Success story: Highway construction, marine tech, health care offerings all available

September 14, 2022


Back-to-school season isn’t over, even though the calendar says mid-September.

Across multiple fields, NMC is steadily increasing its microcredential offerings. These skill-based short courses offer professional development and retraining opportunities for those seeking a career change. Online delivery and sometimes self-paced structure mean the schedule isn’t tethered to a traditional school year calendar. 

Increasing the number of microcredentials and shortened course pathways is a goal of NMC’s strategic plan, NMC Next. They’re attractive to students and employers alike, addressing the skills gap that many regional employers cited in a 2021 study as hindering their growth. 

“When a person sees a direct line, and it’s quick, and it’s accelerated, the more likely they are to enroll,” said Janie McNabb, a Traverse City-based workforce development consultant and former NMC trustee.

“As the region’s leading higher education institution, we work to meet the needs of students and employers. Microcredentials enable us to do so effectively and efficiently,” said Jason Slade, NMC vice president for strategic initiatives. 

Here’s a look at a variety of upcoming microcredentials:

  • Heavy highway construction: This new training program is a partnership with Networks Northwest andTeam Elmer’s. Launching in January 2023, the 12-week Heavy Highway Construction training program will help develop the workforce needed to help modernize, upgrade, and build new structures, bridges, and roads. Attend an informational session from 5:30–6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at NMC’s Aero Park Laboratories building or an informational webinar on Oct. 12.
  • Marine Tech: In another industry collaboration, NMC and Kongsberg Maritime are partnering to deliver the first industry credentials in marine infrastructure and bridge inspection this fall. Two online, livestream courses will be offered in October. Students will learn SONAR technologies, data collection and analysis with an emphasis on ports, dams, waterways, locks, and transportation infrastructure. A one-week in person course is also planned for March 2023. More information.
  • Survey Technologies: Michigan Technological University and NMC have partnered to deliver services of courses specific to survey, civil engineering, and infrastructure professionals. October program offerings include multiple technology specific applications. More information.
  • Healthcare: Credentials in eldercare, medical billing, medical assistant and pharmacy tech are all available this fall as accelerated solutions through NMC’s Extended Educational Services. The Eldercare certificate, an in-person evening offering at NMC’s University Center campus, begins Sept. 27 and is just five weeks. The others clock in at an estimated 12 weeks and are delivered online. More information.

NMC is applying the shortened course format in traditional academic areas as well. The Great Lakes Culinary Institute rolled out two new certificates and shortened formats this fall. Beginning fall 2023, NMC’s Police Academy will condense its program from a yearlong format to a single semester. This could potentially double the number of police academy graduates, who are now in high demand by agencies at all levels.

“They are really excited to see us make this change,” Police Academy Director Gail Kurowski said. “They are desperately in need of law enforcement personnel.”

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