Going from Student to Faculty to Transform Manufacturing Education

“The challenges I encountered were probably the same as many other adult students: balancing work, school, and home life. I worked full-time, went to RVC part-time, and raised three children. It was difficult, but going part-time allowed flexibility in my life,” said RVC alumni Stan McCord.


Stan McCord

Stan McCord, former RVC faculty member and alumnus

Stan chose to attend RVC because it was close to home and offered classes in manufacturing. He worked full-time at a local manufacturing company and wanted to learn more about machining and industry. His company offered reimbursement for classes, so he took the opportunity to learn about different manufacturing processes and technology as a part-time student.

Because he developed a great relationship with the faculty, he obtained a full-time position in the Woodard Technology Center on the main campus. He was given an opportunity to develop classes in machining using college equipment.

Beginning in 1989, they built a 'lights out' factory in the technology center basement. The factory was completely automated and run by computers. A robot fed materials to the machines and moved the workpieces to various stations. These classes were offered through RVC Continuing Education and gave students the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed to obtain good jobs in many area companies. It was one of the first automated factories in the area.

“I enjoyed the small class sizes at RVC and the personal relationship with the faculty. I am still friends with many of the faculty I learned from and later worked with,” explained Stan.

With a tenure spanning 28 years at RVC, Stan cherishes the memories of teaching and collaborating with peers and students alike. His enduring commitment to education and mentorship underscores the transformative impact of institutions like RVC in shaping the futures of individuals and communities alike.

“I met Stan in the late 90s and worked with him while he finished his career at RVC. Stan was organized and neat. He wanted everyone else using the labs to maintain that same level of order and standardization,” said RVC Associate Professor Tom Clark. “I traveled with Stan to Southern California around 2004 for business to the Haas facility. We also visited his old LA neighborhood, and he showed me the school he attended as a kid. He was proud of his roots and enjoyed the driving tour we took through the old neighborhoods of LA. I was so sad when Stan retired, and I miss having him as a colleague, but I consider him a lifelong friend, mentor, and role model.”

For those considering RVC, Stan suggests seeking guidance from faculty in your desired field. Their advice on class scheduling and options is invaluable. RVC offers diverse study opportunities, preparing students for four-year degrees or allowing personalized learning. Whether pursuing a degree or taking classes for fun, RVC accommodates various educational paths.

"RVC gave me the education needed to pursue a career at the college as an instructor in the manufacturing field. It also gave me opportunities to enjoy many hours of culture through music, theater, and film. It’s the best institution in Northern Illinois."