Launch Magazine Winter 2022

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Launch A Washtenaw Community College Publication | Winter 2022

What do you call someone who went to WCC?

Global Consultant. Learn about Chris Shepherd’s journey from WCC to working for a global consulting firm and other inspiring stories.

WCC has the programs you want! Page 9 INSIDE: • F rom WCC to BCG: How Chris Shepherd’s liberal arts education was a launchpad to success at Boston Consulting Group •B est of Both Worlds: Apprenticeships offer students paid on-the-job training & employers a skilled talent pipeline •P arent Perspective: WCC proved to be the best choice and value for Amy Jennings’ son, Kyle

Photo: Chris Shepherd, WCC Alumnus, BCG Consultant



In This Issue

It has been great to be back on campus, interacting with students and seeing them filled with excitement about their futures. The start of each semester ushers in new hope and pathways toward achieving dreams and pursuing passions. This Winter 2022 semester is no different.

4 From WCC to BCG How Chris Shepherd’s liberal arts education was a launchpad to success at Boston Consulting Group

6 Best of Both Worlds Apprenticeships offer students paid on-the-job training & employers a skilled talent pipeline

8 Parent Perspective WCC proved to be the best choice and value for Amy Jennings’ son, Kyle

9 2022 Programs 10 Program Spotlights 10

usiness Administration B Transfer Computer Systems and Networking


With four Winter start dates between January 10 and March 3, it’s time to enroll and to pursue your academic and career goals. WCC is here to support your success every step of the way. Our in-person and nationally recognized online programs are designed to meet the demands of today’s busy students and professionals. WCC’s dedicated staff at the Student Welcome Center is here to answer your questions from pre-enrollment until degree or certificate completion. This issue of Launch highlights WCC alumni Christopher Shepherd and Kyle Jennings, and students Ally Norris and Travis George. Kyle is a WCC alumnus just two courses shy of graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science, and already has a job lined up with a major medical equipment manufacturer. Kyle credits WCC for helping him find his footing in higher education, and his passion. Originally on the fence about where to start his college education, Kyle eventually decided on WCC—where the quality education and affordable tuition would allow him to explore different academic and career options. Christopher’s liberal arts foundation led to a successful career in business consulting. He earned 27 credits at WCC before transferring to the University of Michigan and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Political Science & Economics. He is now a full-time associate at Boston Consulting Group, a leading global consulting firm. Ally and Travis are earning while they learn, and gaining valuable skills through IT and mechatronics apprenticeships at Michigan Medicine and Pollard Banknote, Ltd., a lottery ticket printing firm. I am so proud of the drive and outstanding achievements of these and all our current students and alumni and hope you are equally inspired by these stories. With warm regards,


Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D.

President, Washtenaw Community College

Executive Editor

Lori Mouton

Vice President, PR & Marketing


Colleen Villa

Director of Marketing

Graphic Designer  Web Designer  Writers

Randa Abulhassan  Sonya McDowell

Rich Rezler, Cortez Strickland, Colleen Villa

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Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D. President, Washtenaw Community College

“The Reconnect program has opened so many doors that I couldn’t have imagined. WCC really held my hand all the way through. If you desire a higher education, Reconnect is very attainable.” Carmen Samaniego WCC Student Future Computer Scientist


Get your degree TUITION-FREE. Michigan residents: if you’re over the age of 25, you may be eligible for the Michigan Reconnect scholarship program. Join us for information sessions from 5–6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Learn more at

From WCC to Global Consultant How Chris Shepherd’s liberal arts education was a launchpad to success at Boston Consulting Group Working for Boston Consulting Group – the second-largest consulting firm by revenue in the world with 80 offices in 48 countries – Christopher Shepherd is surrounded by co-workers with MBAs and other business-specific degrees. There’s never been a day, however, when he regretted his own liberal arts-focused college education, which started as a dual enrolled student at Washtenaw Community College while he attended Ann Arbor Skyline High School. “Being grounded in liberal arts makes you more grounded and interested in the human experience,” says Shepherd. “I’m a big believer in a broad education. Your mind is what separates you from a computer. To feed your mind computertype tasks is a waste.” Shepherd earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Political Science & Economics from the University of Michigan in 2017. The 27 credits he earned at WCC (with a 4.0 GPA) gave him the freedom to expand his horizons during his time at U-M. Thanks to the seven general education classes he completed at WCC before enrolling at U-M, Shepherd was able to take two six-month foreign exchange trips – studying at both the University of Cape Town in South Africa and Fudan University in China – and still graduate on time.

“Coming in with so many credits from WCC, I was unconstrained in my four years at Michigan,” he said. “I was able to study at multiple colleges because I had a lot of space in my schedule to do so.” That broad educational experience, Shepherd believes, helped him develop the knowledge and soft skills that have led to his steady rise at the Boston Consulting Group. He started at the organization as an intern in 2015 and advanced to be a summer associate in 2016, a full-time associate in 2017 and a management consultant focused on fashion, retail, food and restaurants in 2019. Shepherd said studying the liberal arts – which traditionally include the areas of history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, psychology, creative arts and more – is like “preparing yourself for the long run rather than preparing yourself for a particular job.” That attitude about the liberal arts – and his considerable career success – made Shepherd the perfect choice to be a keynote speaker during WCC’s first annual Liberal Arts Week in late October. One story he shared with WCC students is the time a U-M advisor steered him away from the university’s renowned Ross School of Business and instead suggested he remain on a liberal arts path that would prepare him to be a better thinker.

DUAL ENROLLMENT Eliminate potential college debt while still in high school. Dual enrollment at WCC offers academically qualified high school students the opportunity to accrue college credits while still attending their home high school or homeschooling, helping students get a head start on college and potentially eliminating college debt.

Learn more at 4 | Launch Winter 2022

“He told me that my peers in business school may end up with a better job to start, but that I’d progress faster and further,” Shepherd says. “A lot of business is very straight-forward, but how do you differentiate yourself from the crowd?” Based in Atlanta, Shepherd is currently focused on marketing and has helped brands launch social media and Google search ad campaigns to sell products. He has also assisted in hiring and training marketing teams while working with several marketing agencies across the country. In 2020, Shepherd took a roughly yearlong break from the Boston Consulting Group to help advise the Southern Poverty Law Center on how to strategically accomplish its goals of reducing social inequality and creating a more just and equitable society. He said his educational path has provided opportunity to have those wide-ranging experiences in his work career.

Being grounded in liberal arts makes you more grounded and interested in the human experience...I’m a big believer in a broad education.

Chris Shepherd, WCC Alumnus, BCG Consultant

Earn your BACHELOR’S DEGREE Transfer seamlessly for your bachelor’s degree with WCC’s articulation agreements.

WCC offers a Liberal Arts Transfer associate degree that allows students to design their program to satisfy their own interests and academic and career goals while also fulfilling the transfer requirements of specific four-year institutions.


WCC Liberal Arts Transfer Associate Degree


University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University and more! Learn more at


Best of Both Worlds Apprenticeships offer students paid on-the-job training & employers a skilled talent pipeline

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When Ally Norris reports to her job at the Service Desk at Michigan Medicine, she’s being paid for a 40-hour work week as she trains for a career in information technology. One of 45 active apprentices placed with businesses around southeast Michigan through Washtenaw Community College, Norris is part of a program that will end with her earning an IT journeyman certificate, a WCC certificate in Computer Systems Technology and being prepared for the COMP TIA industry A+ certification exam, an important credential within the industry. WCC works with employers and students alike to develop apprenticeship programs to meet industry needs and connect students to opportunities in advanced manufacturing, health care, IT, including cybersecurity, and other industries. Apprentices develop skills both with on-the-job training and in WCC classes, which are led by industry experts. Students earn while they learn. Businesses fill their talent pipeline. It’s a win-win. “It’s a really unique way to get on-the-job training and formal education at the same time,” Norris said. “It’s been really handy because I didn’t have to worry about finding the money to go back to school.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English in 2010, Norris had a change of heart about the teaching career path she had been following. After working a series of tech-related jobs, she landed at U-M and in the WCC apprenticeship program. Employers invest in an apprentice program to develop their talent pool, and national data indicates that 94% of registered apprentices stay with the company where they trained after earning their credential. The average national starting wage for those who complete a registered apprenticeship program is more than $70,000.

It’s a really unique way to get on-thejob training and formal education at the same time... It’s been really handy because I didn’t have to worry about finding the money to go back to school. Today’s workforce is rapidly changing, with a demand for increasingly sophisticated and technologically advanced skill sets. This dynamic has created a crucial need for companies

to implement training programs designed to equip employees with the required skills to allow the companies to operate successfully. To address this demand, the Workforce Development department at Washtenaw Community College has partnered with companies across the region to provide training programs that address current skill gaps. One such company is Pollard Banknote, Ltd., in Ypsilanti. WCC has been helping to train their apprentices for years. Travis George, an electromechanical technician with the lottery ticket printing facility, completed an apprenticeship through WCC’s Mechantronics program in December. He says the state-of-the-art lab spaces in the college’s Occupational Education Building provided him with real-world experience he needed. “WCC has excellent, hands-on programs and labs,” he said. “If you take a Robotics class, there are labs with 10 or more robots. You’ll build circuits and troubleshoot real-world symptoms of various common electrical failures in manufacturing.” One of the purposes of a community college is to be the economic driver for the region it serves. That’s the main mission of the WCC Workforce Development department, by providing employers with customized training rooted in requisite skills. For more information on WCC’s apprenticeships, email or call (734) 677-5393.


Need a proven solution to attract and retain talent? Consider creating an apprenticeship!

Schedule an appointment to learn more. 734-677-5393 • 7

Parent Perspective

Student discovers his passion at WCC WCC proved to be the best choice and value for Amy Jennings’ son, Kyle Amy Jennings values education. She has a law degree and her husband has a Ph.D. Her two oldest sons have engineering degrees from the University of Michigan. Back in 2015, her youngest son, Kyle, was all set to follow the family pattern of enrolling at a four-year institution out of high school. He had been accepted to Michigan State University and assigned a dormitory roommate when some doubts started to surface. “That summer before he was about to start, he told me he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do,” Amy Jennings said. “He kind of assumed he would study engineering like his father and brothers, but he knew in his heart that just wasn’t what he wanted to pursue.” Kyle and his parents agreed he would be better off enrolled at Washtenaw Community College, where the affordable tuition would be better suited to exploring different academic and career pathways. “Financially, WCC gave him the time to explore different things and switch his major a couple times – but he still did it within what we had allotted to spend on his education,” Amy Jennings said. 8 | Launch Winter 2022

According to most recently available tuition data, completing one 15-credit semester at WCC’s in-district tuition rate of $95 per credit hour will save a student an average of nearly $6,500 per semester when compared to in-state public and private four-year universities. Add on being able to live at home and the savings was even more considerable. Kyle eventually found his passion. He completed a General Studies in Math & Natural Science associate degree at WCC while also completing the Michigan Transfer Agreement, which provides transferability of general education requirements at participating Michigan four-year colleges and universities. He’s now two classes shy of graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science and has a job lined up with a major medical equipment manufacturer. In retrospect, Kyle initially had misconceptions about starting at a community college. But that didn’t last long – especially when it became evident that some of his high school classmates that had gone away to four-year institutions and struggled would have been better off following his path.

“It was the right decision, I’m really glad he did what he did and I’m just so happy that he’s found his niche,” Amy Jennings said. “So many kids end up with a degree in something they’re not going to like in five years. It’s so much better to figure things out early than when you’re older and it becomes a lot harder to make changes as your life gets more complicated.”

WCC Keeps College Affordable • Low in-district tuition: $95/$108 online • Financial aid available to nearly all students • No-cost textbook options available


Visit for the full list of programs and to learn more. BROADCAST, COMMUNICATION, VISUAL, DIGITAL & FINE ARTS BROADCAST MEDIA ARTS Audio Production and Engineering Broadcast Media Arts Journalism Technical Communication


3D Animation Animation for Film and Broadcast Animation for Game Art Client-side Web Developer Digital Strategist Digital Video Production Interface Designer Server-side Web Developer User Experience Designer Web Design and Development


Arts Management Film Studies Fine Arts Global Studies Liberal Arts–Transfer Pathway


Graphic Design Photographic Imaging Photographic Technology


Accounting Accounting for Business Administrative Assistant Applied Data Science Business Administration– Transfer Pathway Business Enterprise Business Office Administration Computer Software Applications Core Business Skills

BUSINESS, CONTINUED Digital Business Marketing and Sales Entrepreneurship and Innovation Human Resources Management Management Occupational Studies Retail Operations or Management Supply Chain Operations or Management



Child Development Early Childhood Education Elementary Education Secondary Education


Criminal Justice Criminal Justice– Law Enforcement Paralegal Studies/Pre-Law Police Academy

General Studies– Transfer Pathway General Studies– Employment Pathway






Only $95 ($108 online) per credit hour in-district

0% O NL

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY, CONTINUED Cybersecurity Foundations of Information Systems Information Systems Programming in C++ Programming in Java Web Database Programming Professional


Engineering and Design Technology Pre-Engineering Science–Transfer


Computed Tomography (CT) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Mammography Radiography

Auto Body Repair Automotive Cybersecurity Automotive Services Automotive Test Technician Custom Auto Body Fabrication and Chassis Design Motorcycle Service Technology Powertrain Development Technician Transportation Technologies

Environmental Science Exercise Science General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences Math and Science Biology Chemistry Mathematics



Construction Supervision/ Management HVACR Welding


Dental Assisting


Nursing Assistant LPN to RN RN


Health Care Foundations Health Program Preparation Medical Assisting Medical Billing and Coding Physical Therapist Assistant Sterile Processing Surgical Technology


WCC also offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate for international students in preparation for a college degree in the U.S. Programs available as of publication date. Consult for the latest information.

Advanced Machine Tool Programming Engineering Technology– Manufacturing Fluid Power Industrial Electronics Technology Machine Tool Setup, Operation and Programming Mechatronics Welding and Fabrication





Get a job. Advance your career. Transfer to a four-year institution.

137 academic programs, 45 of which are 100% online






Apprenticeship Completion Construction Supervision Industrial Training Ironworkers Pre-Apprenticeship Journeyman Industrial Occupational Studies


C++ Programming Computer Networking Computer Software Applications Computer Systems Technology

To learn more about our Student Success Guarantee, visit 9

Program Spotlight: Business Administration Transfer

Get down to business! Do you dream of a career in business, where you can contribute to the growth and development of an organization? Or maybe you’d like to be your own boss someday. If so, WCC’s Business Administration Transfer degree program is a great way to “get down to business” with your educational and career goals. A business degree can open doors to myriad career paths, such as human resources, general management, operations, marketing and more. Careers in business are typically high-demand and high-wage jobs. In fact, 11 of Michigan’s Hot 50* jobs are in business-related fields. So whether your dream is to be a financial manager, marketing analyst, sales executive or another profession, the Business Administration Transfer degree will help get you there!

Accelerate Your Business Career Get a fast start in business with the Accelerated Associate in Business degree program. With 6-week courses and only eight sessions, you’ll earn your degree faster and be career or transfer ready! WCC offers other business related programs and certificates as well. Learn more at 10 | Launch Winter 2022



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Job and salary information source: *Michigan’s High-Demand, High-Wage Careers, State of Michigan, Department of Technology, Management and Budget, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Statistics.

Business Administration Transfer (AABATR) Program Description This program prepares students for transfer to a bachelor’s of business administration degree program at a four-year college or university, where they will further improve their communication and interpersonal skills while developing a specialty in an area of business. Check with an advisor for information on transferring to a specific college.

For more information, visit

Careers in Business CAREER



Market Research Analysts



Associate degree + transfer

Online Merchants



Associate degree + transfer

Personal Financial Advisors



Associate degree + transfer

Sales Managers



Associate degree + transfer

Search Marketing Strategist



Associate degree + transfer


Job and salary information source:

Save Money on Your


Planning to transfer? Save thousands with a WCC associate degree before moving on to a four-year college or university!

$32,756 $13,140

M ichigan private nonprofit four-year college or university* M ichigan public four-year college or university*

$2,280 Washtenaw Community College**

*Average full-time tuition based on findings from the National Center for Educational Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, 2019–2020 (based on provisional data) values. **2019–2020 academic year in-district tuition for 24 credits. Source:


Program Spotlight: Computer Systems and Networking

Connect to a Career in Computer Networking Organizations of all sizes use computers that often rely on networks to share and store files, communicate with printers and access a multitude of applications and products in a secure and reliable manner. Networks are basically the “glue” that holds IT communication together and enable us to do all sorts of things such as stream videos, use a smartphone, connect with a technology-enabled doorbell and even drive vehicles. Nearly everything we touch from a technology standpoint involves a network. That’s why computer networking is in such high demand. Whether you want to specialize in network security, operating systems or other areas, the Computer Systems and Networking associate degree at Washtenaw Community College is a great way to specialize and get into this highdemand, high-paying field.



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15,919 Job and salary information source:

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COMPUTER SYSTEMS AND NETWORKING (APCSN) Program Description In this associate degree program, students will learn about the latest desktop, server, and networking technologies. This program has a core of hardware, operating system, networking, and scripting courses that all students must complete. In addition to the common core subjects, students will select a specialized track in one of the following areas: Local and Wide Area Networking, Microsoft Network Operating Systems (Server and Client), and Linux Network Operating Systems.

For more information, visit

Careers in Computer Networking CAREER



Computer Network Support Specialists



Associate degree + transfer

Computer User Support Specialists



Associate degree + transfer

Computer Network Architects



Associate degree + transfer

Information Security Analysts



Associate degree + transfer

Network and Computer Systems Administrators



Associate degree + transfer


Job and salary information source:

Seamless TRANSFERS WCC’s Computer Systems and Networking Associate in Applied Science degree transfers seamlessly to the Technology Management program at Eastern Michigan University as well as other university programs. Check with an advisor for information on transferring to a specific institution.


Kristy King, WCC Student; Aspiring Sideline Reporter Kristy King came to WCC to change careers after earning her bachelor’s degree and working for several years in sales. She is currently enrolled in the broadcasting certificate program to prepare for her exciting new career.

Enroll now for the Winter 2022 semester! What’s different about a WCC education? Plenty! • Nationally recognized programs • More than 130 programs; 45 are 100% online • In-district tuition only $95/$108 online per credit hour

Winter semester begins January 10. Get started. Stay on track. Get ahead.

Learn more and apply today at Washtenaw Community College does not discriminate on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected status in its programs and activities. The following office has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Executive Vice President of Student & Academic Services, SC 247, 734-973-3536. Facility access inquiries: Associate V.P. of Facilities, Development & Operations, PO 112, 734-677-5322 If you have a disability and require accommodation to participate in this event, contact Learning Support Services at 734-973-3342 to request accommodations at least 72 hours in advance. © 2021 Washtenaw Community College

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Schedule a virtual tour at Questions? The Student Welcome Center is here to help!


Enroll Now for Winter Semester! Winter Classes Begin January 10, 2022

How To Get Started at WCC

Important Dates

Apply to WCC. It’s free! Applying is free and only takes 10 to 15 minutes.

October 1

Winter Registration Begins

Complete items on your personal checklist We’ll call within three days of receiving your application to walk you through each item.

Meet with an academic advisor WCC advisors can help you with determining your major, class selection and degree planning. Schedule your appointment today.

November 24–29 December 24– January 3

Thanksgiving Break; No Academic Classes Winter Break; College Closed

January 10

Winter I Session Begins

February 1

Winter II Session Begins

February 15

Winter III Session Begins

March 3

Winter IV Session Begins

Call 734-677-5102 or contact the Student Welcome Center.

Course schedule Search and register for classes using keywords such as a subject, class name, instructor name, class number or Course Reference Number (CRN). Other tools help you find classes by subject, location, time of day, days of the week and type of class. Online classes are available on-demand or in a virtual classroom format. Mixed-mode classes are a combination of online instruction and on-campus lab time.

Pay for school There are many ways to pay for school—financial aid, scholarships and payment plans. Visit for more details.

Tips to help you register! Log into, click on Student Services, then Registration. You will be able to: • Check your course prerequisites • See if there are any holds on your account • Register for classes

March 7–11 March 17

Winter Recess; No Academic Classes Summer and Fall Registration Begins for New Students WCC Board of Trustees Mr. William G. Milliken Jr., Board Chair Ms. Angela Davis, Vice Chair Mr. David DeVarti, Treasurer Ms. Ruth A. Hatcher, Secretary Ms. Christina M. H. Fleming, Trustee Mr. Richard J. Landau, Ph.D., J.D., Trustee Ms. Diana McKnight-Morton, Trustee Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D., WCC President


4800 E. Huron River Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48105-4800


What do you call someone who went to WCC? Social Worker.

Cat Hadley had to reacclimate herself to education, but once she did, the sky was the limit. She earned her associate degree in General Studies and transferred to the University of Michigan’s Social Work program. In May 2020, she was one of only 62 candidates in the U.S. to win the prestigious Truman Scholarship. “None of this would be possible without my time at Washtenaw Community College,” she said. WCC has helped thousands of students see what is possible, and they have achieved their dreams. Together, we can help you achieve your dreams, too.

Enroll now for Winter. Catherine Hadley, WCC Alumna, U-M Sociology Major Read more:

Copyright © 2021 Washtenaw Community College. All rights reserved. No part of the material printed may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system without the permission of the publisher. Every effort is made to remove individuals or businesses that have requested, in writing, to be deleted from Washtenaw Community College’s mailing lists and/or database. WCC obtains mailing lists/data from many sources and cannot guarantee you will be eliminated from every mailing.

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