Beyond the Classroom

Prepared for the Real World of Work

CME’s program has been designed to replicate the real work world of modern manufacturing. Our students attend rigorous academic courses and also participate in valuable experiential learning that takes place outside of the classroom. Coursework completed on the CME’s manufacturing floor and programs like co-ops and internships help prepare students for successful careers.


For students, a co-op experience provides a foundation for career planning. For the employer, it provides the opportunity to preview potential employees and instill the corporation’s culture and values.

CME’s co-op experience is defined as:

  • A two-to-three semester program for the student, usually with the same employer but not always
  • Resulting in a five-year degree program
  • Full-time, paid position

CME leadership works with industry to make co-op and internship opportunities available to our students and participation is expected.


The internship experience is a single-semester program usually completed over the summer term, commonly a one-time work assignment (10-12 weeks) that does not interfere with college classes.

CME leadership works with industry to make internship and co-op opportunities available to our students and participation is expected.

Experiential Learning

All CME students participate in experiential learning courses which are held on-site at manufacturing facilities. Working with industry partners, the CME’s instructional team identifies course projects beneficial to the manufacturer that also relate to students’ coursework.

During the course, students spend time in the classroom and on the factory floor working in teams to complete the project. On the final day, students formally present their findings to plant management. CME has found this course benefits both our students and our industry partners.

Experiential learning courses have been held at ADP Products, ABB, Nissan, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Borg Warner, Viking Range, Blue Delta Jeans, GE Aviation and more.

Manufacturing Floor

James G. Vaughan Factory Floor

This 12,000-square-foot manufacturing floor is meant to replicate the world of modern manufacturing. This experiential learning environment teaches the importance of safety in the industrial workplace, the processes of modern manufacturing, and how to turn their ideas into tangible products.

This space includes more than 70 pieces of manufacturing machinery:

  • Water jet cutting technology
  • CNC mills
  • Welding stations
  • Commercial 3D printers
  • Manual metal working machines
  • Wire EDM machines
  • Paint booth
  • Powder coating booth
  • …and more

Maker Space

Capt. Max R. Miller Maker Space

This is a place where a student’s manufacturing curiosity can extend beyond the manufacturing floor. The Maker Space is home to a variety of technology which provide students with an innovative, hands-on space to develop their manufacturing knowledge. The space includes:

  • 3D printers
  • Milwaukee tools
  • Engraving laser
  • 3D scanning


Built for Student Success

The college experience at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence doesn’t happen just in the classroom. Students in the CME can take advantage of numerous opportunities to pursue new interests, favorite activities and build student and professional relationships.

We have a devoted student body within the CME, 24-hour access to CME study spaces, and an open-door policy with faculty and staff. The CME is built for student success.

Pursue Your Interests

CME students can pursue their interests by participating in various CME student organizations.

Student Advisory Board

The SAB serves as the student governance organization within the CME. Comprised of 16-20 CME students, the SAB assists in student events, academics, and professional development opportunities.

Rocket Rebels

The Rocket Rebels were established in 2016 as an organization for students interested in the aerospace industry. Each year the Rocket Rebels participate in international competitions and manufacture their competition rockets here in the CME. This organization is open to any Ole Miss student. If you would like more information, please contact Darin Van Pelt at

Collegiate Automotive Manufacturing Society (CAMS)

CAMS serves as a professional development organization for students interested in careers in the Automotive Industry. This organization is open to any Ole Miss student. For more information, contact Tyler Biggs