CAD School Options in the Charlotte, NC, Area
Students living in the Charlotte area can learn CAD through certificate, diploma or degree programs. Online AutoCAD courses are also available. This article looks at three schools, none more than 50 minutes from downtown Charlotte, and the programs they offer. A table of information is also included so prospective students can see how the schools compare in areas such as tuition, size and acceptance rates.
- Cleveland Community College provides certificate, diploma and associate programs that include CAD instruction. This school is about 40 miles from downtown Charlotte.
- Students at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, approximately 36 miles from downtown, can choose a mechanical drafting certificate or diploma program to learn CAD.
- Around 24 miles from Charlotte's center, York Technical College offers both diploma and associate degree programs in engineering graphics that provide CAD training.
Comparison of Schools
The following table shows important aspects that should be considered when choosing a school for CAD training.
|Cleveland Community College||Rowan-Cabarrus Community College||York Technical College|
|School Type||2-year, public||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||2,700*||5,819*||4,538*|
|Campus Setting||Fringe town||Midsize suburb||Small city|
|Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$2,526 for in-state students; $8,670 for out-of-state students*||$2,626 for in-state students; $8,770 for out-of-state students*||$4,457 for in-district students; $4,817 for in-state students; $9,641 for out-of-state students*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||77%*||72%*||95%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||N/A - Open admissions*||N/A - Open admissions*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||66% for full-time students; 34% for part-time students*||56% for full-time students; 30% for part-time students*||54% for full-time students; 32% for part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2014)||21%*||18%*||13%*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator
Cleveland Community College
Cleveland Community College is located 40 miles west of downtown Charlotte. Students can choose to learn CAD through a certificate, diploma or degree program.
Computer-Aided Drafting Certificate
Students earn 15 credits in five courses to receive this certificate. The curriculum consists of three CAD and two solid modeling courses. Students who complete this program have the option of applying the credits earned to the drafting diploma or degree programs at Cleveland Community College.
Mechanical Drafting Certificate
This program requires students to complete 12 credits in five courses. The curriculum covers technical drafting, CAD and an introductory course in CAD/computer-aided manufacturing. The credits earned in this certificate program can be applied to the diploma and associate degree programs in mechanical drafting at this school.
Mechanical Drafting Technology Diploma
Students in this diploma program complete 38 credits. The curriculum teaches students how to follow current standards when producing technically correct drawings as they take classes in CAD, technical drafting, college math and computers. This program can be completed in one year.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
The mechanical drafting programs at this school are offered by the Business, Engineering Technologies and Public Services Department. Other programs offered by this department include mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and computer-integrated machining technology.
Mechanical Drafting Technology Certificate
This diploma program requires the completion of 15 credits and provides students with a basic understanding of CAD design and technology. Topics covered include geometric dimension and tolerance, technical drafting, machine processes and computers. Students also learn about computer solid modeling.
York Technical College
York Technical College offers an engineering graphics diploma and an associate program that include CAD in the curriculum.
Diploma in Applied Science in Engineering Graphics
This program offers instruction on microcomputer applications, engineering materials and manufacturing processes. The graphics courses cover civil and architectural drawing, advanced CAD and engineering graphics.
Associate in Applied Science in Engineering Graphics Technology
The general education curriculum includes courses on college algebra, technical communications and physics. Students also take the same graphics courses taught in the diploma program in addition to statics and strength of materials.