image of student James JohnsonJames Johnson had no intention of completing a degree when he began taking classes on the Rowan Campus of Maysville Community and Technical College. The Mount Sterling native was participating in an apprenticeship program offered at MCTC through his job.

My only goal was to complete the classes needed for my journeyman license, said James. I had been working in the tool room at my job, so I started asking questions about the Computerized Manufacturing and Machine Program at MCTC. I had very little machining experience at the time but I was interested.

James decided to go even further and enroll in the program.

I began to understand that there is more to the Machine Tool field than I had realized and I wanted to learn, he said. Kenny Barnett, the program coordinator, talked me into completing the full associates degree. I work full-time and all of my instructors have been willing to work around my schedule so I can succeed in my classes.

This father of two enjoys sharing his experiences as a student with his wife who is enrolled in the Medical Information Technology Program also at the Rowan Campus. He believes that many things have helped make his time as an MCTC student so successful.

All of my instructors have been really friendly and helpful, said James. There is a lot of accountability but that is good. The classes I have taken here at MCTC have also taught me how to communicate with different types of people. I am hoping to become a team leader at my job, so learning those skills has been good for me. I enjoy it all but I really like the CNC programming part. You design a blueprint, then program it into the machine. I like watching the machine as it makes something from start to finish knowing that I was responsible for that.

James plans to graduate in December with an Associate in Applied Science in Machine Tool Technology, then eventually complete a bachelors degree.

My experience at MCTC has been about more than just going to class, he said. I have met some good friends and I actually enjoy spending time at MCTC outside of the classroom. Due to the skills I have learned in Machine Tool I have been given more responsibilities at work, and this has provided other opportunities.