New survey degree enhanced by Leica equipment donation

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College will offer a new degree in surveying beginning with the fall 2019 semester.

The surveying degree complements existing training in marine technology and unmanned aerial systems and was created to offer additional employment options to students post-graduation. National labor forecasts call for 10 to 14 percent job growth in surveying through 2026.

NMC offers the only bachelor’s degree in marine technology in the nation and has gone from being an early adopter in UAS training to an industry leader.

“With the addition of this degree, NMC will have a comprehensive pathway from degree through professional development in the platform triad of marine, air, land — unique among community colleges nationally,” said Marguerite Cotto, vice president for lifelong and professional learning.

A professional advisory committee has guided the creation of the degree. A key partner in the new program is Leica Geosystems of Switzerland, content specialists and contributors of state-of-the-art industry training equipment.

“The addition of the land surveying program will not only complement existing programs, it will provide students with an extremely marketable and transferable skill set that is in huge demand by both private sector surveying and engineering companies as well as a host of government agencies,” said Richard Sauve, Leica Geosystems (Michigan), senior technical sales representative.

Students will have the opportunity to learn their surveying skills on equipment provided by Leica, valued at more than $850,000. The highly technical training will empower graduates to qualify for excellent employment opportunities around the world.

“There is no reason that Northwestern Michigan College can’t be the go-to college to fill the needs of the surveying industry across all boundaries,” Sauve said.

College trustees unanimously approved the new degree in December. Registration for fall 2019 classes begins in March.

RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2019


Ed Bailey
Technical Division director
(231) 995-1215


Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.