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Questions about the JCC programs and services described in this publication should be directed to Student Services at 517.796.8425. Comments or questions about the publication itself can be directed to the Marketing Department at 517.796.8416. Publisher: Editor: Writer: Graphic Design: Photography:

Fall 2010 • Volume 7 Issue 1

A publication of Jackson Community College

Cynthia S. Allen Dotty Karkheck Marilynn Fryer Lisa Drake JCC Marketing Staff

JCC Board of Trustees:

Dr. Edward A. Mathein Chairman

Samuel R. Barnes Trustee

John M. Crist Vice Chairman

Matthew R. Heins Trustee

2 Christina L. Medlar Secretary

Sheila A. Patterson Trustee

Find your future JCC offers variety of options to help you find the perfect career fit

10 Philip E. Hoffman Treasurer

Dr. Daniel J. Phelan President

Executive Officers: Dr. Daniel J. Phelan, President Tom Vainner, Vice President Administrative Services Career Choices is published twice a year. All rights reserved. No part of the material may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without the permission of the publisher. It is the policy of Jackson Community College that no person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or handicap, excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to, discrimination in any program or activity for which it is responsible for or for which it receives financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400 Chicago, IL 60602-2504 (312) 236-0456

With a little planning, returning to college as an adult can be easy transition


Computer networking offers ample career opportunities


Digital photography program coming into focus at JCC


A great start! Transfer a great option for bachelor’s degree


Alternative energy degree offers opportunity for green jobs


College briefs


Get your career rolling with truck driver training


Army ROTC offers head start toward career as officer


Medical field offers healthy range of career options


JCC offering opportunities for skilled trades to earn associate degree

Jackson Community College 2111 Emmons Road Jackson, MI 49201

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Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467 2 Fall Fall 2010 2010 •• Career Career Choices Choices •• 517.796.8467 517.796.8467

by Marilynn Fryer JCC offers associate degree and certificate programs in a variety of occupations that can put you on the road to a career in a few semesters or a couple of years. Statistics show that those with an associate degree or certificate typically earn more money and have better job security than those with only a high school diploma. Look through this list on the following pages and see if there are specific careers or areas that interest you. More information about individual programs is available at the JCC web site, JCC also offers programs designed to transfer to four-year universities for those working toward a bachelor’s degree.

3-D Design & Animation

Learn the art of creating three-dimensional characters and objects as moving images with computerized animation. JCC offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in 3-D design and animation that focuses on the visual and artistic side of modeling and animation. These artists create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Accounting Accounting is the study of how businesses track their income and assets, and it is critical to business success. As the marketplace grows and diversifies, accounting jobs are more varied than ever. Accountants and auditors prepare, analyze and verify financial reports and taxes and monitor information

systems that furnish this information to managers in business, industry and government. Careers relating to accounting include bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks, payroll manager and tax preparer.

Administrative Assistant

Office automation and organizational restructuring have led administrative assistants to assume responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff. Learn skills in business communications, interpersonal relations, desktop publishing, presentation software, accounting and database software to prepare for an administrative assistant position. Office support personnel are always in demand. Students could be hired for above entry-level positions such as office information assistants, office systems supervisors, administrative office systems assistants, administrative secretaries and executive assistants.

Automotive Collision Repair

Automotive body repairers, often called collision repair technicians, straighten bent bodies, remove dents, and replace crumpled parts that cannot be fixed. They draw from a broad knowledge of automotive construction and repair techniques in fixing damaged vehicles. JCC utilizes the Inter-industry Conference on Automotive Collision Repair (I-CAR) Enhanced Delivery Curriculum, providing students with the skills to restore collision-damaged vehicles with the skills necessary to restore them to industry standards. Continued on next page Looking for more information? E-mail us at Looking for more information? E-mail us at

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Automotive Service Technology

Automotive service technicians inspect, maintain, troubleshoot, diagnose and repair mechanical, electronic and electrical parts of automobiles, vans and trucks. Technicians’ responsibilities have evolved from simple mechanical repairs to high-level technologyrelated work. The increasing sophistication of automobiles requires workers who can use computerized shop equipment and work with electronic components while maintaining their skills with traditional hand tools. As a result, workers are now usually called technicians rather than mechanics. They may perform general duties or specialize.

Aviation Flight Technology

Pilots fly airplanes or helicopters to carry out a wide variety of tasks. Before departure, pilots plan their flights carefully. They thoroughly check their aircraft to make sure that the engines, controls, instruments, and other systems are functioning properly. They confer with flight dispatchers and aviation weather forecasters to find out about weather conditions. Based on this information, they choose a route, altitude, and speed that will provide the safest, most economical, and smoothest flight.

Business Administration

Study of business equips one with tools to analyze a business situation, shape long-term action plans, oversee them as they are carried out, and make countless large and small decisions along the way. Business is one of the fastest growing and challenging career fields, and business professionals can expect growing status, and increased financial and personal rewards. People working in business are expected to use their skills in order to produce significant and measurable results.

Cardiac Sonography

Sonography is the use of sound waves to generate an image for the assessment and diagnosis of medical conditions. Technologists who use ultrasound to examine the heart chambers, valves, and vessels are referred to as cardiac sonographers, or echocardiographers. They use ultrasound instrumentation to create images called echocardiograms, used to examine the heart. They attach electrodes to the patient’s chest, arms, and legs, and then manipulate switches on an EKG machine to obtain a reading.


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

Climate Control Technology

Climate control mechanics are skilled workers who install, service and repair air conditioning, refrigeration and heating units used in buildings. Training areas include application techniques for basic and advanced air conditioning, heat pumps, fossil fuels, solar energy and refrigeration. Workers also may be called HVACR technicians -- heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems technicians. They must be able to maintain, diagnose and correct problems throughout an entire system, which may consist of many mechanical, electrical and electronic components.

Computer Programming Specialist

Computer programmers write step-by-step instructions called programs for computers, using one of the languages developed especially for computers. These instructions tell the computer what it must do to solve a problem. Programmers also conceive, design and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Emphasis is placed on information systems, programming language, concepts and designs, logic and theory. Job opportunities may exist as an applications programmer, computer operator, information office systems manager, systems analyst or programmer.

Computer Service Technician (A+/Network+)

Computer service technicians install, maintain and repair computers and computer-related machines, such as highspeed printers, disk drives, modems, scanners, monitors, hand held wireless mobile devices and data-entry equipment. They service mainframe, server, and personal computers; printers; and auxiliary computer equipment. Computer technicians usually replace subsystems instead of repairing them, including video cards, which transmit signals from the computer to the monitor; hard drives, which store data; and network cards, which allow communication over the network.


Corrections officers guard inmates in prisons according to established rules, policies and procedures to prevent disturbances and escapes. Officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory or penitentiary. Probation and parole officers fall under corrections. They maintain contact with convicted offenders and act as rules enforcers as well as guidance counselors.

Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management

Prepare for a career as a professional chef in a restaurant, hospitality, or institutional setting. Culinary arts professionals’ responsibilities may include supervising and coordinating the activities of food service workers or dining room employees, planning menus, estimating daily or weekly needs, ordering and maintaining inventories of supplies and equipment, and keeping records of meals served. Build a foundation for continued studies and chef certifications through the American Culinary Federation (ACF), NRAEF ManageFirst, and Servsafe National Certification.

Digital Photography

Photographers produce images that help to paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event. They bring together technical expertise and creativity along with the proper professional equipment to produce images for commercial use whether that is a portrait studio, advertising and marketing, news photography or photojournalism, sports photography, or fine arts. Build and expand your photography portfolio while honing your skills with a camera and computer programs.


Electronic commerce, or eCommerce, is the term given to the buying and selling of products or services over the Internet. Students will combine web design, programming, search engine optimization and mobile eBusiness practices to create a secure and smooth eCommerce experience for the Internet shopper. Creating an electronic store is a complex and cooperative process, utilizing

an eCommerce professional’s business, web marketing, and customer service skills to consult with clients, their customers, and their computer technicians/engineers.


Electricians bring electricity into homes, businesses, and factories. Electricians assemble, install, maintain and test electrical fixtures, apparatus, control equipment, and wiring used in heating and refrigeration, lighting, power, intercommunications, air conditioning, and electrical systems of homes, factories and other buildings. They follow the National Electrical Code, and state and local building codes. Electricians connect all types of wires to circuit breakers, transformers, outlets, or other components. Electricians may focus on construction or maintenance, or do both.

Electronic Technology/ELT

Electronic technologists are employed in digital computer maintenance, radio and television broadcasting, medical electronic instrumentation, high-tech manufacturing, research and development in laboratory settings. They apply electrical and electronic theory and related subjects to help develop, manufacture, maintain, and service equipment. Program is designed for students looking for a general electronic background, with experience in information technology and industrial. Students may work to achieve A+ certification for employment as personal computer service professionals, recognized by CompTIA.

Electronic Technology/Microcomputer

Electronic technologists are employed in digital computer maintenance, radio and television broadcasting, medical electronic instrumentation, high-tech manufacturing, research and development in laboratory settings. This program is designed for students interested in working in the information technology area. They apply electrical and electronic theory and related subjects to help develop, manufacture, maintain, and service a variety of computer and electronic equipment. Students may also work to achieve A+ certification for employment as personal computer service professionals, recognized by CompTIA. Continued on next page

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Emergency Medical Technology

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) work as members of emergency care teams administering first-aid treatment and other care to sick and injured persons and transporting them to medical facilities. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care of EMTs and paramedics. Incidents as varied as automobile accidents, heart attacks, slips and falls, childbirth, and gunshot wounds all require immediate medical attention. Following policies and protocols, they give appropriate emergency care and when necessary, transport the patient.


Entrepreneurs follow their own dreams and visions as they pursue their individual business goals. Entrepreneurs are people who own their own businesses, invest their own money in their businesses, and actively manage their businesses. Study of entrepreneurship can prepare you to participate in new or small business ventures. Start your own business or find employment in a small business enterprise, while developing a broad base of business-related skills.

Financial Services

Enjoy a career in the banking and financial services industries. Bank tellers, customer service representatives, introductory positions with trust offices, pension and retirement planning firms and personal financial planning groups all require skills in customer relations and financial problem solving and can be good stepping stones for future advancement. Those involved in this field should have a strong aptitude for working with numbers, enjoy working with people, and be discreet and trustworthy because they handle confidential material.

General Sonography

Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technologists, use complex equipment to direct high frequency sound waves into specific areas of a patient’s body to produce images. Physicians use these images in making diagnoses. Sonography commonly is associated with obstetrics and the use of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy, but this technology has many other applications in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions throughout the body. Sonographers have extensive direct patient contact during these procedures.


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

Graphic Design/Visual Communication

Graphic designers create artwork to illustrate or promote products, services and ideas, and to improve appearance or attract attention. They plan, design and draw illustrations for displays, billboards, brochures, catalogs, books, magazines, newspapers, television, the Internet and packaging. They find the most effective way to get messages across. Graphic designers use specialized computer software packages to help them create layouts and design elements and to program animated graphics. Some also design for the web.

Health Management

Health care is a business and, like every business, it needs good management and support. Workers in this field help in planning, directing, coordinating and supervising the delivery of health care. With the growing complexity of health care, good administrative and management professionals are valuable. Duties may include clerical work and record keeping, scheduling procedures, managing personnel, finances and budget, facility operations and admissions, as well as coordinating activities with other managers. Coursework combines some general education courses with medical and health-related courses and business and accounting courses.

Law Enforcement

Police officers and detectives are government employees whose functions are protecting life and property, preserving the peace, detecting and preventing crime, and maintaining public order through the application of the law. Officers must possess good interpersonal communication skills to handle encounters with citizens who are angry, injured or filled with despair. A large proportion of their time is spent in the outdoors, patrolling assigned areas, writing reports and maintaining records of incidents they encounter.



Managers are employed in every industry. They coordinate and direct the many support services that allow organizations to operate efficiently. They perform a broad range of duties. In small organizations, a single administrative services manager may oversee all support services. In larger ones, however, firstline administrative services managers often report to mid-level managers who, in turn, report to owners or top-level managers. Managers should be analytical, detail-oriented, flexible, decisive, and have good leadership and communication skills.

Manufacturing Technology/Machining

Machinists use machine tools, such as lathes, milling machines and machining centers, to produce precision metal parts. Although they may produce large quantities of one part, precision machinists often produce small batches of one-of-a-kind items. They use their knowledge of the working properties of metals and their skill with machine tools to plan and make products that meet precise specifications. Machine tools are large, power-driven machines that drill, grind, turn, mill, shear or shape metal.

Manufacturing Technology/Maintenance

Machinery maintenance and repair workers work in industry and are responsible for cleaning and lubricating machinery, performing basic diagnostic tests, checking performance and testing damaged machine parts to determine whether major repairs are necessary. Maintenance workers follow machine specifications and adhere to maintenance schedules. They maintain and repair machinery and equipment, cranes, pumps, engines, conveyor systems, and other mechanical equipment used in industry. Major repairs are generally left to machinery mechanics.

Manufacturing Technology/Tool Room

Study of the tool room may lead to a variety of manufacturing careers. Tool and die makers are among the most highly skilled workers in manufacturing. They craft precision tools and machines that are used to cut, shape and form metal and other materials. They also make metal molds for diecasting and for molding plastics, ceramics and composite materials. Tool and die makers use computer-aided design (CAD) to develop products and parts.

Marketing offers many options, including advertising, promotions, market research and retail. Marketing personnel help to coordinate their companies’ market research, strategy, sales, advertising, promotion, pricing and public relations, and is important to a number of business-related careers. Individuals considering marketing should be good listeners, enjoy current events and look forward to the business challenges that come with changing cultural habits. Also important are the abilities to think creatively, communicate effectively, and manage time wisely.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work in medical offices, clinics, urgent care facilities, and hospitals performing administrative and clinical tasks in ambulatory care. As one of healthcare’s most versatile members, the duties of medical assistants range from assisting physicians with patient exams to office management. In a small office they may have a broad range of duties as compared to a multi-doctor practice in which they may work in a particular area or specialty.

Medical Insurance Coder/Biller

Prepare to work in a medical office, clinic, surgical center, emergency center, or hospital. Medical billers and coders communicate between medical offices, patients and insurance companies. By assigning letters and numbers to diseases, injuries and medical procedures, they speed up the process of payment and ensure that records are correct. Students should have good organization and time management skills, be good with numbers and memorization, and be able to maintain privacy and confidentiality associated with medical records.

Microcomputer Applications Specialist

Prepare for a variety of positions in an automated office setting. The program recognizes the increasingly important role of the microcomputer in modern business and is designed to assist students in developing skills in the use of microcomputer applications. Depending upon the curriculum students choose, career choices may include applications specialist, information office manager, end user support technician, information systems associate, personal computer (PC) coordinator, or software specialist. Continued on next page

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Network +/Security+

Microsoft Office Specialist

Prepare to assume a variety of positions in an automated office setting. The program recognizes the increasingly important role of the personal computer in modern business and is designed to assist students in developing their skills in the use of graphing, personal management, project management and electronic presentations. The Microsoft® Office® Specialist program provides a framework for measuring student proficiency with Microsoft® Office® applications and prepares students for the industry recognized Microsoft® Exams for measuring an individual’s mastery of “Office®” applications.

Multimedia Web Design

Web developers use a thorough knowledge of programming and server software operations to plan, develop, implement, maintain and enhance Internet web sites for businesses, profit/ nonprofit organizations, colleges, governmental agencies, and other entities. They are responsible for creating the look and feel of World Wide Web pages for a client’s web site, developing a graphic design that effectively communicates the ideas being promoted. Web and multimedia developers design and create computer-based, web-based or multimedia-based layout.

Networking Specialist

Networking involves the hardware, software and communication channels necessary to allow computers to talk to each other. Many organizations now use computer networks and need networking specialists to maintain their networks. Several other occupations may utilize networking skills, such as office assistants, accountants, or managers. Students will study various components of computer hardware and networking.


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

Computer security specialists may plan, coordinate, and implement the organization’s information security. They educate users about computer security, install security software, monitor security breaches, respond to cyber attacks, and, in some cases, gather evidence to be used in prosecuting cyber crime. Their responsibilities have increased in recent years as cyber attacks have become more common. This reflects an increasing emphasis on client-server applications, the expansion of Internet and intranet applications, and the demand for more end-user support.

Nursing, RN

Registered nurses provide care, treatment, counseling and health education to the sick and injured. They assist in the maintenance of health and the prevention or management of illness, injury or disability. RNs record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical machinery, administer treatment and medications, and help with patient follow-up and rehabilitation. RNs teach patients and families how to manage their illness or injury, explaining post-treatment care needs.

Nursing, Practical

Licensed practical nurses (or LPNs) care for ill, injured, convalescent, and handicapped persons in hospitals, clinics, private homes, doctors’ offices and other settings. They work under the direction of a registered nurse, licensed physician or dentist. Often, they provide basic bedside care, such as measuring and recording of patients’ vital signs, preparing and giving injections, monitoring catheters, dressing wounds, and giving alcohol rubdowns and massages. They assist with bathing, dressing and personal hygiene, moving in bed, standing and walking.

Occupational Studies

Skilled trades workers who have completed apprenticeships in the construction or industrial trades may further their employment opportunities with this associate degree in occupational studies. Specific fields include the construction and industrial trades such as carpenter, cement mason, structural draftsman, machine builder, machine repair and maintenance, millwright, wood model maker, mold maker (plaster and die cast), operating engineer, plumber, pipe fitter, tool and die maker.

Process Technology

A process technician is a key member of a team responsible for planning, analyzing and controlling production in a variety of process industries. The duties of a process technician including maintaining a safe work environment, controlling, monitoring and troubleshooting equipment, analyzing, evaluating and communicating about data concerning the process. The concentration will prepare the student for entry into the process industry by introducing the knowledge and skill sets necessary for each of the major process functions.


Radiologic technologists (also called radiographers or X-ray technicians) assist physicians in the use of X-ray and fluoroscopic equipment in the diagnosis of disease or injury. They prepare patients for radiologic examinations by explaining the procedure, then positioning patients for imaging. Radiographers position equipment at the correct angle and height over the patient’s body. They place the X-ray film under the part of the patient’s body to be examined and make the exposure.

Respiratory Care

Respiratory care practitioners or respiratory therapists assist in the diagnosis and care of patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary problems. They work with all ages of patients, administering oxygen therapy and breathing treatments, operating non-invasive and traditional mechanical ventilators, assessing cardiopulmonary health and performing pulmonary function and cardiovascular diagnostic testing. The treatment may range from temporary or long-term therapy for patients with lung disorders to emergency care for victims of heart failure, chest injuries and more.

Studio Art

Artists create art to communicate ideas, thoughts, or feelings. They use a variety of methods — painting, sculpting, or illustration — and an assortment of materials, including oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, pencils, pen and ink, plaster, clay and computers. The study of art may lead to a career as a fine artist who displays their works in museums and art galleries, or it may lead to a related career such as graphic artist, museum curator, art critic or teacher.


Actors and performers portray characters for stage, video, television, film, nightclubs and theme parks. While few performers achieve fame as “stars,” the study of acting can lead to a number of careers. JCC offers certificates in both performance theatre and technical theatre.

Vascular Sonography

Vascular sonographers performs arterial and venous diagnostic procedures affecting the circulation using complex equipment to direct high frequency sound waves, producing images which are used by physicians in diagnosis. They assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity and similar tests. Then they perform a noninvasive procedure using ultrasound instruments to record vascular information such as vascular blood flow, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, cerebral circulation, peripheral circulation and abdominal circulation.

Video Production Video operators produce images that tell a story, inform or entertain. Making commercial-quality programs requires technical expertise and creativity. Producing successful images requires choosing and presenting interesting material, selecting appropriate equipment, and applying a good eye and a steady hand to ensure smooth, natural movement of the camera. Some camera operators film or videotape private ceremonies and special events and are often called videographers. News camera operators work as part of a reporting team to capture live events.

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With a little

planning, returning to college as an adult can be easy transition by Marilynn Fryer Fall2010 2010 •• Career CareerChoices Choices •• 517.796.8467 517.796.8467 10 10 Fall

Brian Johnson, 36, worried about the transition back into college when he enrolled at Jackson Community College two years ago after the factory where he worked closed. “I was actually excited and apprehensive at the same time about the opportunity. I knew it would be a challenge, and I enjoy challenges,” he said. Johnson recently completed two associate degrees, one in accounting and another in business administration, from JCC, and was recognized with the George Potter Student of the Year Award for 2010. He returned to college with help from the federal Trade Readjustment Act, which offers financial assistance to workers affected by foreign trade, after the factory where he had worked closed. Johnson is not unlike numerous adults returning to college today. Adults are attending college in large numbers due in part to the lagging economy and the demand for higher education to find a well-paying job, as well as for their own personal interests and goals. For adults going back to school, a few important lessons can help.

Time constraints Adult students sometimes dive in head first and take two or three night classes a week, in addition to working full-time and managing family obligations. Keep this in mind: there are only 168 hours in a week. Mary Ann Rainey, enrollment services specialist at JCC who has worked with nontraditional students and those enrolled in No Worker Left Behind program, urges adult students to start slowly, with just one course if they’re working, to see what college classes are like. Mary Ann Rainey “Family does come first, then your job, and school is third. If a person doesn’t work, then school becomes their work,” Rainey said. Scheduling time for pleasure activities and exercise are important to keep your life and health in balance. “Start slowly and take something you’re comfortable with.” “The first semester can be overwhelming,” Johnson said. Breaking work down into each class and assignment individually will help, instead of always looking at all the work before you. “The first half of their first semester will be hectic. Be patient and don’t be intimidated. Every instructor I had was very helpful and spent any extra time I may have needed at first. By the end of the first semester, you will be pretty well adjusted.” Whether you are new to college classes or coming back after a number of years, a good rule of thumb is that college courses require two to three hours of study time outside of class for every hour spent in class. For a three credit hour class, that will mean six to nine hours of study time at home each week. For online courses, that number increases to three to four hours for every credit hour. Also, college courses cover broader subject areas in a shorter time frame than high school classes. A particular subject that a high school class may cover over a school year will be covered in just 15 weeks at JCC. Students

and even family members may not understand the amount of content involved in a college course or the amount of time it takes to prepare. Adult students also need to be organized, flexible and loosen up their ideas of perfection. “Issues will always come up, the car breaks down, a child gets sick, and you will need to be flexible,” Rainey said. “Also, standards may need to be lowered in some areas. If, for one week, the dusting around the house may not get done, that’s OK.”

Have a plan Planning goes a long way. Rainey advises using both weekly and semester calendars. A weekly calendar can be used to block out time for work, class, homework, family, shopping and more. A semester calendar provides a big picture look at when tests, quizzes, term papers and other important projects are due. In addition to short-term planning, crafting an academic plan to help you reach your goals over a number of semesters is vital for non-traditional students to get the classes they need in a reasonable time frame. Not all classes are offered every semester; some are each fall, for example, and it’s important to plan ahead to ensure the student has the courses and prerequisites necessary at the proper time. “It may take non-traditional students longer to get through their program because they have other commitments and priorities,” Rainey said. “Sometimes they say, ‘But I’ll be 50 years old when I graduate.’ I always tell them, ‘You will still be 50 years old one way or another, do you want to be a 50-year-old with a degree or certificate or one without?’” The sense of accomplishment when one completes their degree or certificate is definitely worth all the effort, Johnson notes. “I would say the biggest thing is not to panic and give up. Our adult life experiences have prepared us for events more difficult than going back to school,” Johnson said. “I feel overall going back to college was a great experience, and my son told me that I was cooler since I was learning things from the younger students also!”

“ ” I would say the biggest thing is not to panic

and give up. Our adult life experiences have

prepared us for events more difficult than

going back to school.

- Brian Johnson, JCC Graduate

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11 11

by Marilynn Fryer


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

If you’re not sure if computer networking is a good career option, think about what happened the last time your office’s computer network went down, or your home computer’s Internet service failed. Computer networking is a growing and dynamic field where technicians help computers continue “talking” with one another, involving the hardware, software and communications channels necessary. Sharing information is the basic reason that networks exist, because through the networks, applications, hardware and information can be accessed by the greatest number of users, attaining cost savings, efficiency and widening communications. Networking specialists maintain networks that link computers, peripherals (printers and modems), communication equipment and video equipment. They work to keep the computer systems and network running and performing optimally, and they may install and maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure their availability to users. “We are using our computers today for many more things. Think of all the ways you use a computer; what would you be able to do if it wasn’t networked?” said Larry Choate, assistant professor. Larry Choate “The demand for computer networking specialists is continuing to grow along with this.” Networking specialists may work in any number of environments – large corporations, small businesses, government organizations and schools. Employment is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with estimates from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics putting growth rate for the number of jobs at more than 50 percent. Networking specialists may have to look further than just the Jackson area, but jobs are available in Michigan and nationally.

“It helps to have the ability to deal with frustration, and to have a natural curiosity,” Choate said. Networking personnel may be called in at any time when a network goes down, and they need the skills and knowledge to troubleshoot and repair the problem. They should enjoy activities of a technical and scientific nature, activities that require creative imagination, and relating to processes, machines and methods. “You need the ability or desire to constantly learn new things, because computer networking is a very dynamic environment, things are always changing.”

the more platforms, more operating systems and devices you are comfortable with can help you, especially when starting out,” Murray said. “Another point I’ve found is that, even in a networking situation, Karl Murray there still could be a little bit of programming you may need to know or at least have a general idea.”

JCC offers both associate degree and certificate programs for networking specialist, as well as a concentration in Network+/Security+ certifications. Choate said students can find a job with a certificate, but an associate degree can offer more opportunities. Several employers now are looking for people with bachelor’s degrees, and JCC partners with Siena Heights University in a transfer agreement known as a “3+1” program to allow students to earn a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, in which students take the majority of their first three years, 90 credits, at JCC and then complete their last 30 credits at Siena Heights. The College has increased the number networking classes offered in recent years to help give students more information in networking and security and help students tailor their studies to whatever path that interests them.

Networking specialists do not necessarily always work a 9-5 job, because they may be called in at all hours if a system is down, or they may need to put in long hours for a certain project if they are getting a new network or system up and running or switching over a network. “It’s an exciting field and there’s a lot of opportunity. It’s broad, so if you start with one thing, you can always move around if you are interested in different directions,” Murray said. Salaries for jobs in networking start out around the $40,000 per year range, and range up to $70,000 per year or more, depending one experience and education.

JCC graduate Karl Murray works as an information systems technologist for the Jackson Public Library, where much of his work is networking related. JCC’s program is very network-driven and Microsoft-based, which gave him a lot of hands-on experience, which is helpful in his current position. “I think the more diverse you can be,

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by Marilynn Fryer


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

Do you see your future in pictures? Jackson Community College now offers students the opportunity to earn a certificate in digital photography. “There is a huge interest in photography at JCC,” said Tom McMillen-Oakley, assistant professor of art. “Students wanted another opportunity to develop a certificate for their skill, to Tom McMillen-Oakley show competency in photography.” Photographers produce images that help to paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event. They bring together technical expertise and creativity along with the proper professional equipment to produce images for commercial use, whether that is a portrait studio, advertising and marketing, news photography or photojournalism, sports photography, or fine arts. Digital photography instructor Tracy SmithJackson has been a portrait photographer for 11 years, and she said there are many free lance opportunities students with photo skills can do, such as weddings Tracy Smith-Jackson and portraits and children’s photography. Previously, JCC offered only one level of digital photography which covered basic photography skills, such as how to use a

camera, how to transfer files, basic Adobe Photoshop use, composition and color. The new certificate program will take digital photography to the next level and allow students to build a complete portfolio, in which they choose a subject or area to work on and explore, such as portrait photography, landscape photography, or news/action photography. A portfolio is an important step for students who want to apply to other colleges or art schools, or who want to put their art work in a show. Employment opportunities for photographers are diverse. Some photographers are self-employed and “free lance” according to their area of specialty, while others own and operate their own studio. Other photographers are employed by news media, magazines, or stock photo agencies. Employment is expected to grow about 12 percent through the year 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but competition is expected with so many interested in the field. Median annual wages of salaried photographers are about $29,000, with a range from $16,920 to $62,430. JCC’s digital photography certificate is a 30-credit hour program that will provide students the foundational skills to expand

their photography portfolio and help them develop skills necessary for an Associate in Arts, application to a fine arts degree program, or a career in the field. It will be available beginning in Fall 2010. Student Colleen Kyser returned to JCC in the Fall of 2007 after both her children had graduated from college, and she Colleen Kyser decided it was time to do something for herself. “I wanted to pursue a career doing something that I loved and where I would be working with people, yet be able to be independent,” Kyser said. She is looking toward a career combining photography and graphic design, and isn’t sure about the new digital photography certificate since it’s just being started but may consider it in the future. “Through the process of learning photography, the pure art form of photography captured my heart.”

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by Marilynn Fryer

Fall2010 2010 • • Career CareerChoices Choices • • 517.796.8467 517.796.8467 16 Fall 16


You dream of graduating from a university with that bachelor’s degree. Did you know you can get there from a community college, at a significant savings? Community colleges offer courses that are equivalent to what many students take at their first two years of university study, and they can transfer on for those who are bachelor’s-bound. If your goal in college is to transfer to a four-year university, there are important steps to take before even beginning at Jackson Community College. For a smooth transfer and to not have to repeat courses at a four-year institution that you had at community college, it’s important to plan ahead.

Step 1:

Plan ahead Decide on a major or program early, and learn about the transfer program. Students may complete their first two years worth of course work at community college and then enter university as a junior. Normally there are three types of college courses necessary: • general education courses • courses required as preparation for your intended program

Step 2:

Step 4:

Determine if your program of study is a “second admit.” That means that after you are accepted to the university of your choice, you also must apply to the college that houses your program, such as the College of Education for teachers. Some programs with secondary admits include business, education, engineering, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, music, dance, art and theater.

Select the universities that match your needs and wishes! Many catalogs and applications are in JCC’s Student Services Center, in Bert Walker Hall, as well as at other JCC locations. A web page that will take you to the home page of Michigan colleges is http:// Also, four-year colleges and universities visit JCC in mid-fall.

Determine program requirements

Step 5:

Step 3:

Meet with an advisor

Choose your top picks

Request information, apply

Meet with an advisor at JCC. He or she can help you meet JCC’s graduation requirements, and/or prepare to transfer with maximum credits to the university of your choice. Transfer credit means the courses you took at the community college are recognized as equivalent to the same courses offered by the four-year college you want to attend. An advisor can give you a transfer guide to help chart out the courses necessary for your major program to ensure ease in transfer. Remember, there’s no substitute for professional advice. Meet with an advisor even before you register for your first semester course to ensure that your courses will be necessary and “transferable.”

Call or go online to the universities you plan to attend and request catalogs and applications. Return applications with appropriate payment.

Step 6:

Send transcripts Request official transcripts be sent to the universities you are applying to, from JCC and any other colleges you have attended.

Step 7:

File for financial aid Complete the financial aid process.

Step 8: Visit

• electives

Visit the university you plan to attend.

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JCC offering opportunities for skilled trades to earn associate degrees Starting this Fall, Jackson Community College is launching a new degree program for those with apprenticeship or journeyman credentials in a skilled trade who are looking for a college degree. The occupational studies program is a new offering designed for those in skilled trades programs not offered by JCC. Workers in fields such as construction and industrial trades may complete this associate degree program by taking some additional courses in general education and core courses. Core courses will include courses in sustainability, business, entrepreneurship, eCommerce, computer systems and technical and business writing. Trades may include carpenter, cement mason, structural draftsman, machine builder, machine repair and maintenance, millwright, wood model maker, mold maker (plaster and die cast), operating engineer, plumber, pipe fitter, tool and die maker. Other apprenticeships would need to be reviewed on a case-bycase basis for consideration. Many skilled trade jobs are currently in high demand, and pay well. An associate degree, in addition to apprenticeship training, can expand one’s career opportunities, whether one is working for someone else or is on their own. Students may receive credit toward their degree for certain completed apprenticeship work. To learn more, contact JCC’s student services, 517.796.8425.

Interested in a job for the future? Consider Jackson Community College’s new alternative energy degree program.

director of sustainability. “As the economy continues to recover, growth is expected in this sector.”

Starting this Fall and Winter, JCC will launch a new program for students interested in the emerging field of alternative energy, also called green energy, renewable energy or clean energy. As the traditional “fossil fuels” that have powered our nation for decades become exhausted and Americans look to reduce their harmful greenhouse gas emissions, jobs in alternative energy are expected to increase.

JCC’s alternative energy degree will be a good fit for those interested in careers in these new fields, which are still in development, as well as current electricians or HVAC technicians looking to expand their knowledge and skill base. Several courses overlap with JCC’s current programs in electricity (electrician), climate control technology, and automotive. Courses and labs within the program provide students an opportunity to learn theory and skills required to design, install, operate and maintain alternative energy systems for both residential and small commercial applications.

This new degree program is another result of JCC’s emphasis on sustainability, which is broadly defined as the longterm ability of the human population to interact with the natural environment in a manner that allows both current and future generations access to a healthy environment. It is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Renewable energy sources are becoming a larger part of U.S. energy generation, in particular wind and solar energy. Subsidies and incentives from federal, state and local governments are expected to create more growth. “Everything is moving toward green jobs in the future,” said Mark Rabinsky, JCC’s

Fall 2010 2010 •• Career Career Choices Choices •• 517.796.8467 517.796.8467 18 Fall

“Knowledge of electricity and heating/ cooling principles are very important,” Rabinsky said, “these are paramount to understanding how alternative energy systems can be integrated into residential and business applications.” Specific training topics include: energy efficiency, photovoltaic (solar) systems, wind turbines, geothermal systems, solar thermal systems, bio-fuels, and hydrogen fuel cells. Typical job opportunities may be found with firms that produce parts, components, products, and/or services, including installation and distribution of alternative energy systems.

Renovated Whiting Hall to open for Fall, new addition next year

Change continues at JCC with the renovation and expansion of Justin Whiting Hall. Constructed in 1968, Whiting Hall is comprised of nearly 100,000 square feet, and while there has been a renovation to about 12,000 square feet to create the Rawal Center for Health Professions, the vast majority of the building needed to be totally reduced to the bare walls and remodeled, as well as roof system and HVAC system replacement. Work continues with renovation of the east and west wings, scheduled for completion in time for Fall 2010 classes, allowing the college to advance new instructional programs and courses. The addition of a new 42,000-square-foot health learning center will continue and is scheduled for completion for Fall 2011. The building will utilize sustainable features in its design and engineering systems, strengthening JCC’s commitment to sustainability.

JCC @ LISD TECH working with LISD to form new middle college academy

After discussions with the Lenawee Intermediate School District and the Lenawee County K-12 school districts, JCC is working with educators on the formation of the JCC/LISD Academy, a new educational endeavor designed as a “middle college.” A middle college is a secondary school, often located on or close to college campuses, designed to educate underserved or at-risk students who have the potential to succeed, but may not fare as well in the traditional high school. Middle colleges allow students to complete high school and earn college credits, with the goal of graduating with both a high school diploma and college associate degree within five years. JCC and the LISD already work together extensively through the sharing of facilities and resources between the LISD TECH Center and JCC @ LISD TECH, located next door to each other.

Enrollment continues to climb for 2009-2010 year

More and more students are choosing JCC for their higher education needs, as enrollment figures continue to climb by record numbers. As of June 4, JCC’s headcount for the year was at 11,660 students, up from a total of 10,315 students a year ago, with more late-starting classes planned for Spring/Summer semester. Billing contact hours, a measure of the time students spend in class, are up for the year as well, at 189,967.20 in June, an increase already from last year’s total of 160,529.06 annually. For Spring/Summer, 40 percent of JCC’s billing contact hour enrollment is generated at the Jackson campus, 30 percent through online distance learning classes, 21 percent at JCC @ LISD TECH in Lenawee County, and 9 percent at the LeTarte Center in Hillsdale County.

Student housing available for Fall, Winter semesters

Looking for more from your college experience? JCC now offers on-campus student housing in Campus View, located on the southeast corner of the Jackson campus, close to classes, library, fieldhouse and fitness center, Potter Center events and more. Each suite has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room and storage space. Students enjoy the privacy of their own bedroom, while sharing a bathroom with one other suitemate. Campus View features numerous amenities, including free wireless Internet service, free telephone with unlimited local and long distance, community social and study spaces with televisions, community computer labs, on-site trash removal and laundry, electricity, water, heat/air, multiple levels of security and a live-in professional residence life staff. To learn more or schedule a tour, call 517.796.8656.

Rent-A-Text program to begin at JCC bookstore

JCC’s student bookstore, operated by Follett Higher Education Group, will offer a new rent-a-text program designed to help students save on their textbook costs starting this Fall semester. Follett’s new textbook rental program offers students the benefit of more than 50 percent savings on new textbooks as well as convenience and flexibility in the rental process. Find the book on the shelf, like usual, and see if there’s a “FOR RENT” shelf tag. Students may shop in-store or online, and all forms of payment are accepted for rental fees. Students have the option to convert their rental to a purchase during the rental term. Renters must be 18 years or older, with a valid debit or credit card, provide an e-mail address, and a driver’s license/state ID. Finally, students must fill out an online rental agreement, which signifies their commitment to bringing the book back by the check-in date. Rental will be available at the Jackson and Adrian campuses or online; Hillsdale students may shop online and/or travel to the Jackson campus for pick-up. For more information or to pre-register, visit

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Jackson Community College and ABC Training and Testing are offering truck driver training in Jackson County. JCC began offering commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in 2007 through its Corporate and Continuing Education office. The previous partnering company, HR Career Development, discontinued the service when they relocated their headquarters to Ohio. JCC is now partnering with ABC Training and Testing of Horton, Mich. to provide truck driver training. Training prepares students to test for the Michigan class “A” commercial driver’s license (CDL) test, required for commercial heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers. Students learn through classroom and hands-on training over just 21 days, and classes begin weekly. “Career opportunities are good, as long as students understand that they will be over the road drivers for a couple years,” said Janet Gamet, who owns ABC Training and Testing with her husband, Tom. Over the road drivers deliver goods over routes that can span several states, or even


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467

go into Canada or Mexico, and often are responsible for planning their own routes. Some drivers are responding for loading and unloading, while others simply deliver or pick up. They may work for a company, or own their own truck and contract out. “Truck drivers need to be able to be on the road, and they need to love to drive,” Gamet said. It’s also important to have a clean criminal history, because a criminal background check is standard. Drivers also need to be in good physical condition, as it can be a physically demanding job. Truck driver’s pay varies greatly, but students can expected to make about $40,000 their first year driving if they put in time and effort. Career opportunities are favorable, but drivers may have to expand their search beyond strictly the Jackson County area.

To become licensed, students are in class roughly 160 hours over three weeks. The first week is in the classroom, while the second two weeks are on the road driving with an instructor. Funding for training is available to those who qualify through No Worker Left Behind from Michigan Works! To learn more, call ABC at 517.563.2005 or 800.914.4605, or visit www.

Do you see yourself as a leader? The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, may be the right path for you! Jackson Community College offers Army ROTC in cooperation with Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and Spring Arbor University (SAU). Army ROTC allows students to attend college while taking courses that prepare them to become an Army officer after they graduate. Scholarship money is available for students interested in becoming a commissioned officer, for those with no military experience and those currently involved in the National Guard or Reserves. Students working toward a bachelor’s degree may work toward a minor in military science and leadership with their first two years at JCC, and transfer to EMU or SAU to finish. JCC offers the Basic Course for ROTC, taken during the freshman and sophomore years of college. The Basic Course consists of: • MSL 101 Foundations of Officership (2 credits) • MSL 102 Basic Leadership (2 credits) • MSL 201 Individual Leadership Studies (2 credits) • MSL 202 Leadership and Teamwork (2 credits) Courses and labs will be held at SAU and taught by professors from EMU. Eastern has had a longstanding partnership with the U.S. Army, and SAU has an established ROTC program. Courses include classroom work, physical fitness, and leadership labs. For more information, contact First Lt. Renn Moon, assistant professor of military science, at, or For general information about ROTC, students may visit the web site at

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by Marilynn Fryer

Fall 2010 2010 •• Career Career Choices Choices •• 517.796.8467 517.796.8467 22 Fall

If you enjoy helping people in their time of need, many career opportunities exist in today’s health care field. Health care careers are varied with different jobs for each individual’s wants and goals. Most are directly involved with patient care, such as nursing, sonography or radiography, while others are not directly involved, such as health management or medical insurance coder biller. Patient care involves working with people who are either sick or injured, and often they may be upset, hurting, anxious or confused. Faculty from several Jackson Community College health care fields stress the importance of being able to work with people, in good times and bad. “We have to have a well-rounded student, one who is compassionate as well as bright,” said Stephen Geiersbach, assistant professor and program coordinator for general sonography. “Sonographers really need to have a good bedside manner, to have compassion Stephen Geiersbach for human beings, because often, you will meet people on what is likely one of the worst days of their life. You have to be concerned about each person and their particular situation at that time.” In dealing with life and death situations, serious illness and injury, it’s important for health care workers to know their own selves and how they will handle difficult situations.

“Nurses are intimately in contact with another person; they have to be able to put their own needs aside and put the other person first,” said Peggy Comstock, JCC director of nursing. “It’s a very values-based profession, meaning that we ascribe dignity and respect of all people, which requires Peggy Comstock a non-judgmental attitude. You need to recognize your own biases and be able to put them aside.” Medical professionals not only need to work well with patients, but also with other professionals, so communications and team work skills are vital. “Having good communication skills and relationship building skills are very important, both in working with patients and in working with the technical staff, physicians and nurses,” said Joe Shackelford, assistant professor and program coordinator of radiography. Health care careers require knowledge in math and science, as well as skill with technology. “It’s a field that may interest people who love anatomy and working with people, but it may also interest those who love technology,” Shackelford said. Those who aren’t directly involved with patient care still need an understanding of the health care field, as well as skills important in business. Continued on next page

Having good communication skills and relationship building skills are very important, both in working with patients and in working with the technical staff, physicians and nurses.

- Joe Shackelford, assistant professor and program coordinator of radiography

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“You need to be able to understand health care on paper,” said Marla Clark, director of allied health programs at JCC.

Nursing, RN and LPN

Nurses work to Marla Clark promote health, prevent disease, and help people cope with illness. Registered nurses (RN’s) provide care, treatment, counseling and health education to individuals, families and their communities. Licensed practical nurses ( LPN’s) care for ill, injured, convalescent and handicapped persons in hospitals, clinics, private homes, doctors’ offices and other settings, and work under the supervision of an RN, doctor or dentist.


Sonographers are skilled professionals who work in hospitals and medical imaging clinics to take and record ultrasound images of internal structures, which are then used by physicians to make diagnoses. General sonographers are often associated with obstetric and gynecological ultrasound, but do scan other areas throughout the body as well, such as abdomen and breast. In addition, there are specialties in vascular sonography, focusing on all vessels except for the heart, and echocardiography, which focuses on the heart.


Fall 2010 • Career Choices • 517.796.8467


Radiographers, also referred to as radiologic technologists, produce X-rays and use other imaging techniques essential in diagnosing medical problems. They work to correctly position patients for procedures, operate high-tech equipment, explain procedures and guard against unnecessary exposure to radiation. Students need good psychomotor skills, taking the knowledge learned and putting it to work in clinical practice.

Respiratory Care

Respiratory care practitioners (RCPs, also known as respiratory therapists) work primarily in hospitals and assist in the evaluation, diagnosis and care of patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary problems. Respiratory therapists are primary health care providers in the intensive care unit because they operate the life support equipment (or ventilator). They also provide care for premature infants, persons injured in automobile accidents, asthmatics, chronic lung patients and heart attack victims, as well as work for home care companies and in many other locations where patients need their expertise.

Emergency Medical Services

Depending on the nature of the emergency, emergency medical services personnel typically are dispatched to the scene by a 911 operator and often work closely with police and fire department personnel. Once they arrive, they determine the nature and extent of the patient’s condition, while

trying to ascertain whether the patient has pre-existing medical problems. Following policies and protocols, they give appropriate emergency care and when necessary, transport the patient. All treatments are carried out under the supervision of medical doctors.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health professionals trained to work in the business and clinical parts of a medical office. Clinical duties vary, and may include taking medical histories, recording vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patients for examination, and assisting the physician in the exam room, and more.

Health Management

Health care is a business and, like every business, it needs good management and support to keep it running smoothly. Workers in this field help in planning, directing, coordinating and supervising the delivery of health care.

Medical Insurance Coder Biller

Medical billers and coders communicate between medical offices, patients and insurance companies. By assigning letters and numbers to diseases, injuries and medical procedures, they speed up the process of payment and ensure that records are correct.

Considering living on campus? Let JCC show you how you can Campus View Student Housing Jackson Community College’s new Campus View 1 & 2 student housing is now open. Located just minutes away from anywhere on campus – classes, dining, library, the fieldhouse – students will always be at home when living on campus. Studies show that living on campus can lead to higher grades, greater academic success, better rate of completion and more satisfaction with the overall college experience.

• 48 four-bedroom units, one resident per bedroom • Multiple levels of security for your protection • Two bedrooms per bathroom, extra vanity sink • Fully furnished living room, kitchen and four bedrooms • Wireless high speed Internet, phone and cable TV

2111 Emmons Road • Jackson, MI • To learn more call: 517.796.8656

Fall Classes begin August 30 • serious possibilities

Jackson Community College My Kind of Place What’s Up?

Returning students register: • •

July 13, students with 30-plus JCC credits July 14, students with 12-plus JCC credits July 15, all returning students and new students who have met with an advisor to plan Fall courses.

ADVISING Students on the Jackson campus should make an appointment to meet with an academic advisor by calling 517.796.8425. •

Walk-in advising, Jackson campus, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays and 1-6 p.m. Thursdays only. Other times by appointment. •

Advising at Lenawee and Hillsdale campuses; call Lenawee at 517.265.5515 or Hillsdale at 517.437.3343.

All students may register beginning August 2

Career Choices  

Fall 2010, Volume 7, Issue 1. Find your future With a little planning Computer networking Digital photography JCC offering opportunities for...