2013-14 Unit Plan
Agricultural Engineering Technology

Mission Statement

The Butte College Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department serves our community by providing diverse experiential learning opportunities in a progressive curriculum, using advanced technology, industry cooperation, and alumni support to prepare students for productive futures. 

Program Description

This program serves approximately 50 FT students per year moving through either one of two one-year certificate programs or an AS degree program. These students move into highly paid employment immediately following the completion of our programs. 
The program currently has one primary FT instructor, also serving as member of the Foundation Board, Academic Senate, Land Use committee, and Sustainability committee and performing other duties as required. 
The courses are being taught by 3 part time instructors with a total load of 125% plus the one full time instructor, with an additional over load of 50%.  This is a total load of 275% for the year, easily justifying a second full time faculty.  It is difficult to maintain continuity in a Heavy Equipment Program like Buttes without two full time faculty working to stay current in the industry as well as creating and maintaining industry connections. Without time to develop these connections, the growth and program improvements we hope to implement will be difficult to achieve. We plan to incorporate changes in methods of instruction to more closely replicate actual workplace conditions and techniques, and to coordinate instruction with industry certification.
When considering health, life and safety, the current burden on the one full time instructor is over the top.  With the over loads and extra work relating to projects both on and off campus there is a huge concern about the health of that instructor.  The ped caps have been reset at 22 for safety as well as access to learning and utilizing equipment, this is still a difficult number to work with and a student assistant should be available. With two full time instructors and more time available the program as well as the students would be more successful and the capacity of the program could possibly be increased.  The Heavy Equipment Program has been impacted for a several years and we could accommodate more students if we increased course offerings.

Future Development Strategy

Strategy 1

The HEO program curriculum is currently in the sixth year of some modifications that allow multiple sections of all classes and more sections to accommodate increased student demand. A newly established advisory committee has been making sound recommendations regarding course offerings and strongly supports the incorporation of more simulators. They will guide us in creating a new certification program for operators.

  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture
  • Modelling sustainability

  • Supporting Rationale
    The program is still facing increased regulation of our fleet of Diesel powered equipment. Regulations have not been fully developed and will be increasingly severe, certainly requiring modification of some machines and replacement of others, and possibly requiring regular replacement of equipment in future years. CARB (California Air Resources Board) has granted Butte College until 2015 to comply with emission standards.  By adding more simulators and reducing the number of operating units, the program becomes more sustainable.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment
  • Supports Previous Program Review Recommendations
  • Supports Changes from Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
  • Maintaining core programs and services
  • Increasing student success
  • Establishing new initiatives that support the Strategic Direction
  • Maintaining the appropriate program and service mix between the main campus and outlying centers
  • Strategy 2

  • Inspiring passion through collaboration
  • Focusing on student success
  • Enhancing an innovative, responsive, and accountable culture

  • Supporting Rationale
    Having a second full time instructor will reduce the load of the first instructor freeing both instructors to make more industry partnership that will lead to internships and student performance, reducing the number of units Butte would require for instructional purposes.  This will greatly aid in the progams future sustainability.

    Supporting Rationale Alignment

    Required Resources

    1.  Need to replace the transport truck/tractor vehicle with 2008 model to meet ARB standards - $60,000 2.Simulator funded through Perkins or District funds will add a sustainable component to the program, Simulators provide a 50% level of training and do not have parts that wear, do not burn any fuel and can be utilized on rainy days and even during the evening hours. 12 stations @ $25-50K each for a total of $300K. – Perkins request (purchased 2 units in 2011 and two units in 2012) 3.Purchase two way radio sets (Peltor) for communication between instructor and students. Local 3 operators union indicates that it is impossible to train operators effectively without this type of communication device. 6 sets - $3800 4.Go Pro Hero 3 HD mountable camera - $450 5.Handheld GPS unit upgrade - $5200 6.Portable toilet - $4500 7.Employing “deliberate and responsible opportunism”, replace and upgrade equipment. $30K 8.Supplies and repair budget needs increased by 35%+ due to increased demand on equipment from larger enrollments and additional class offerings. We have substantially increased our operating time (and FTE) with no corresponding increase in support. $20K 9.Place the final support staff currently paid out of VTEA funds on district funds. $40K 10.Need at least ½ secretary to help with support of department chair and the growth of the Heavy Equipment Program and Welding expansion, due to non replacement of a secretary 1 (Casey Crosby) $30K

    Current Revenue Stream

    Federal CTE funding from Carl Perkins VTEA are used to partially fund one technician supporting the General Agriculture, Heavy Equipment Operation, Mechanized Agriculture, Environmental Horticulture, Welding, Machine Shop, and Automotive programs. VTEA funding is currently under restructuring and its continuance is uncertain. To prevent the possible loss of this essential position this arrangement needs to be changed to place the technician salary completely under district

    Augmentation Requests

    Original Priority Funded Program, Unit, Area Resource Type Description Account Number Object Code One-Time Augment Ongoing Augment Supporting Rationale
    1 Yes HEO program Equipment 3 Simulators $96,000.00 $0.00 Advisory committee has recommended that we continue to purchase simulators to make the HEO training program more sustainable.
    2 Yes Program Equipment Transport Truck/tractor vehicle $60,000.00 $0.00 Replacement of Truck that has a $10K value but requires a $40K emission device. Much wiser to purchase a 2008 model that will meet CARB on road emission standards.
    3 Yes Program Equipment 6 communication headsets $3,800.00 $0.00 Increase in student learning through improved communication while operating equipment.
    4 Yes Program Equipment Replace one tractor $0.00 $30,000.00 The program needs to upgrade some of the old-warn out equipment to keep fleet in good condition by reducing horsepower while maintaining a more sustainable program.
    5 Yes Program Operating Expenses supplies and repair $0.00 $20,000.00 Several of the tractors are in need of tires and replace worn out parts.
    6 Yes Program Personnel Move support staff from VTEA to district funds $40,000.00 $0.00 This is the final staff member that needs to be moved from Carl Perkins funding to district funds.
    7 Yes Area Facilities Creek crossings $95,000.00 $0.00 The creek crossing needs to installed so that sediment will not enter the stream. This would be site A on some of the preliminary plans.
    Total(s) $294,800.00 $50,000.00