Computer Aided Design & Drafting: Frequently Asked Questions
What CADD software programs are taught at PCC?
There are numerous computer programs used by the Computer Aided Design and Drafting department. The software programs include:
- AutoCAD Release 2012
- Autodesk Inventor 2012
- SolidWorks 2011-12
What skills do I need in order to take these classes?
Depending on the class you choose, there may be entry level prerequisites. For Introductory AutoCAD, there are no prerequisites. For classes such as Inventor Advanced and SolidWorks Advanced, there are a few classes you may be required to take. In some cases, work related experience may be substituted for the required prerequisite. Consultation with the appropriate PCC staff member is advised.
Before taking any CADD class, you should be proficient in basic computer operations. Microsoft Windows navigational skills are extremely helpful when using the various CADD software provided at PCC.
What topics are covered in these classes?
Each class contains a number of unique topics and concepts. For Introductory AutoCAD, the student will explore content related to menu structure, entity creation and modification, layering concepts, hatching objects, orthographic layout, dimensioning and text, and plotting. For classes such as Autodesk Inventor and Beginning SolidWorks, the student will be involved in parametric solid modeling, object constraints, associated orthographic views, assemblies, surfacing, and bills of materials. Consultation with the appropriate PCC staff member is advised.
What books and supplies will I need?
Before arriving for the first class session, you must have a CD-RW disk, or one USB Memory Drive. A pencil and paper may be useful for taking notes.
Textbooks are often required for the successful completion of the class. The class instructor will advise you as to which text(s) are needed. Some textbooks cover more than one level of CADD instruction. Many of the textbooks are available at the PCC Sylvania campus bookstore, or can be found online at specific websites such as Amazon.com. Educational software may also be available at student pricing, or available as free downloads from websites such as Autodesk.com or Solidworks.com
How many hours will I be in class?
Students are typically in class for four hours per week (per class), one day a week. Classes may be held during the afternoons or evenings. Classroom activities normally consist of lecture, "open lab time", demonstrations, and questions & answers.
Continuing Educational Unit CADD classes are also conducted through the PCC CADD Department. These CEU classes are usually structured for one week of instruction, where the student is in class every evening for the entire week, Monday through Thursday. Weekend CEU classes may also be available.
Do you have open lab times available to complete assignments outside of class?
There are numerous classroom spaces available to students. Open lab times are usually held every day of the week, including weekends. Consultation with the instructor, or checking the posted open lab schedule placed near the classroom door is advised. An open lab schedule may also be found at Sylvania, ST-208.
Portland Community College computer labs are intended for students currently enrolled in these classes, and may not be utilized for "outside" job-related projects or contractual work.
Are there Advanced CADD courses?
Currently, there are Advanced levels for AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Inventor. Solid Modeling courses are offered in AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Inventor. Customization and programming classes are offered for AutoCAD 2012.
What is the basic difference between PCC courses and the authorized training centers?
PCC CADD classes typically offer more hours of instruction and open lab opportunities. In addition, PCC classes span a greater length of time, which provides a more complete comprehension of the software package and its complex functionality.
Will I receive a certificate for the CADD classes I take?
The CADD classes you take at Portland Community College are usually treated as part of a one-year certificate.
These classes may also be taken individually to upgrade your job skills. In certain instances, the class instructor may be asked to write a letter of recommendation for the student.
CADD Classes at Portland Community College may be taken on a Graded basis, Pass / No Pass, or as an Audit. Consultation with the instructor is advisable in reference to student evaluation.
Will I be employable upon completion of the class?
This depends greatly on the skills acquired in the educational process. Most prospective employers look for a combination of multiple CADD classes taken, enrollment or completion of a degree program, and practical work experience. Job seeking students may find assistance through the CADD department, or through the PCC Job Placement office.
What is the cost for the course?
See the current PCC tuition on the tuition website. Most CADD classes are 3 credits - you can calculate the cost of each course using the College Cost Calculator. There are additional technology, laboratory, and student activity fees which total approximately $37 - $50 per class. Textbooks for these classes range from $75 to $150. CADD software is also available (student version) at various prices, or as free downloads from websites such as Autodesk.com or Solidworks.com
Continuing Educational Unit CADD classes are also available through the PCC CADD Department, and are typically assessed a fee of $350-$450. College tuition and other miscellaneous charges normally do not apply to CEU offerings.
Registration for CADD classes is easy! Most students register by telephone or by logging into MyPCC.
If you have any further questions, contact the Engineering and Drafting Technology office at (971) 722-4163, or at (971) 722-4476.