Aaron Cleveland, instructor in the Instrumentation and Control Technology program at the Jackson County Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, has been selected as the 2020 Educator of the Year by ETA International, an internationally recognized certification association founded in 1978 by electronics professionals. Each year, the association recognizes the contributions of an outstanding educator dedicated to the highest standards of electronics excellence during its annual awards banquet. This year the banquet will be held on April 2 in Las Vegas.
“Aaron is a team player and has the ‘we can do’ attitude in everything,” said John Poelma, Technical Department chair. “He is constantly developing new laboratory exercises for our courses in the Instrumentation program that he shares with all of the other instructors. Aaron not only creates new laboratory exercises, but he also designs and builds new laboratory equipment for these exercises. Aaron’s drive for continuous improvement allows our department to raise the bar for our students and makes our students more prepared and marketable to enter the workforce.”
Cleveland has been working with ETA International over the past year to establish a certification exam for students in several programs at the Jackson County Campus. As one of the association’s test administrators, he was familiar with questions on their various exams and was able to customize certification exams for students in the Electronics Technology, Instrumentation and Control Technology, and Automation and Control Technology programs. The benefit for students is that they will leave the program with not only an associate degree, but also a nationally recognized credential.
Jordan Griffin, a current student in the I&C program, said that Cleveland is an outstanding instructor because he has experience working in the field and recognizes the kinds of problems they may encounter on the job. “He is very knowledgeable about what he is teaching and teaches us to troubleshoot problems we may face in an actual job,” he said. “He is also a very laid-back instructor who teaches you to be calm and analyze problems without getting overwhelmed.”
I&C program student Maurice Thomas agrees. “He really knows his stuff and has industry and military experience working in this field. I am happy to be a student in his class and able to benefit from his knowledge.”