Making Strides in Mechanical Design

Alec Harrison, a Moraine Park Mechanical Design Technology student, is taking big strides in his career after graduating from Campbellsport High School in 2022.

With a strong interest in mechanical design since middle school, Harrison decided to take advantage of his high school’s dual credit program to get a head start on his college education. Through the program, he earned 8 credits and a SolidWorks professional certification before graduating. 

SolidWorks is an industry-leading Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Engineering software. 

“I started working with the SolidWorks program back in middle school and was really interested in it,” Harrison said. “I kept working at it and was certified with a professional exam by the time I was 16.” 

Harrison especially enjoyed taking the Computer-Aided Manufacturing course at Moraine Park’s West Bend campus. Part of this course was contracted; meaning it was taught by a Moraine Park instructor. 

“I really enjoyed getting out of the classroom to do more hands-on work,” said Harrison. “My MPTC instructor, Mr. Jim Hokenson, is really skilled on the machines, and it was inspiring to watch. It made me realize how good I could get if I put that much time and effort into it.” 

Harrison enrolled in Moraine Park’s Mechanical Design Technology program and became an official student in August 2022. 

“My dual credit experience took time out of the classes that I have to take now that I’m a Moraine Park student,” Harrison said. “The overall experience also made the transition from high school to college a lot easier for me since I was already familiar with the school and instructors.” 

Harrison will graduate with his associate degree in 2024. In the future, He hopes to start his own business doing custom contract orders for bigger companies that outsource. He is already on order for his first machine. 

Outside of classes, Harrison stays busy working 40 hours a week as a farmer. He is also part of Moraine Park’s Promise Program–an opportunity for debt-free tuition. As part of the program requirements, Harrison spends time volunteering at his church. 

Written by Emilie Wilson