Career Education Review recognizes StrataTech Education Group’s Mary Kelly, Alex DeClair, and Chris Schuler for their commitment to innovation in education
PHOENIX, AZ — Career Education Review, a publication of Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU), named the developers of OcuWeld virtual reality training to their list of Top 20 People Changing Career Education. Mary Kelly, President & CEO of StrataTech Education Group, Alex DeClair, Client Solutions Business Manager for The Refrigeration School, Inc. and Chris Schuler, Regional Director of Training and Student Services for Tulsa Welding School, were named to the annual list honoring those who are making an impact and innovating career education.
“StrataTech Education Group is honored to be named among those making an impact in career education for the innovation and development of OcuWeld,” said Mary Kelly. “We developed OcuWeld to address the need for equity and inclusion in education and used the power of virtual reality to provide training to underserved populations. With OcuWeld, we can reach students where they are without requiring access to the Internet or WIFI, thereby eliminating technological and geographical barriers to education. Additionally, the OcuWeld VR platform fosters heightened student engagement through gamification. By integrating the latest technology in technical education, we can help our students to be better prepared for current and future workforce demands.”
Launched in December 2021, OcuWeld is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality training designed from the ground up by expert welding instructors for welding students. Using Oculus Quest 2 technology, the program allows students to learn the time-consuming and highly physical tasks of prepping, grinding, and joining materials in a virtual environment that mimics classroom lab training.
Building on StrataTech’ s mission to provide equity in access to education in remote or underserved areas, OcuWeld’s virtual environment provides students the academic benefits of accessibility, autonomy and amplification while eliminating access, safety, and cost concerns. Students can access OcuWeld anytime, anywhere without Wi-Fi. OcuWeld VR training empowers students with the autonomy to practice and build skills across a variety of welding processes and rely heavily on muscle memory to gain proficiency. Additionally, OcuWeld engages students with the ideal blend of gamification and education. Students enjoy learning in a fun and highly interactive and dynamic environment that mimics real-world applications.
“Increasing access to education and finding new ways to reach students is vital to the future of career education,” said CECU’s President and CEO, Dr. Jason Altmire. “We applaud StrataTech Education Group and the OcuWeld team for their achievement and innovation that is sure to have a positive impact on our industry.”
Virtual reality welding training has been demonstrated to provide strong educational benefits, but prohibitively costly to use at scale, especially for employers looking to train staff in a very specific skill. OcuWeld is designed to work natively with the Oculus Quest 2, reducing the cost of delivering high quality VR weld training more than 100-fold on a per-student basis.
For more information on OcuWeld, visit stratatech.com/ocuweld.
About StrataTech Education Group
StrataTech Education Group focuses on the education, growth and development of specialized career education schools, particularly skilled-trade programs designed to address the nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Holding an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, StrataTech Education Group’s portfolio includes The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) (Phoenix, AZ), Tulsa Welding School (TWS) (Tulsa, OK), Tulsa Welding School Jacksonville (FL) , and Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center (Houston, TX). For more information, visit stratatech.com.
About The Refrigeration School, Inc.
The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) was founded in Phoenix in 1965 and has been training students for sustainable HVAC careers for more than 60 years. Offering hands-on education with a strong emphasis on the highly sought-after electrical skills, diagnostic and mechanical technology proficiency employers seek, RSI’s programs include Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating Technologies, Electro-Mechanical Technologies (HVAC-R), Mechanical Maintenance Engineering, and an online solar certification training. RSI is an ACCSC accredited school and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Post-Secondary Education. For more information, visit rsi.edu/about-rsi/regulatory-information/ or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
About Tulsa Welding School
Tulsa Welding School (TWS) was founded in 1949 in Tulsa, Okla. and has trained thousands of individuals to become entry-level professionals in the skilled trades for more than 70 years. Students learn hands-on, technical competencies and skills through labs, virtual reality and classrooms, with a curriculum designed to meet employers’ needs. TWS offers Welding, HVAC/Refrigeration and Electrical related programs. Upon program completion, TWS graduates are equipped to start entry-level careers in a variety of industries. TWSTC is an ACCSC accredited school and approved by TWC. For more information, visit www.tws.edu or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is the national association serving the proprietary higher education sector.