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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

Precision Machining - Diploma

Career Area: Engineering, Manufacturing & Trades
Program: CNC Machine Tool
Campus(es): Winona

In the Minnesota State College Southeast CNC Machine Tool program, you'll learn the precision skills of the tool and die maker on state-of-the-art equipment.

The CNC (Computer Numeric Controlled) Machine Tool program at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona offers the training and education you'll need for a rewarding career in the field of precision computerized machining and manufacturing.

Our program is based on the philosophy that hands-on is the best way to learn machining and die making. The CNC Machine Tool program teaches the high level of technically advanced machining that modern industry requires.

We emphasize learning the basic skills in machining technology and progressing to the development of advanced CNC machining and programming skills. In just one year, you can earn a 31-credit diploma in Precision Machining that covers the fundamentals of:

  • Basic machine shop theory
  • Blueprint reading
  • Precision measuring and gauging
  • Setup, operation, and troubleshooting both computer and manual machines
  • CNC machine operation
  • CAD (computer aided design)

With a diploma in Precision Machining, you'll be ready to enter the workforce with valuable skills right away!

Apply now for admission to MSC Southeast

Career Field: Engineering, Manufacturing & Technology
Cluster: Manufacturing
Pathway: Manufacturing Production Process Development

Download the Program Plan


1) 1000 level (minimum) General Education courses required unless specified

English/Communications requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) English or Communications course.
2 cr
Math requirement
Choose one 2 credit (or greater) Math course.
2 cr
Job Seeking Skills
Students will gain independence and proficiency in job searching skills through activities and assignments designed to help them learn how to find jobs, how to prepare to apply for jobs, and how to present themselves as candidates for jobs. Skills covered will include how to search electronically for a job; how to develop written documents needed for a successful self-directed job search, including how to create an electronic portfolio; and how to secure, conduct, and follow up on job interviews. (Prerequisite: none) (1 credit: 1 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

1 cr
5 crs
Technical electives (see advisor for approved electives)
Choose one or more Technical electives.
2 cr
Introduction to Precision Machining
This course covers the fundamental elements of basic machine shop theory that would be applied to shop applications. Students taking the course will be able to apply skills learned in the classroom to the lab where they will have hands on experience on basic machine shop equipment. Topics of study include safety, measuring parts to print, proper set up, speeds & feeds, and cutting tool usage. (Prerequisites: None) (4 Credits: 2 lecture/2 lab)

Download the Course Outline

4 cr
Engineering Drawings 1
This course covers the fundamentals of basic blueprint reading. The student will learn skills to interpret blueprint and sketches that would be used in industry. Topics of study will be sketching, dimensioning, line interpretation, section views, tolerance, and working drawings. (Prerequisites: None) (2 Credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
Precision Measuring and Gauging
This course will provide the theory, technique, and care of typical measuring tools used in the Machining profession. Students will learn various measuring techniques used in the manufacture of machined parts. (Prerequisites: None) (2 Credits: 2 lecture)

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2 cr
Precision Machining Processes
This course will familiarize the student with what can be done with both manual machine tools and computer aided machine tools used in the manufacturing process. The student will have hands on experience with manual and computer type machines. Topics of study include setup, operation, and troubleshooting on both machine types. Safety, measuring parts to print, proper set up, speeds & feeds, and cutting tool usage, manual programming of CNC machines will also be covered. (Prerequisites: MACH1601 [or taken concurrently]) (3 Credits: 0 lecture/3 lab)

Download the Course Outline

3 cr
Engineering Drawings 2
This course covers the fundamentals of intermediate/advanced blueprint reading. The student will learn skills to interpret drawings and sketches that would be used in industry. Topics of study will be sketching, dimensioning, geometric tolerancing, section views, working drawings, and cad styles. (Prerequisites: MACH1605) (2 Credits: 2 lecture/0 lab)

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2 cr
Introduction to CNC Theory
This course will familiarize the student with the theory of CNC machining and set up. Students will write programs and examine programs on the various machines on the shop floor. Students will learn about all facets of programming mills, wire edm, and turning type machine tools. (Prerequisites: MACH1601, MACH1605, MACH1610, MACH1625, MACH1625, CPMT1632, CPMT1640 or equivalent) (3 Credits: 3 lecture/0 lab)

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3 cr
Introduction to EDM
This course will familiarize the student with operating Electrical Discharge Machining. Both sinker and wire type EDM machines will be covered in the course. (Prerequisites: MACH1601, MACH1605, MACH1610, MACH1615 or equivalent) (2 Credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

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2 cr
Introduction to CAD/CAM
This course will familiarize the student with computer aided drafting and computer aided machining. Students will learn the design drafting process of the CAD computer program. Students will learn the Computer Aided Machining (CAM) process of the software to produce Machining Tool paths and to write G-code programs. This course can be taken as an elective to other programs, or as a mid-year start for the CNC Machine Tool program. (Prerequisite: none) (2 credits: 1 lecture/1 lab)

Download the Course Outline

2 cr
22 crs

Total Credits Required for this Major: 27 Credits

Estimated Costs for this Major

Approximate Tuition/Fees:$6,032
Minimum Tool Cost:$350
Estimated Total:$6,632


Career Opportunities

  • Micro Machining
  • Medical Machining
  • Moldmaker
  • Diemaker
  • Toolmaker
  • CNC Machinist
  • Production Machinist
  • General Machinist

Career Information


Program graduates will be able to:
  1. Be employable at entry level machining jobs in related fields.
  2. Use the basic skill and knowledge of machine shop operations in manual and CNC machining to produce parts to blueprint specifications.
  3. Demonstrate safe work habits.
  4. Clearly communicate through verbal and written skills.
  5. Use the math and computer skills necessary in the machine trades.


  • Train on state-of-the-art equipment in our new Advanced Manufacturing Lab
  • 20+ stations of Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer Aided Machining (CAM) programming software available for student training
  • 70% of coursework is hands-on
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines offers wire electrical discharge machining (edm), turning and milling technology
  • Focus is on keeping up with the technology used in industry
  • Employment opportunities are abundant locally as well as regionally


Richard Hengel
CNC Machine Tool instructor Rick Hengel comes to Minnesota State College Southeast with 34 years of experience in industry and 14 years of experience in management and supervision. He has been involved with the CNC Machine Tool Technology advisory committee for more than 10 years. He assisted in designing the curriculum and launching the certificate in Prototype Engineering for high school students, which he began teaching in 2017.
Roger Holland
Roger Holland graduated in 1976 from the Winona Area Technical Institute (now Minnesota State College Southeast) Tool and Die Program, now known as CNC Machine Tool. He holds an Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Design from Western Wisconsin Technical College and a Bachelor of Science in Career and Technical Education from Bemidji State University. Roger's experience includes: Tool & Die Maker, CNC programmer, Drafting & Design Technician and Training & Education Coordinator for Trane Air Conditioning Company, La Crosse, WI.




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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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