McCann Technical School Educator Engineers a Brighter Future for Students through ACU Certification

McCann Technical School is a Vocational Technical School located in Massachusetts that serves over 550 students in grades 9-12 and post-secondary programs. Their mission is to graduate technically skilled, academically prepared, socially responsible individuals to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

With their mission in mind, one teacher is paving the way to set his students up for success through Certiport’s industry-recognized certifications. Known for his “dad jokes” and uncanny ability to engage his students, Greg King is a Computer Assisted Design (CAD) Instructor at McCann Technical School.

“McCann’s mission statement, I think, encompasses everything that we're doing as technical educators. It's our responsibility to make sure that the next wave of designers is ready to meet the demands and fix the problems that we weren't able to fix in our generation, and maybe fix some of the problems that we developed for them,” explains Greg.

McCann Technical School CAD department covers three disciplines, including mechanical engineering, architecture engineering, and animation. In Greg’s classes, he actively uses and teaches Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit. He validates his student’s knowledge by helping them earn the industry-recognized Autodesk Certified User (ACU) certifications from Certiport.

What is Certiport’s Autodesk Certified User Certifications?

The ACU certifications are an industry-recognized credential that can effectively start students’ careers as designers, engineers, and makers. It enables students to master Autodesk products and is available for six different applications, including Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, Fusion360, Revit, Maya, and 3ds MAX. You can learn more here

Preparing for Autodesk Certified User Certifications & Increasing Student Engagement

To prepare his students to take and pass these certifications and learn valuable skills, Greg incorporates project-based learning, YouTube videos, and Certiport learning products, including TeachMe3D and CADLearning.

“Being an AutoCAD user for more than 20 years, I forgot what it was like to not know anything about AutoCAD, and that is exactly where our students are,” says Greg. “[Drafting teachers] have to take a step back and really let our experience fall to the wayside to be able to teach our students effectively. Based on this, I think one of the best ways is with guided solutions. For example, TeachMe3D and CADLearning are two excellent resources to use.

Greg utilizes TeachMe3D and CADLearning’s video tutorials, lesson plans, practice tests, and .dwg files, as well as Autodesk resources, to assign projects to his students. He also creates YouTube tutorials so his students can easily review concepts in and outside of the classroom.

He makes a point to include projects that are easy to master, solves real-world issues, and personalized projects based on the interest of his students to increase engagement in the classroom. Through these projects and learning products, he can prepare his students throughout the semester to take the Autodesk’s AutoCAD and Revit certifications.

“Our students are already learning and practicing, so they're so close to getting certified. So, let's go ahead and get them there. As teachers, we have already taken care of the hard part, so the next step is to get them certified and get those accreditations!

Proven Success of Autodesk Certified User Certifications

At the end of the semester, his students will take the Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit certification exams. He has had many students pass these certifications and many have:

  • Been hired by employers directly from McCann Technical School (even without college experience) and some have been employed as juniors through cooperative working program.
  • Received college credit for an introductory drafting course and enhanced their success in higher education.
  • Validated their AutoCAD and Revit experience on their resume and through the hiring process.

“I get pretty amazed at the response from employers. They will say, ‘Wow, your students know how to use Revit and they are only 16.’ Yes, they may be only 16, but they know how to do this stuff and it really opens that door of opportunity beyond just their resume,” Greg stated.

Not only does certification provide these valuable benefits, but Greg has seen firsthand how certification can boost his students’ confidence, as it provides a seal of approval that proves his students know exactly what they are doing in these programs. He takes a vested interest in each of his students and focuses on preparing them to be successful beyond his classroom.

“We have to remember that we [teachers] are the catalyst for change in our students’ destiny. Some students maybe second, third, or fourth generation engineers or aspiring engineers. But there are also students who may be the first one to graduate in their family and have the opportunity to earn more than minimum wage as soon as they get out of high school. So, we need to take this responsibility seriously, and give our students the tools they need to be successful!”

To learn more about how Greg King utilizes Certiport’s Autodesk Certified User certifications and his practical tips on teaching Autodesk AutoCAD and Revit, watch the webinar here. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about the Autodesk Certified User certifications, view the webpage here or contact your Certiport Territory Manager.

About Greg King

Greg King is a Computer Assisted Design Instructor at McCann Technical School in North Adams, Massachusetts. Prior to leaping into a teaching career, Greg was a Senior Mechanical Designer/Project Manager for HVAC projects in both the design build and plan-spec marketplace. Greg has been an Autodesk student & user since 1997 with a primary focus on AutoCAD and Revit.

Greg has an A.S. in Engineering Technology, and holds several accreditations including LEED AP O+M, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, Autodesk AutoCAD Certified User, as well as a MA Construction Supervisor License to name a few.

Outside of the classroom, Greg enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family and on rainy days, blissfully trying to find ways to thank his wife for allowing him to commandeer the dining room table with 3D printers, CNC machines, and laser engravers.