For three weeks in the Fall Semester, TMCC welcomed four students and one instructor from Lima, Peru to participate in the TMCC-SENATI International Student Exchange Program through TMCC’s Technical Sciences Division.
The students all attend the SENATI Institute, an institution of higher education in Peru that provides technical training in the manufacturing industry. The SENATI Institute has several campuses across Peru and is attended by over 97,000 students.
“A global campus is an excellent campus,” said Dr. Karin Hilgersom, TMCC President. “Initiatives like the TMCC-SENATI Exchange Program helps our campus become part of a global community.”
Dr. Hilgersom, along with Estella Gutierrez, Vice President of Student Services and Diversity, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, traveled to South America on a trade mission to study different technical training institutes and the curriculum that they offered. While traveling, they met with staff at the SENATI Institute in Peru and developed the partnership that enabled the exchange program to be created. Gutierrez believes these kinds of international partnerships will be imperative for the future success of students. As technological developments progress, it will be more important than ever for students to connect globally.
“This program is going to open the doors to many different possibilities,” Gutierrez said.
As part of the exchange program, TMCC students and faculty will travel to the SENATI Institute next year to learn about their automotive and manufacturing programs. The exchange program will be a mutual benefit for SENATI Institute students to use some of TMCC’s new robotics and advanced equipment, and in turn for TMCC students to train with instructors in manufacturing and automotive disciplines in Peru.
Dr. Kyle Dalpe, Dean of Technical Sciences at TMCC, has been with the SENATI exchange students as they go through their three weeks of training and has seen their level of experience and what they are learning at TMCC.
“Our aim was to get them into the classroom, provide formal instruction, learn related skills and then take them out to the workplace and show them how that applies through industry tours,” Dalpe said.
The students are learning a variety of subjects within the Applied Technologies Department, with a special focus on Advanced Manufacturing. The series of trainings include welding, automotive, construction and design, manufacturing, and machining. They learned how to use a forklift, flew a drone and worked in the robotics lab. They have also been touring companies in Reno like Tesla, Inc., Walmart and IGT.
The TMCC-SENATI International Student Exchange Program is funded by the Innovation Fund grant, a partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Embassy of Peru, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The Innovation Fund grants created 13 new higher education partnerships between universities and colleges in the United States and institutions in Peru. TMCC is the only two-year institution selected for the grant program, and is the only college from the State of Nevada. Grants were funded by the U.S. Department of State, SEMPRA Energy and CAF: the Development Bank of Latin America.
The SENATI students in the program include Miguel Angel Campos Carhuamaca, Miluska Jazmin Miranda Leon, Vanessa Denis Leon Tacuchi and Luis Manuel Eugenio Ramos Rumin, and the instructor is Carlos Walter Otiniano Noe. The students primarily speak Spanish, so they have a translator with them while they are learning in their classes and touring different companies. One of the students, Ramos, speaks English fluently and talked about how excited he is to be learning applied technologies in America.
“We don’t have too many opportunities to do these kinds of things in my regular classes,” Ramos said, talking about using the robotics lab at TMCC. “There are always new things to learn.”
Ramos explained that their labs at SENATI include different robotics than the ones they are using at TMCC, and that the class structure was different than what he was used to. He enjoys that he’s being challenged at TMCC to learn a different side of technical training that he hasn’t seen in his classes at the SENATI Institute.
The SENATI students will earn certificates of completion at the end of their three-week training, and will be able to go back home to Peru with new knowledge and technical skills gained from their time at TMCC.
For more information about the TMCC-SENATI International Student Exchange Program, please contact Student Services and Diversity at 775-337-5647.