four-year engineering bachelor’s degree program. Through electives, engineering students can explore sub-disciplines of engineering including civil/environmental, electrical/computer, mechanical/industrial, and chemical engineering. Transferring to a four-year degree program is easy because Greenfield Community College participates in the College of Engineering Consortium Agreement with University of Massachusetts Amherst, Western New England University, and others.

Why study engineering at GCC? Classes are small, the superb faculty have a wide range of experience, and academic support is available through peer tutoring and studio spaces.

Michael Heitke-Felbeck, 29, of Sunderland, started in the Engineering Technology Certificate program last summer. Mike is a graduate from GCC’s first Middle Skills Manufacturing Initiative cohort where he received training to be an entry-level CNC Operator and then chose to continue his education in the EGT program.   He chose GCC because he likes the campus and the small number of students. He said, “I worked a variety of jobs over the 10 years before I started at GCC, from farmhand to factory worker, handyman to baker, and I realized I wanted something that offered variety and challenge. After doing a fairly exhaustive study of careers, I realized engineering is a good fit. I have most enjoyed learning about the science underneath things—the physics of kinetic or static energies in moving objects, the mole ratios underlying chemical reactions, furthering my understanding of calculus so symbols which previously meant gobbledy gook are intelligible to me now.” After he finishes the EGT Certificate in May, Michael plans to apply for manufacturing jobs with local employers and continue studying at GCC toward an A.S. in Engineering Science and then transfer to a four-year school.

Ryan Partridge, 22, of Easthampton, graduated from GCC with an A.S. in Engineering Science in spring 2016, and is now working toward a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He works two jobs, as a mechanical engineering intern (a position he started through GCC) and as a Sales Associate. After UMASS, Ryan plans to continue his education with a concentration in Aerospace, and possibly Mathematics. He said, “GCC was worth the drive. GCC’s faculty and students are friendly and approachable and I made friends I still see almost a year after graduating. The Engineering faculty at GCC helped our classmates become very close, everyone was in it together. Transitioning to UMASS was definitely a challenge, however this was easily accomplishable. The biggest process was adjusting to the large class sizes, and not knowing your classmates, but with a little effort I overcame that. Engineering is a very tough major; however, anyone can accomplish it with the right support system and effort. A topic you find challenging, a classmate might find simple. If you two work together it will be mutually beneficial. GCC is a fantastic school full of fantastic people that reminds you every day ‘You Belong Here.’ Embrace that. Enjoy your time at GCC, you’ll get out what you put into it, and at the end of the day the friendships you make with fellow students and faculty members will follow you in life.”

Want to learn more about GCC’s Engineering programs? Come meet Amy and other GCC faculty at the Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology Spotlight Event, Wednesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. Core Lobby Main Campus or contact Amy Ehmann at 413-775-1172 or

By Mary McClintock, ’82