PLCC Student Selected to Participate in Akron U Summer Research Academy

Congratulations to Lexsis Baker, a junior Engineering Technology student from Manchester, who was recently selected to participate in the Akron University Summer Research Academy.

The purpose of the Research Academy is to give qualified high school students considering a career in engineering hands-on research experience by working on collegiate level research projects alongside UA College of Engineering professors. Admission in to this program was highly selective due to the limited space available and was open to local, rising high school juniors and seniors. The 8 week program takes place during the University’s summer session.

While in the program, Lexsis will spend 200 hours (roughly 25 hrs/wk) in her mentor’s lab either working on a specific project assigned to her or working alongside UA graduate students. This also gives UA graduate students the opportunity to be mentors. Faculty and staff will meet with program participants periodically to measure progress and address any participant questions. Each participant will earn $2000, payable as a stipend, for participating in this program and contributing to UA research. The students will present their research at a poster symposium on the last day of the program.

Senior Capstones – A Pathway To Graduation

Students at PLCC are required to take part in a Capstone project as evidence of what they have learned here at PLCC and as a final culminating piece that showcases the variety of skills they have learned while here with us. It is meant to be a major project and can often encompass months of planning, implementation, and work. While we have had a capstone in place here at PLCC for a few years, this year the state opted to include completion of a school approved capstone as one of several potential options on the list of components that might provide (or add up to) an alternative pathway to graduation.

All capstones here at PLCC have been reviewed and approved by a team of administrators and each contains numerous components including a clear tie in to the program’s course standards, objectives, and exams; repeated assessment and evaluation of progress/work; clear documentation of project stages, deadlines, and requirements; and ample opportunities for students to present evidence of growth and achievement. Additionally, many programs also included a capstone tie in to the community by opening labs to the public to display pieces or teach/share knowledge and by taking advantage of specific skills students have learned throughout their two years here at PLCC to benefit/beautify community locations or materials.

2018 Senior Class Capstones

The lab will be divided into four sections and a group from the public will be invited to tour these stations. The stations will offer students a showcase to provide basic car care tips and knowledge to assist consumers with making informed decisions on their car care while offering communication tips for dealing with shop owners, service writers, and car care professionals. Students will devise the format for the stations and will create/present these information sessions to the public.

These students will fully restore a MiG 17 Russian fighter from its “arrived at MAPS condition” to how it was last used in the early 1960s by the Polish Air Force. This involves extensive research for authenticity and restoration in addition to skilled craftsmanship and aircraft understanding.

Building Trades
In conjunction with MAPS (the Military Aviation Preservation Society located at the Akron-Canton Airport), students in Building Trades are refurbishing one of the large rooms at the museum into several smaller rooms complete with bathroom accommodations. Students are reading and interpreting blueprints, installing studs, insulating walls, installing and finishing drywall, performing basic plumbing and wiring projects, and priming and painting the ultimate product. These rooms and the student work will then be presented to the community for their use and enjoyment.

Students are responsible for completing multiple projects for consideration of their capstone piece. In addition to an additional mandatory 45 hours of on-line coursework, Cosmetology students are also required to complete a 100 hour, Ohio Cosmetology and Barber Board approved internship with a local salon. Students keep a journal and several hour logs documenting this experience and, in addition, the documentation for both of the aforementioned projects is also included within the students’ final portfolio which contains numerous other projects, photos, journals, essays, and pieces of evidence to support growth and learning. These portfolios can also assist students with ultimate career and college placement.

Culinary Arts
Students will complete a large portfolio project focusing on numerous classroom components and specialty culinary areas in addition to documenting how students have met the rigorous ProStart culinary standards. This large portfolio will be judged, evaluated, and shared at the program’s completion and students will be able to utilize the portfolio for college and career interviewing.

Students have been very busy re-working and renovating their own Electrical Technologies lab including several re-wiring projects. Students have completed extensive drawings and renderings regarding what the ultimate revamp will look like and have accounted for cost, budgeting, time management, project deadlines, and supplies. At the end of the year, students will present the finished lab to the staff and the community at an Open House event where all students will be required to present his/her major contribution to the project.

Students will exhibit knowledge of commercial building design by creating all blueprints for and producing a physical model of their own personal commercial building including a site plan, floor plans, structural system plans, interior design, work schedules, mechanical and electrical system requirements, construction documents, and renderings. The physical models will be on display for staff and community.

Enviroscape Technology
This capstone allows students to individually select a “passion” project for self-guided reflection, research, and study. Students create their own project drafted from start to finish including fundraising for costs, creating work schedules, presenting project findings in both oral, visual, and written pieces, and continuously meeting with the instructor to assess progress, anticipate setbacks, monitor budgeting, and seek advice as needed.

Fire Academy
Students will complete Fire Extinguisher Training and evaluation and are then responsible for teaching this training during 2 weeks of scheduled training times with both PLCC students and staff.

Students complete numerous building and repair projects on the Dragon Dream Team dock at Rex Lake. The construction and repairs are the culmination of months of budgeting, planning, work scheduling, compiling resources, monitoring costs, and solving numerous problems and tasks along the road to ensuring effective time management and delivering the proposed products and projects on time.

Students have been working at MAPS to inspect, layout, calculate duct size, fabricate, install, and seal the connections for a massive project at the museum. This project will assist MAPS to open more of their museum for use to the public.

Students will be presented with a real-life case where a network needs to be designed for a company. Students will be able to choose from a few cases focusing on specific requirements of company networking. Students will work towards submitting a packet tracer file that simulates the network they will build and a funding proposal anticipating their budgeting needs. Students will ultimately physically build the network they virtually envisioned in their packet tracer.

Placement Students
Students on work placement as one of the options as a senior here at PLCC opt to participate in work experience and in utilizing their skills in the field on job placement; however, these students are also required to complete a capstone involving extensive journals, self-reflection, and assessment of their own workplace experience. Students are also required to submit visual aids and photographs of their accomplishments at work and are responsible for presenting a major speech to their program focusing on their placement experience.

Students will self-select independent study projects to research, study, and investigate with a focus on covering, identifying, and communicating healthy interventions, addressing the national and state agendas for wellness, and identifying the needs of individuals, families, and communities with regards to health considerations. Students will be responsible for a research proposal focusing on four large research questions and a devised study timeline, an 8 to 10 page research paper, an 8 to 10 minute oral presentation to the class, and a culminating comprehensive portfolio including a self-evaluation.

Programming and Software Development
Students will choose a project for self-directed learning (approved by instructor) culminating in a class-wide presentation on project findings/project creation. Students must complete a daily activity journal documenting progress, set-backs, discoveries etc, and prepare for/attend weekly check-in meetings.

Sports Medicine
Sports Medicine students have been assisting in the design/implementation of exercise programs and documenting fitness assessments for members of the senior firefighting class. Students will specifically focus on one student in the second semester of senior year documenting and studying progress in the area of body composition, cardio-respiratory fitness, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. This will culminate in a presentation to both classes.

Students will complete a music video including components like writing the script, storyboarding, editing, producing, and ultimately presenting and unveiling the video to the class for class-wide evaluation and critique.

Students will create/read blueprints to ultimately produce a functional mobile medical simulator by converting a retired BK-117 Hull helicopter. This new medical simulator will ultimately be used by medical professionals in the field. Students will utilize advanced aluminum TIG welding and fabrication to accomplish this goal and will document/reflect/and journal their progress.

LPN Students Graduate From PLCC

Twenty-one students recently graduated from the practical nursing program at Portage Lakes Career Center W. Howard Nicol School of Practical Nursing.

The graduates of Class #68 completed the program, which takes 1,300 hours of instruction, in one school year.   The course of study prepares selected adult students for practice in the field of practical nursing.

The program is divided up into four sessions.  The curriculum includes courses that are designated to bring students from basic nursing principles, skills and knowledge to the integration of nursing in clinical practices.  “Nursing is both an art and a science,” said Lori Huber, program director.  “Everything we teach and learn is based on caring.”

The Portage Lakes Career Center W. Howard Nicol School of Practical Nursing congratulates the Graduates of Class #68: Front row, l-r:  Chelsey Makowski, Stephanie Bates, Ashli Royer, Vanessa Malinowski, Courtney Knight, Danielle Smith, Karen Difloure, Kylie Hanni, Brayton Mims, Melissa Keele.  Back row, l-r:  Daniel Carter, Khrystle Callihan, Hedy Zender, Lacy King, Macie Dann, Kaitlin Rogerson, Renada Trammell, Bruce Hardy, Deneka Walters, Tierra Pettis, Melanie Hilliard.

Those graduating with Academic Honors include:  Stephanie Bates, Melissa Keele, and Kaitlin Rogerson.  The following students were awarded a $1,000 Powers Scholarship:  Stephanie Bates, Karen Difloure, Bruce Hardy, Melissa Keele, Chelsey Makowski, Brayton Mims, Ashli Royer.

Additionally, Krystle Callahan, Lacy King, and Kaitlin Rogerson were presented with an award for exemplary attendance.

For more information on the practical nursing program or any of the programs offered at Portage Lakes Career Center, call 330-896-8200, or visit us online at

Finding A Place

Each year, PLCC works with local employers to provide our students with valuable career placement and internship possibilities.  In the 2016-2017 school year, the Placement Office at PLCC was able to assist over 40% of the senior class in some kind of placement, internship, or clinical experience and, upon graduation, 20% of the senior class were employed through the Placement Office in their chosen fields in full-time positions.

The Placement Office has already started the process of placing students to learn and earn during the 2017-2018 school year.  At publication, 23 students from various labs had already met the strict academic, attendance, and behavior requirements to qualify for and begin their placement experiences.

As PLCC continues to teach and mold the workforce of tomorrow with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in careers and in future educational pursuits, we welcome new and returning employers with placement opportunities.  If you are interested in finding out how a placement opportunity might work for you in your organization, please contact Lisa Tripney, Director of Career Technical Education, at

  • Senior Building Trades student, working hard at River Reach Construction.

  • Senior Welding student hard at work at East Manufacturing.

  • Senior Engineering Technology student working tire molds for Quality Mold Inc.

  • Dakota, working in his role as a burner at Paladin Heavy Attachments.

  • Building Trades senior using his skills to safely operate heavy machinery.

  • Using his HVAC skills on his job at The K Company.