Chris Leon, LCCC Lab Supervisor-Automation, in the LCCC Smart Industrial Automation Lab

A new applied bachelor’s degree from Lorain County Community College is preparing students to fill a critical need in the local economy.

Students may enroll this fall semester in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Smart Industrial Automated Systems Engineering Technology program. This innovative program is the second applied bachelor’s degree to be delivered by LCCC. The first one is in microelectronic manufacturing.

LCCC developed the Smart Industrial Automated Systems Engineering Technology applied bachelor’s degree program with input from local employers and in response to the rapid development of disruptive technologies that are shaping advanced manufacturing in Northeast Ohio.  The applied bachelor’s degree program stacks easily with LCCC’s associate of applied science in automation engineering technology degree, allowing students to continue seamlessly from a two-year degree to a four-year degree.

“We are thrilled to offer an affordable applied bachelor’s degree in this important manufacturing field,” LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., said. “Graduates of this program will have the skills and training necessary to fill talent gaps right here in Northeast Ohio.”

The smart manufacturing degree area represents a multidisciplinary engineering field concerned with the design, modeling, analysis and control of predominantly computer-based automated systems or processes, often referred to as smart manufacturing. Automated systems typically contain a mixture of sensors, equipment, devices, software, hardware and humans and requires knowledge of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software programming, networking, security, and human factors engineering. The program meets the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology requirements and trains students for job roles such as automation engineer, controls engineer, systems engineer and more.

Those positions, which cut across multiple industry sectors, are in high demand now with anticipated growth in the coming years. In 2020, over 21,000 individuals were employed in Northeast Ohio within similar positions and 72% of occupations in Northeast Ohio related to Smart Manufacturing and Automation require a bachelor’s degree as typical entry-level education. Today, labor market data company Emsi forecasts 8,750 regional openings in these occupations in the next five years.

To help students prepare even further for the workforce, earn and learn opportunities are embedded into the curriculum of the applied bachelor’s degree in smart manufacturing. These paid work experience will help offset the already low cost to complete the program.

The new applied bachelor’s degree adds to the multitude of affordable degrees delivered through LCCC’s University Partnership. Now delivering more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs from 15 Ohio colleges and universities – plus LCCC – the University Partnership saves students an average of $74,000 on the cost of their degree. By making bachelor’s and master’s degree more affordable and accessible, the LCCC University Partnership has helped to increase bachelor’s degree attainment in Lorain County by 77% since 2000.

Those interested in learning more about the new applied bachelor’s degree in smart manufacturing may attend an information session at 1 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. on August 3.

To learn more or register for an information session, visit

Those interested in learning more about the applied bachelor’s degree in microelectronic manufacturing may attend an information session at 3:30 p.m., August 5. To learn more or register for the microelectronic manufacturing information session, visit

Fall semester begins on August 22.