Institutional Closing

alert icon Gateway Community & Technical College campuses and offices will be closed for winter break Saturday, December 16, 2017, through Monday, January 1, 2018. The college will reopen for normal operations Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at 7 a.m. Have a wonderful holiday and a great new year! 
enhanced operator

Enhanced Operator

Our Enhanced Operator program is a 16-week training program designed by local employers to satisfy the skillset needed to fill in-demand machine operator positions at their companies.

This program consists of 14 credit hours of coursework. When you're finished with the program, you will have the Enhanced Operator Certificate and will have the option of obtaining Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification. Also, if you are interested, our Enhanced Operator Certificate will count towards the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Associate in Applied Science program.

For more information about the program, contact Paula Barnes.

What is an Enhanced Operator and What do they do?

An Enhanced Operator is a highly qualified Advanced Manufacturing employee with broad-based knowledge and the ability to successfully trouble-shoot and cure problems with systems and processes beyond the scope of typical “machine operators.”

Enhanced Operators are typically responsible for:

  • Operating Machinery
  • Setup & Changeovers
  • Troubleshooting
  • Monitoring Quality
  • Material Utilization
  • Preventive Maintenance 

Program Benefits

  • Online learning that works into your schedule
  • Convenient lab schedule options
  • Complete in about half the time and half the cost of a typical college program
  • Hands-on learning
  • Portions of the curriculum are self-paced
  • Opportunities to test out of modules based on knowledge and experience
  • Networking with local employers
  • Guaranteed interviews with select industry partners 


The program is divided into eight modules:

  1. Workplace Principles
  2. Safety
  3. Applied Mathematics
  4. Hand & Power Tools
  5. Lean Manufacturing
  6. Metrology & Control Charts
  7. Quality Management System
  8. Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.

Each of the eight modules has specified outcomes that the student will need to meet in order to pass that module. Curriculum delivery is structured around these outcomes, not courses. Students are not enrolled in individual classes, but will instead earn college credit hours upon demonstration of competency in each module. Up to 14 college credit hours will be awarded only after completion of the full program.

Find the Enhanced Operator Curriculum summary here.

Program Delivery

The Enhanced Operator program is hybrid program, combining online learning with in-person lab sessions. Students attend 10 lab sessions during the program. During this in-person time students complete hands-on activities and assessments.

The lab time options are:  Tuesdays from 3 - 7 p.m. or Wednesdays from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Outside of the 10 lab sessions, the program is entirely online.

Choose Your Path

After successful completion of the Enhanced Operator program, you will:

  • Earn an Enhanced Operator Certificate, a locally recognized industry certificate
  • Earn up to 14 hours of college credit
    • These credit hours can be applied toward the Associate in Applied Science degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Electrical Technology, or Industrial Maintenance Technology
  • Be prepared to sit for the Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification exam (additional cost)

Founding Industry Partners

  • Armor USA 

  • Bosch Automotive Steering

  • Eagle Manufacturing

  • Mazak

  • Mubea 

  • Safran Landing Systems

  • Zotefoams 

  • Zumbiel Packaging 

Program Cost

Total course $2,300

Part 1 $1,200

Part 2 $1,200

 No additional textbook cost

 $195 Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification Exam (optional)

 Some employers offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement