In New Hampshire, there are just a few public schools that offer training in computer-aided design (CAD). Program offerings include certificates and associate's degrees in interior and mechanical design, architectural technology and construction. Students spend much of their learning time in computer labs, navigating and creating with the software. Program requirements may include the development of a portfolio, an internship, and/or a design project. Program length can vary from short, one-semester certificates to two year programs. Below are brief overviews of the available training options, as well as a table comparing program types, tuition costs and school settings.
Manchester Community College
Located in Manchester, this comprehensive community college serves approximately 2,700 students each year and offers more than 50 certificate and associate's degree programs. These include a 16-credit certificate program in CAD that can help students acquire the technical skills they need to work in a variety of drafting positions, including those associated with architecture, electronics and engineering. Through beginning, intermediate and advanced courses, participants learn how to create 2-D and 3-D architectural and mechanical drawings using AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor software. They also complete a rapid prototyping design project and learn how to work with solid and parametric design modeling techniques.
Through the 23-credit certificate and the 67-credit degree programs in interior design, students learn how to create construction drawings using AutoCAD software. Training is available through the courses in technical drawing, and additional program requirements include completion of a professional portfolio and an internship.
Nashua Community College
This Nashua-based community college provides academic services to over 2,000 students annually in southern New Hampshire. Unique to the school is a Learning Commons that provides access to computers and homework assistance.
The 67-credit associate's program in mechanical design combines classroom studies with lab experiences that train participants in all aspects of the design process, from concept to final schematic. It includes three courses in computer-aided design, in which students learn how to create 3-D models in accordance with specific criteria. They also find out how to use CAD models to analyze different types of manufacturing processes.
Additional degree requirements include a capstone project and courses in green and traditional manufacturing, machine technology, electronics and fluid power design.
NHTI, Concord's Community College
This Concord community college was originally established in 1965 as the New Hampshire Technical Institute and enrolls approximately 4,568 students each year. In addition to an 18-credit certificate in computer-aided design, the college also provides CAD training through its architectural and mechanical technology programs, as well as the landscape and environmental design curriculum.
The part-time certificate program is intended for students who would like to pursue careers as architectural CAD operators and is offered exclusively at night. Using AutoCAD software, students create 2D and 3D drawings and make model objects for class presentations. Training in the use of Microstation V8 and Revit Architecture is also provided.
The 2-year degree program in mechanical engineering technology is accredited by the ETAC Commission of ABET (Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). Training in CAD is available through the courses in engineering design and principles, and students use current industry software to document their work for oral and written presentations. Although not required for the degree, the college also offers three design graphics courses, through which students can obtain hands-on experience in computer-aided drawing and design (CADD).
The program in architectural engineering technology is also accredited by the ETAC of ABET, and students can pursue either an architectural or a civil engineering focus. All first-year students receive training in CAD through the architectural drawing class and the design studio. Core requirements also include a course in Revit Architecture, and students in the engineering program learn how to use civil design software to develop sites and subdivisions, create maps and plan highways.
Unique to the college is a 64 to 66-credit landscape and environmental design program that includes one course in 2-D AutoCAD and culminates in a senior internship or a project.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||CAD Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Manchester Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| CAD Certificate,
Interior Design Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design
| $6,880 in-state;
|Nashua Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Science in Mechanical Design Technology|| $6,912 in-state;
|NHTI - Concord's Community College||2-year, public; fringe town|| Computer-Aided Design Certificate (architecture concentration),
Associate in Science in Architectural Engineering Technology,
Associate in Science in Landscape and Environmental Design,
Associate in Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology
| $7,104 in-state;
Source: *NCES College Navigator.