College to offer state's first Wet Tech degree Fall '23

TRAVERSE CITY — A new associate degree in water quality environmental technology coming next fall will further expand NMC’s leadership in water-related degrees and programs as well as serve industry demand in the new blue economy.

The new Wet Tech degree will be the only one of its kind in Michigan. It will utilize existing courses from surveying and unmanned aerial systems programs as well as create new courses in environmental site assessment, aquifer sampling, and groundwater monitoring. An internship is also required. NMC’s Board of Trustees approved it unanimously last week.

“This program will focus on training a workforce supporting the direct monitoring and cleanup of waters within the Great Lakes watershed and focusing on the direct impact to the quality of our water resources,” said Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Executive Director Hans VanSumeren. 

He said that nationwide, the U.S. EPA has documented 294,000 waste sites. Cleanup of those sites will generate more than $200 billion in economic activity, meaning graduates will find a strong job market.

“The water quality/environmental Technician program intends to provide training for a skilled workforce that will be ready to respond to this growing need,” Van Sumeren said.

It joins four other NMC water-related degrees and programs:

  • An associate’s and a bachelor’s in Marine Technology, the only one in the world, created in 2012 and 2018, respectively
  • An associate’s in Freshwater Studies, the first in the nation when it was created in 2009.
  • The Marine Center - professional development and training in marine systems, geospatial technologies and land surveying. 
  • Great Lakes Maritime Academy - Trains deck and engineering officers for the commercial shipping industry. Bachelor’s degree first granted in 2014; program founded in 1969.

Creation of the new degree is also part of NMC Next, NMC’s strategic plan. The Huckle Family Foundation will provide $100,000 over two years for equipment and other program support. 

Release date: NOVEMBER 30, 2022

For more information:

Hans VanSumeren
NMC Great Lakes Water Studies Institute Executive Director
(231) 995-1793
hvansumeren@nmc.edu

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