Dylan Larsen had intensions of taking one year of classes at North Central Kansas Technical College in Hays after high school, earn his certificate in residential electricity and get to work.
The instructors in the electrical technology program on the Hays campus suggested Larsen come back for a second year of instruction. Larsen listened, and is he glad he did.
Larsen was one of eight graduates receiving associate’s degrees in electrical technology at Saturday’s commencement ceremonies at Fort Hays State University’s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
Come Monday morning, he will be back at work at his job with Interstates Construction in Pryor, Okla.
Larsen had started working in March for Interstates — an electrical company headquartered in Sioux Center, Iowa — as part of an internship program at NCK Tech. Two weeks into Larsen’s internship, Interstate offered him a full-time job after he graduated.
Larsen first learned about NCK Tech’s electrical program when he visited the campus on a career fair his senior year in high school at Dighton in 2012-13.
“I really liked the way the teachers did things, so I decided I wanted to go here,” Larsen said. “My original plan was one year, but after the first year, I talked to my instructors and they thought I could learn a lot more in the second-year program.”
“I’m really glad I did. I got a pretty good job out of it.”
Getting out on the job after one or two years of instruction is the main goal of NCK Tech, whose brand is “Hands On Skills. High Tech Careers.”
“We definitely like them to get out and get internships,” said Keith Bunger, one of the team teachers in the electrical program along with Allan Hill.
Larsen said he knew after working on the carpentry program’s house his first year at NCK Tech that he would like to learn more about commercial electricity.
“You get to work on PLCs a lot with commercial,” Larsen said in reference to a Programmable Logic Controller. “I like the challenges with (commercial) a lot better than residential.”
Nearly 140 graduates received either one-year certificates or two-year associate degrees Saturday for the college that is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Hays.
The school began in 1964 in Beloit, and a satellite program was started in Hays 10 years later.