Letter from the President
In This Issue 4
HIGHWAY TO CAREER SUCCESS
Whether you are a career “starter,” “shifter” or “advancer,” WCC is like a superhighway with multiple on-ramps and exits depending on your needs at any given time.
WCC GRADS ARE EMPLOYED
What do you call someone who went to WCC? Employed! Our alumni stories show how we prepare students for top jobs.
It’s time to enroll for summer and fall semesters!
What do you call someone who went to WCC?
Chemical engineer, medical instrument technician, creative manager (and Emmy award winner!), video game computer programmer and radiographer are just a few of the countless job titles our alumni hold and which you’ll read about in this edition of Launch.
When it comes to preparing students for a wide array of rewarding careers, we sometimes use the metaphor of a highway because no matter where a student is on their journey, we offer a multitude of on-ramps to help them reach their destination.
Many students are fresh high school graduates, some may be looking to change careers altogether and others still are seeking to hone a skill that will enable them to climb the ladder in their current position.
Washtenaw’s excellent and accessible programs pave the way for students to succeed in their chosen career. In addition to the students you’ll read about in this edition, WCC alumni have also gone on to become CEOs, lawyers and even rocket scientists!
WCC Board of Trustees
Ms. Angela Davis, Board Chair
Mr. William G. Milliken Jr., Vice Chair
Mr. David DeVarti, Treasurer
Ms. Ruth A. Hatcher, Secretary
Ms. Christina M. H. Fleming, Trustee
Mr. Alex Milshteyn, Trustee
Ms. Diana McKnight-Morton, Trustee
Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D., WCC President
Our mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. These are not mere words woven together to sound lofty. We mean business. Literally.
Best wishes for a productive Summer semester at WCC!
With warm regards,Rose B. Bellanca, Ed.D., President Washtenaw Community College
BROADCAST, COMMUNICATION, VISUAL, DIGITAL & FINE ARTS
BROADCAST & COMMUNICATION
Audio Production and Engineering
Broadcast Media Arts
Animation for Film and Broadcast
Animation for Game Art
Client-side Web Developer
Digital Video Production
Server-side Web Developer
User Experience Designer
Web Design and Development
VISUAL, FINE & PERFORMING ARTS
Fine & Performing Arts
Accounting for Business
Business Office Administration
Computer Software Applications
Core Business Skills
Digital Business Marketing and Sales
HR Skills and Operations
Retail Operations or Management
Retail Operations or Management
Sports & Entertainment Management
Supply Chain Essentials
Supply Chain Operations
Supply Chain Management
Computed Tomography (CT)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
LPN to RN RN
Cardiac Telemetry Technician
Health Care Foundations
Health Program Preparation
Medical Billing and Coding
Physical Therapist Assistant
HUMAN SERVICES, PRE-EDUCATION & PUBLIC SAFETY
Early Childhood Education
Introduction to Elementary Education
Criminal Justice –Law Enforcement
Liberal Arts Transfer
MANUFACTURING, AUTOMOTIVE, SKILLED TRADES & CONSTRUCTION
Auto Body Repair
Automotive Services Technician
Automotive Test Technician
Custom Auto Body Fabrication and Chassis Design
Motorcycle Service Technology
Powertrain Development Technician
Advanced Manufacturing (CNC)
Mechatronics-Robotics and Automated Systems
MANUFACTURING, AUTOMOTIVE, SKILLED TRADES & CONSTRUCTION
Welding & Fabrication
SCIENCE, COMPUTERTECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH
Computer Systems Technology
Engineering and Design Technology
MATH AND SCIENCE
General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences
Math and Science
APPRENTICESHIP & UNION TRADES
Journeyman Industrial Occupational Studies
WCC: All Lead to Career Success
Like a superhighway to success for the 21st century workforce, Washtenaw Community College offers multiple on-ramps and exits depending on your needs at any given time.
Are you a recent high school graduate embarking on your journey? Are you seeking a career change? Is your goal to advance in your career by sharpening skills or earning a certificate? Whether you’re a career “starter,” “shifter” or
fast-track programs train workers for high-demand, high-wage job fields.
Student data from the 2021-2022 academic year paints the picture of how WCC serves a wide range of students:
w48% were high school graduates
w30% transferred from other colleges
w11% were dual-enrolled high schoolers
w11% already had a college degree
and advanced manufacturing, as well as in emerging areas like mobility and electrification, can put students over the edge in a competitive job market.
“At Washtenaw Community College, there aren’t any dead ends. We’re like a highway. You can get on whenever you want to learn a skill set and then you can get off the highway, President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. go out and work, and then you can get back on to continue to develop and grow. We’re with you every step of the way.
From Kenya to WCC to U-M
had just returned to the United States from nearly seven years in Kenya – just in time to enroll in WCC. After having spent the first 11 years of her life in the States, her family moved to Kenya to be closer to her grandfather.
As a STEM Scholar at WCC, Nur followed the pre-med track, earning an Associate & Science with high honors. In January, she transferred to the University of Michigan where she is ma joring in Biochemistry. Now 21, Nur is interested in a career helping people as an OB/GYN surgeon. She enrolled at WCC, in part, because the smaller class sizes allowed for more direct instructors, which she knew would give her a solid foundation. “I feel like you’re closer to the teacher and you can interact with them. With how small the classes are, you are able to get a oneon-one learning experience from the instructor which enables you to take in information a lot quicker and ask questions without feeling overwhelmed with the number of students around. It prepared me a lot with the fundamentals.”
Her time in STEM Scholars – a WCC program providing high-quality, holistic, aademic and social experiences as well as financial support – prepared her to thrive among in the academic rigors of the University of Michigan. “My STEM Scholars mentor was able to give me advice on how to navigate issues. …WCC has taught me to reach out when I was in need of help with any challenges.”
From District Manager to C-Suite
David Graham, a 46-year-old father of high school and college-age children and district manager of a national auto parts chain, enrolled as a Reconnect student at Washtenaw in 2021. Almost all of his classes in the Associate Degree in Business Administration Transfer program were self-paced which was key for him to continue managing 12 stores and 130 employees.
While Graham has enjoyed career successes, something had been nagging at him to finish his college degree and advance so he enrolled at WCC. After graduating this May, he’ll seek to complete his bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a focus on Organizational Development and Leadership from Central Michigan University.
“I’m looking to transition in the latter part of my working life to a training role, talking with C-suite folks or those out in the field. One of the things I’ve most enjoyed in management is
From Army Technician to Civil Engineer
After serving six years in the Army as an explosive ordinance disposal technician, Anthony Colton was at a crossroad in 2018. Having been trained to safely disarm bombs, the Texas native knew his aptitude leaned toward STEM.
“My job in the military unlocked my potential and helped me to visualize my future.”
My time there definitely completely reshaped who I am today and gave me a great on-ramp or road map for becoming successful. When it came time to figure out the next phase, I took a cue from my wife,” says Colton, whose spouse grew up in Whitmore Lake and studied nursing at WCC before transferring to Finlandia University to earn her bachelor’s degree.
“‘WCC is the gateway of Michigan’ – that’s how it was pitched to me by my wife, and sure enough everyone I went to class with at WCC, got into (the University of) Michigan. WCC has a lot of great programs and foundational educational opportunities, and it really streamlined the transition,” Colton says. At WCC he studied the pre-engineering transfer path before enrolling in the University of Michigan where he earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering degree this year.
This summer he will start his dream job in construction management with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.
“WCC has a lot of great programs and foundational educational opportunities, and it really streamlined the transition to the University of Michigan.”
What Do You Call Someone Who Attended WCC?
Chemical engineer, medical instrument technician, creative manager (and Emmy award winner), video game computer programmer and radiographer are just a few of the countless job titles our alumni hold today. We prepare students for rewarding, successful careers in a wide range of sectors. Read more about our alumni featured in this issue of Launch.
Jason Franchi never planned to go to college.
He entered the Marines directly out of high school and served for five years. It wasn’t until he decided to sign up for classes at WCC in January of 2016 that he envisioned life with a college degree.
“There were never very high expectations for me academically in high school, and I wanted to change the narrative from what people had thought about me in the past. Now, I am a first-generation college graduate in my family,” he says.
Also, now, Franchi is a DTE Energy engineer who plans and optimizes gas transmissions throughout the state – and is a proud graduate of a hard-earned University of Michigan Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.
“I chose WCC because of the great things I had heard about it from friends who had attended and because it was the facilitator school to get into the University of Michigan,” says the Brighton native, 31. After earning his pre-requisites at WCC, he transferred to U-M, graduating in 2022.
“WCC equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I never thought I would have from an academic perspective,” he says, adding that the atmosphere offers a safe space to learn through mistakes as well as successes.
Dr. Tracy Schwab, then a chemistry instructor and now interim Dean for the Department of Math, Science & Engineering Technology, influenced how Franchi viewed his studies and his long-term plans.
“He is such an amazing and intelligent
individual whose success is tied to his hard work and determination,” Schwab says. “Having to navigate the chemical engineering course work is already challenging – but Jason also had to deal with the pandemic. However, he persevered.”
His DTE role in gas transmissions is a change of pace from his days in the Marines, where he served as a military police officer and joined the Special Reaction Team (civilian SWAT team) as a marksman.
Franchi thinks back to the day he received his degree with gratitude.
“I was a little concerned that obtaining my chemical engineering degree was not going to live up to the hype that I had created in my head for that moment, but I was wrong. Becoming a chemical engineer after the years of grinding away at school was as glorious of a moment as I could have ever imagined.”
MATH, SCIENCES & ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY AT WCC
Learn more about the associate degrees, certificates and pathways that fall under the Math, Sciences & Engineering Technology Division, as well as the outlook for STEM careers.
“I never thought I would be in this position. WCC equipped me with the knowledge and confidence I never thought I would have from an academic perspective. The staff is phenomenal. ”
Statia Hamilton always dreamed of a large family and a fulfilling career. Now, she has both.
Hamilton started her family young and took a less traditional educational pathway to her dream job as a medical instrument technician at the Veteran Affairs Hospital in Ann Arbor.
After one college start and various jobs, Hamilton knew she needed to return to college and develop a career she loved. She learned about the then-new Sterile Processing program at WCC and enrolled in the program’s first class.
“I wanted more for myself and my children,” recalls Hamilton, now 31 and a mother of five. “I wanted a career, not a job. I knew I had to get educated.”
WCC helped change the trajectory of her life. She earned her certificate and started her career.
“I have an amazing job making great money and am able to take care of my kids and myself. It has made such a huge impact in my life. I’m grateful,” she says.
She relied on the college’s flexible class
schedules and found support at WCC with child care assistance and technology to help navigate schooling with a full family life.
As a sterile technician, Hamilton empties test scopes and places them in a machine to be disinfected and sterilized after use on patients. She also assists with patient room set up and care.
“I love being hands-on and being able to help with patients. The best part is the fact that there is always something new to learn.”
She says her WCC education helped her learn to adapt quickly to day-to-day challenges as well as new concepts.
“You can tell my instructors love what they do. If we had our struggles they went the extra mile to make sure we were successful.” Hamilton specifically credits instructor Kathryn Hernandez. “If it wasn’t for the great leadership I
was under, I would not be in this position now. My instructor paved the way for me.”
Her advice to others? “Never feel like you can’t go back to college. There are plenty of resources that will help you be successful. You may have to make some sacrifices. But if there is a will, there is a way.”
ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS AT WCC
Learn more about the Sterile Processing and many other programs that prepare students for rewarding and in-demand jobs in the health care industry.
MEDICAL INSTRUMENT TECHNICIAN
“If it wasn’t for the great leadership I was under, I would not be in this position now. My instructor paved the way for me.”
Tom Adams wanted something special to go alongside the digital animation credits he earned during his time at Washtenaw Community College – a portfolio that looked like no one else’s. So he made it happen.
As a WCC computer programming student in 2010, Adams worked hard both in and outside of class to make sure he could snag a good job after college. Originally from Ann Arbor and now living his dream in California programming video games, “I’d say I’ve made it.”
“Even though you’re in school you have to build up your portfolio so it doesn’t look like everyone else’s,” says Adams. He started programming video games in his down time, eventually releasing indie games for feedback.
Adams, now 32, graduated with a certificate in computer programming from WCC in 2012 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in digital animation from Ferris State University in 2016.
He worked for several years at Grand Rapids firms, programming to create 3D office layout plans, boats and even Men’s Warehouse suits.
In his own studio, though, Adams was able to do both the artwork and the programming to create gaming videos. In 2018, he released a virtual reality game called “Unhallowed: The Cabin.”
“I worked on it for a couple of years, and it was really exciting. It was a big learning experience and helped me all the way down the line,” he says.
With his sights still set on the gaming industry, Adams eventually landed his dream job with Virtual Concepts Entertainment in California, the company that creates the NBA’s 2K games. They also develop other sports games, including WWE 2K and NFL 2K.
“WCC was for sure the foundation of my knowledge for what I do now. The classes and the teachers were fantastic and inspired me for the rest of my career. The environment is conducive to learning,” he says.
COMPUTER SCIENCE & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AT WCC
Learn more about computer programming and other pathways and academic programs that fall under the Computer Science and Information Technology Department, as well as the career outlook.
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER , VIDEO GAMES
CREATIVE MANAGER, EMMY AWARD WINNER
It was 2007, and Joe Hallisy was all over the place.
“I hadn’t done well at a four-year university, I had switched to become a history major and I thought I might want to own a pizza shop,” he says.
One day, it dawned on him that what he really wanted was to pursue a career where he could use his gifts and make a difference for others.
“I loved movies. I loved storytelling, but I found out in high school that writing wasn’t for me. Video production, that was a storytelling medium that could work for me,” he says.
Fast forward about 15 years: Now 36 and a married father of three, Hallisy leads the Michigan Medicine Creative Services team at University of Michigan Health.
He’s earned eight Michigan Regional Emmy awards for his work.
When Hallisy first enrolled at WCC, he thought he’d take some general education credits and transfer. The college was just starting to build a video production program, and Hallisy agreed to try the “Introduction to Video” class.
“I loved it. Unlike at a big university, they handed me a camera the first day and let me start learning right along with the theory that was being taught.”
Hallisy appreciated the approach to teaching the technical side of video
production as well as the human and emotional side of capturing video. He puts those skills to use in his role as creative manager, collaborating with patients, faculty, hospital and university staff, executives, his own team and more.
Thirteen years ago while at WCC, Hallisy met a Michigan Medicine staff member who told him the hospital system was starting a video production team and asked him to join. He’s been there since.
Eventually, Hallisy transferred to Eastern Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media. He is currently enrolled in a master’s program for Arts Administration through Drexel University in Philadelphia.
“The faculty had a lot of hands-on experience in the field and prepared me to jump in right away. There were people working who would come and teach and bring footage from real video they needed edited. That was amazing,” Hallisy says. “Usually you’re filming and editing video of your buddies, so having brand new footage was awesome.”
Now, it’s Hallisy who is eager to inspire others. He’s hired several interns and staff from WCC, noting that when he
sees Washtenaw on a resume, “I definitely take notice.”
VIDEO PRODUCTION PROGRAMS AT WCC
Learn more about the many digital media arts associate degrees and certificates at WCC that can lead to rewarding careers.
When Michelle Wilkins started in Washtenaw’s Radiography program, she hoped success would directly lead to a job in the Michigan Medicine hospital system.
“What I didn’t know was that when I finished the program I would have so many opportunities,” says Wilkins, 38, “I am fortunate and grateful for all that WCC has helped me gain.”
Wilkins attended WCC from 2019 to 2022 and is now a radiographer at the University of Michigan hospital. She’s also worked for almost two years as a contingent employee at Beaumont Hospital.
After high school, Wilkins enrolled at Eastern Michigan University parttime but struggled to find direction. An academic advisor provided her with a personality analysis. It changed her life.
“She told me my personality matched with radiography and that I should check out WCC,” she says. “If it were not for that person I might still be lost and confused on what I wanted out of a career.”
Wilkins credits faculty for preparing her for a career and is grateful for the extra time instructors took to help her understand and grow. “They are extraordinary. Almost every instructor went above and beyond to make sure their students felt comfortable with the material they were learning.”
Classroom time coupled with clinicals and on-the-job training equipped her with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to succeed.
“We did X-rays on human cadavers in the lab and did simulations to demonstrate our proficiency and knowledge of our skills under pressure,” she says.
Wilkins says the benefits of her WCC education are far-reaching. “People can tell when you work hard and are struggling,” she says, adding, however, that the positive feedback is encouraging. “When you do well, it’s greatly satisfying.”
ALLIED HEALTH PROGRAMS AT WCC
Learn more about the Radiography and other academic programs and pathways that fall under the Allied Health Division and prepare students for in-demand jobs. Programs include associate degrees and many certificate and post-associate certificates.
ENROLL NOW FOR SUMMER & FALL 2023
How To Get Started at WCC
Apply to WCC. It’s free!
Applying is free and only takes 10 to 15 minutes. wccnet.edu/apply
Complete items on your personal checklist
Summer 2023 Semester
Session I, May 8
Session II, May 22
Session III, June 20
Fall 2023 Semester
Session I, August 28
Session II, September 20
Session III, October 4
Session IV, October 20
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 select a major and plan your class schedule. Call 734-677-5102 or contact the Student Welcome Center.
Search and register for classes by 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. wccnet.edu/pay
Tips to help you register!
Log into wccnet.edu/mywcc, 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
Ayouare focused on maximizing the benefit your child receives from available education resources, especially if the next step is college.
You ask questions like, “How do I manage expenses to provide the best-possible college access for my student? Is my student mature enough to handle the responsibilities that accompany college-level work?”
If so, you might be interested in a program that allows you and your student to experience those waters during high school – in a cost-friendly way. This program is broadly known as “dual enrollment” and involves students taking college courses for college credit while they are in high school.
The program is administered differently according to individual high school requirements, but overall, students work with their counselors to determine a level of participation proper for each student’s academic ability and maturity to handle the responsibility of college.
Among dual-enrolled students who started at a four-year college immediately after high school, 64% completed a college credential within five years, according to a national Community College Research Center report.
The numbers of dual-enrolled students at Washtenaw Community College are growing.
In the Fall 2022 semester alone, 1,157 high school students were dually enrolled at Washtenaw. In the Winter 2023 semester, 1,345 high school students were taking college courses at WCC under dual-enrollment programs.
WCC’s quality online offerings allow students outside the immediate area to access courses and earn college credit while in high school.
Dual enrollment serves as a good way to gradually prepare students for the higher responsibilities that come with college learning while having the support of both high school and college resources.
“There are so many outstanding benefits that come from being
Dual Enrollment is a Challenge Worth Accepting
a dual-enrolled student,” says Stephen Bloomfield, WCC Student Recruitment & Outreach Manager. “Taking classes that will successfully transfer to meet college-degree requirements can sharply reduce college costs. It can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a bachelor or associate degree, and it provides an outstanding way to introduce students to what college academics are all about.”
One of Bloomfield’s key points is cost management.
Almost all dual-enrollment opportunities have no financial expense associated with taking college courses for high school students. As a result, it is possible for students to earn an associate degree during high school providing students and their families two years of tuition savings.
Dual-enrolled students may transfer their earned credits toward a transfer program, or they may be interested in taking classes that earn professional certifications in specific skills.
If you and your student are interested in exploring dual enrollment, contact your high school’s counselor.
Learn more about eligibility requirements, the application process and more by visiting:
State of Michigan: wccnet.edu/midual
Be Our Guest this Summer Semester!
“I take classes at WCC during the summer instead of at Michigan mainly because of the price difference. … WCC also offers a lot more exibility with classes, which helps because I work full-time and volunteer over the summer. It’s also nice that there are smaller classes so I can get to know the instructor more easily.”
— EMILY IRISH, Sophomore Biomedical Engineering major at the University of Michigan, enrolled this summer in WCC’s Calculus III & Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care classes.
Summer is a great time for students on break from their four-year colleges and universities to take advantage of WCC’s low tuition and get ahead of their academic plans by enrolling in Washtenaw courses.
Washtenaw’s guest student program offers transferrable courses, affordable tuition rates, low student-instructor ratios and flexible scheduling. Last summer 2,461 enrolled as guests from 202 other colleges and universities across the country and abroad. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of being a guest student at Washtenaw is the face-to-face course tuition rate of just $95 for in-district students and $169 for out-of-district residents.
Local university students who maintain resident status outside Washtenaw County are eligible for in-district tuition rates if they work 30 or more hours per week for one or more Washtenaw County employers.
SUMMER SCHEDULE Session I, May 8 | Session II, May 22 | Session III, June 20
REGISTER NOW! Online: www.wccnet.edu/enroll | Call: (734) 973-3543 | Email: email@example.com
Learn how WCC and the Michigan Achievement Scholarship can work for you! Scan here:
Learn more about WCC scholarship opportunities: wccnet.edu/scholarships
What Do You Call Someone Who Attended WCC? Cybersecurity Research Analyst
“WCC has prepared me by offering many classes in fields that companies are hiring for. Without in-depth knowledge of automotive, it would be tough to understand how a vehicle works – not only mechanically but, more importantly, electronically. Keeping cars cyber-secure is a huge factor in automotive, and WCC allowed me to gain the knowledge in cybersecurity to do so.”