CCC construction students appreciate hands-on labs


CCC student Andrea Clayton works on building her own toolbox during a lab session in the Construction Technology Management shop on the Fourth Street campus.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Drills whir. Circular saws throw up dust. The instructor works to be heard over the noise.


“This helps you cut in a straight line with a circular saw,” he says, sawdust in his hair.


The Coconino Community College Construction Technology students are starting simple by building tool boxes, but by the end, they will build a 5-foot by 8-foot shed that will contain everything necessary for the building of a house.


Student Andrea Clayton loves building things with her hands.


"I always think about building stuff," she says during a recent Building Methods II laboratory session at the Fourth Street campus. "I didn't want to be stuck behind a desk all day, so this is what I landed on.”


Ken Myers, CCC Construction Technology Management faculty, says the students are spaced at appropriate social distances, according to health guidelines. They all wear the required face coverings. The construction classes are some of the few that are offered in a “hybrid” format for the Fall 2020 semester at CCC. The majority of courses at the college were adapted for either Zoom real-time videoconferencing or online.


“A lot of these students were in my Building Methods I class, and they couldn’t meet in the shop last semester after the COVID thing hit,” Myers says, adding that he chose to include some Building Methods I content in the Methods II class to give the students some hands-on experience.


Clayton says she appreciates being in the lab. Learning from demonstration videos is possible for her, but she likes getting her hands busy.


"It doesn't sink in the way it does when you do it with your own hands," she adds.


Student Shawn Mullaney says he is also grateful the class has a hands-on component and he even contacted Myers prior to the class starting to make sure it would happen.


“The hands-on and getting used to the tools is the real benefit of this program, “Mullaney says. “That’s how I learn.”


He’s been working for the City of Flagstaff for the last 17 years in the Facilities department, and there are often times when he and his colleagues are called on for construction knowledge.


“I’m here to get more experience and knowledge,” Mullaney says, adding that his goal is to get the Construction Technology certification.


Clayton says her youngest daughter recently graduated high school.


"I found myself with a little less responsibility and a lot more time on my hands," Clayton says. "So, I decided it was a good time to go back to school."


Her current plan is to finish her studies at CCC and then work on a bachelor's degree in Construction Management from Northern Arizona University. After that, she plans to put in a couple of years at a local construction company, and, with any luck, strike out with her own little construction business.


“I want to be able to build my own home,” she says and smiles.


To learn more about certificates and degrees available in the Construction Trades at CCC, visit Advisors are standing by to help students plan their Spring semester at CCC. Schedule an advising appointment by visiting



Monday, 28th September 2020 12:00 AM

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  • Monday, 28th September 2020 12:00 AM