By NATALIE WRIGHT
Students who are still exploring career pathways will have a few new choices to consider this fall with the introduction of five new academic programs at Washtenaw Community College.
All of the following information comes from the program recommendations presented to, and approved by, the WCC board of trustees.
For more information on these programs, visit: http://www.wccnet.edu/academics/programs/
Honors in the Liberal Arts
WCC’s first honors program is designed for students who wish to transfer to competitive four-year universities. The reading- and writing-intensive curriculum totals 60-61 credit hours and is built around the theme “America in the World: Global Awareness and Diversity.”
This program was designed as a response to WCC’s “Shaping Our Future” opportunity analysis, in which the college received these responses: “Huron students view WCC as a ‘failed choice;’” “WCC needs to stop coming off as the poor stepchild;” “Balance the tension between high standards and the open door.”
In this program, students will earn an Associate in Arts degree while preparing for entry-level paralegal positions or further study in the field of law.
The median pay for paralegal positions is $46,990, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Paralegal positions are expected to grow 17 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the bureau. This means there will be 46,200 new job openings during that time.
Facility and Energy Management
This certificate program, based on a foundation in facilities management, will teach students how to manage the use of energy in commercial and residential buildings. The required courses total 18 credit hours and focus on renewable energy and sustainability.
Median wages for related careers such as administrative service managers, supervisors of mechanics and installers and repairers average around $30-$40 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The bureau also estimates a 12 percent increase in the number of related jobs between 2012 and 2022.
HVAC Energy Management Technician
In this advanced certificate program, students will learn about the operation of HVAC equipment and techniques that are used to reduce energy consumption. The required courses total 20 credit hours.
The median wage for HVAC jobs is $43,640 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
HVAC jobs in Michigan are expected to reach 10,480 in 2018, a 19.6 percent increase from 2008, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
Engineering Design Technology
Students will learn how to use engineering software and production methods to design and create products in this certificate program. Courses total 18-19 credit hours and will focus on product design processes and engineering and design concepts.
The median pay for positions in related fields ranges between $50,980 and $57,850, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The department also predicts up to nine percent increases in related positions between 2008 and 2018.