Common Course Numbering from a Machinist’s Perspective

Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director and Dr. Richard Strand present in Spokane about Common Course Numbering.

Mary Kaye Bredeson, executive director and Dr. Richard Strand present in Spokane about Common Course Numbering.


Today in Spokane, WA the Center of Excellence spoke to Northwest Association of Machining Instructors at their fall conference. The meeting held at Spokane Community College focused on the importance of building our state’s machining workforce and how consistency in program and skills development is critical to the success of building the workforce.

In talking with the machining instructor’s group, Bredeson said, “We want to work with all of you because you are the skilled workforce and have great machining programs.”

Statewide, manufacturing companies small and large need to hire employees with similar skill-sets. Students graduating from community colleges in Washington need to come from the same frame of reference which is why standardizing the course numbering, skill sets and names for community college programs is important.

Bredeson said, “We want to keep work in Washington. If we aren’t prepared to communicate data about the numbers of people in programs and what they are trained in, we could lose business to other states.”

In recent years, efforts have been made to standardize course numbering and what’s called Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) of courses. The original KSAs were developed by Boeing and have been expanded in the aerospace and advancedmanufacturing industries.

Classification of Instructional Programs (otherwise know as CIP codes)  are federally mandated classifications to track enrollment and graduation. These CIP codes can be confusing and also are easy to mis-categorize. As a part of redefining the Common Course Numbering for programs, Center of Excellence has been taking a look at the diversity of CIP codes in the state.

Bredeson noted that driving our future workforce into careers in machining starts at the high school level. Center of Excellence is doing work statewide to improve growth in machining training. She said, “With alignment and common curriculum, we can drive more students into machining.”

Bredeson spoke about driving more high school students into machining programs. She said that if they can take machining courses through their Career and Technical Education classes (CTE) they may obtain a vested interest to go into the college programs. Center of Excellence is interested in building the pipeline for machinists. Many of the graduates of our statewide programs are being hired by Boeing and other manufacturers in Washington State.

View the presentation from the meeting – MACH PP 10-13


About COEAerospace

The Center of Excellence for Aerospace and Advanced Materials Manufacturing of Washington state is a conduit for collaboration and engagement between industry and K-12 and post secondary higher education. We work to develop the talent pipeline and economic infrastructure to facilitate continuous innovation and growth for aerospace and manufacturing in our state and beyond.
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