LENEXA, KANSAS, U.S. — The first students in a new milling technician specialization certificate at Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kansas, U.S. began studies in August that include six flour milling courses developed by IAOM and 15 credit hours of Cowley Mechatronics classes.

Demand for entry-level, skilled flour milling technicians continues to rise and IAOM is partnering with the vocational campus to meet that need. Students entered their first IAOM course Nov. 9, a fully-online classroom delivered by Cowley. The milling classes are delivered via distance learning and Dr. Jeff Gwirtz, JAG Services and IAOM technical advisor, is the instructor.

“Cowley College is the perfect partner for this training,” stated Melinda Farris, IAOM executive vice-president. “Their successful Mechatronics (manufacturing technology) Program prepares students for the industrial environment and, by combining specific Mechatronics courses more-tailored to the flour milling facility and six courses developed by IAOM industry professionals, the end result is a comprehensive training effort.”

The students are using a new Fundamentals of Flour Milling textbook, which was published by IAOM.

Curriculum developed for online courses offered via Cowley’s distance learning program must meet rigorous delivery benchmarks prior to being offered to students. The campus adheres to a nationally-recognized delivery rubric established by Quality Matters. Those quality assurance processes are designed to certify the design of online and blended courses.

The unique certificate of completion program prepares candidates to work in flour mills as an associate working in many areas of the modern mill. The milling classes are taught via narrated PowerPoint presentations by professionals from IAOM, while college faculty teach the ancillary courses required in the industry. At the conclusion of the courses, candidates will complete a 250-hour internship at a commercial flour mill.

Cowley courses in the one-year program include technical mechatronics, industrial electricity, electromechanical devices, and pneumatics; while IAOM courses strengthen flour milling knowledge with an overview course, cleaning and conditioning, two levels of wheat flour milling offerings, sanitation and mill process control, and quality assessment and flour additives.