After what its developer and lead instructor describe as “many months of hard work and careful planning,” Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. is ready to unveil its 3D Visualization for the Built Environment micro-certificate.
To be taught by part-time teacher and municipal zoning examiner Tage Crooks, the program is designed to provide students with the development of skills in BIM, 3D rendering tools, GIS, digital twins and virtual reality printing/ 3D for the design, presentation, construction and routine operations and maintenance of buildings and spaces.
According to the course content description, “3D visualization has revolutionized the way buildings and spaces are designed, constructed, operated and maintained. Assessing how and where to employ it effectively and successfully is an emerging skill set in demand. »
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, 3D and VR/AR models are the next step in architecture, engineering and construction,” says Crooks, Zoning Examiner at the City of Mississauga.
Tentatively scheduled to begin in the new year, the 3D visualization program is a stacked micro-certificate made up of five individual micro-certificates, says Janet Shuh, dean of continuing education and academic development at the college.
Each of the five micro-certificates can be earned in less than 12 weeks, compared to the one to two years it typically takes continuing education students to complete stacked micro-certificate programs, she says.
A part-time faculty member of the college’s School of Engineering, Technology and Aviation, Crooks was selected to develop and deliver the program because of his background in BIM and professional expertise as a municipal planner, explains Shuh.
Program delivery will be through a combination of asynchronous or self-paced online learning, supplemented by scheduled online learning. The equivalent of 36 hours for each course has been designed with “ultimate flexibility” in which students will progress at their own pace.
However, they will have the opportunity to connect with the college’s industry-expert facilitators for one-hour sessions per week for about 10 hours, she says.
Explaining the concept of micro-certificates, Shuh says that they are “learning modules in short bursts, whether individual or stacked. They are flexible and can be undertaken to transition into a new career or upskill with in-demand skills in a current job.
In 2021, the college began exploring and developing micro-degrees to meet industry needs in various sectors including construction, architecture, engineering and related professions. These efforts included co-hosting a micro-certificate forum in partnership with its education partners and the City of Hamilton.
It now offers 22 different micro-degrees in a variety of programs and more are in development, although none of these are specifically tailored to construction and related industries, she says.
Many post-secondary institutions in Ontario, Canada and abroad are developing and issuing micro-credentials, Shuh said, noting that community colleges are well positioned to provide this type of education due to their applied nature of college learning and their close relationships with industry and employers.