New welding degree approved for fall, registration for all classes starts March 15

TRAVERSE CITY —  Students may begin enrolling next week for a new NMC associate degree in Welding Technology and two welding certificates.

NMC’s Board of Trustees approved the degree and other changes to the welding program, including reducing the cost of the certificates, at their Feb. 27 meeting. The changes are effective with the fall 2017 semester.

Welding instructor Devan DePauw said the new degree will convey graduates’ qualifications to employers much more clearly. Previously, students earned a manufacturing technology degree with a welding specialization.

“An associate’s in welding technology is instantly recognizable to any potential employer,” DePauw said.

Changes throughout the curriculum will also update a program started more than 25 years ago with the Intermediate School District’s Career Tech Center. A chief advantage, DePauw said, is that students will no longer bounce between that campus and NMC’s.

“We have kind of a fragmented student body,” he said, noting that research shows that creating a cohesive community helps students persist until graduation. NMC will invest $60,000 in capital improvements to the Aero Park Laboratories Building to accommodate all the welding classes.

Lower cost to students thanks to reduced contact requirements for certificates and more efficient course scheduling are other changes.

DePauw said the formal welding education is necessary to replace the on-the-job training that employers no longer provide.

“That’s really where we come in,” he said, adding that with the age of the average welder at 55, the next generation needs to match their experience with education.

“They’re not low-skilled people. The only way we’re going to fill those gaps is with well-trained people,” he said. The degree has been aligned to meet the industry standards of the American Welding Society. About 70 students are currently enrolled in welding, and DePauw expects about 40 new students in the fall.

Registration for all NMC’s fall classes begins March 15. Another new program, biomedical equipment technician, a specialization within NMC’s Engineering Technology degree approved by the Board of Trustees in January, will also begin enrolling. NMC offers degrees and certificates in more than 50 programs.

Release date: march 9, 2017

For more information:

Devan DePauw
Welding instructor
(231) 995-2779
ddepauw@nmc.edu 

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