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Calhoun Community College Dual Enrollment Student Receives Gold Medal at National SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Competition

July 30, 2019

Andrew McCoy, Calhoun Community College Technologies student, received a gold medal in architectural drafting at the 2019 National SkillsUSA Leadership Conference and Skills Championships competition, which was held in Louisville, KY on June 24-28, 2019.

As a high school student at Life Christian Academy, McCoy decided to enroll at Calhoun as a dual enrollment student in the fall of 2016. His goal was to take a few math and science courses that would transfer to The University of Alabama in Huntsville where he planned to obtain an accounting degree. “In order for me to do that, I would have to join the Workforce Scholarship Program and select a Technology concentration. My mother then suggested architectural drafting as she thought that might be a fun concentration to focus on while I took the math and science courses I needed, so I agreed.” commented Andrew McCoy, Calhoun Technologies Student. “I began taking Basic Fundamental Drafting Classes and Computer Aided Design (CAD) concept during the fall 2016 semester,” added McCoy.

“After the second semester at Calhoun, Andrew became more intrigued with design, and after taking his first architectural design course, I then knew he had a natural talent for design,” commented Nina Bullock, Calhoun’s Design Drafting Instructor. “About half way through his second semester, I asked Andrew if he had any career goals, and he mentioned transferring to UAH and obtaining his accounting degree. Although quite surprised about the degree choice due to his design talents, I suggested he consider a short certificate in architectural drafting while he took his math and science courses at Calhoun and possibly competing at the upcoming SkillsUSA competition,” added Bullock.

By the end of the spring semester, Andrew changed his focus and began working toward obtaining a Design Drafting short certificate.

In May of 2018, Andrew graduated with his diploma from Life Christian Academy along with an Architectural Drafting Certificate and a Basic Technical Drafting Certificate from Calhoun Community College.

Excited to compete among 6,400 competitors in 103 various hands-on skill and leadership contests, Andrew entered the architectural drafting contest. In this competition, contestants are required to utilize their design drafting skills to solve an architectural problem. The problem included a written test, a hand sketch, and drawings that were either computer-generated or board drafted. For those contestants that received a board drafting, they were expected to bring all of the necessary equipment. The contest tested the participants’ problem-solving abilities and CAD skills. “It was challenging getting to this point, but I loved the interaction with the other students and the support from the instructors,” McCoy said.

About SkillsUSA

The SkillsUSA Championships is the nation’s largest workforce development event for middle-school, high school and college/post-secondary students enrolled in public career and technical education programs. SkillsUSA hosts the annual event at an estimated cost of more than $36 million. It is considered the largest skill competition in the world and the single largest day of industry volunteerism in America. SkillsUSA represents 130 different occupational areas and adds contests to the SkillsUSA Championships each year to meet the demands of new or expanding careers. Begun in 1967, the SkillsUSA Championships features more than 6,400 competitors in 103 hands-on skill and leadership contests. Each contestant is a state gold medalist.