Instructor Stories: Brad Dixon on the Drafting and Design Program
Brad Dixon is the Drafting and Design Instructor at the Clearfield County Career & Technology Center (CCCTC). At the end of this hands-on, two-year program, Drafting and Design students will have earned 1,250 hours of training that includes 10 hours of OSHA 10, Autodesk certifications in AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, Inventor or Fusion 360.
Mr. Dixon has loved building things since he was young. When he was 11, Mr. Dixon, along with some friends, built a five-story tree cabin complete with functioning zip line and draw bridge. Since then, Mr. Dixon knew that was the direction he wanted to pursue, taking drafting electives in high school and starting out in Architectural Engineering in college. He also took a second major, Building Environmental Systems. After college, Mr. Dixon started a position with a consulting engineering firm, designing mechanical and electrical systems. Mr. Dixon uses this time in his life to explain to students that there were times he would work 30 hours straight to get a project out the door, feeling completely overwhelmed and doubting his ability. However, he met the struggles, completed the project, and came out highly skilled and confident. This is the concept he wants to teach his students.
When a Drafting and Design position became available at the CCCTC, Mr. Dixon decided to take the opportunity to share his inspirations he had while learning as a student. He has actively worked on developing his curriculum the past twenty years and uses the unique challenges he was presented with throughout his employment in the field, applying that to real-world applications. Mr. Dixon worked on pathways between curriculum and post-secondary education, so students with aspirations of college could make that transition effortlessly and with advanced placement. Mr. Dixon says, “Through the process of developing curriculum, I have learned the most important thing is to never become complacent. We live in an ever-changing world and that needs to be reflected in not only what we teach, but how we teach it as well.”
There are many projects the students work on during their two years in the program. Students learn to design and draft their own house using AutoCAD and Revit Architecture; design projects; create designs using Autodesk Inventor and Fusion 360; learn building codes; and how drafting connects to construction, manufacturing and graphic design.
CCCTC Drafting and Design graduates have achieved many different careers from the program, such as architects, engineers, designers, drafters, building sales specialists, graphic and truss designers.