Launch Magazine Fall 2021

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Launch A Washtenaw Community College Publication | Fall 2021

What do you call someone who went to WCC?

Environmental Scientist. Meet Sabrina Lanker and other successful WCC alumni inside.

WCC has the programs you want! Page 9 INSIDE: • New Accelerated Associate in Business Degree Program Can Kick-Start Your Career • Future Environmental Scientist Gets Rock-Solid Start at WCC •P arent Perspective: Affordable and Excellent Programs Translate to Degrees for Mother and Son



Photo: Sabrina Lanker, WCC graduate to attend U-M this fall.


In This Issue

Greetings! It’s hard to imagine during these warm summer months that autumn will soon arrive, and with it, the Fall 2021 semester at Washtenaw Community College.

4 Kick-Start Your

Career with New Accelerated Associate in Business Degree Seventeen months. 60 credits. 100% online. Start this fall and finish fast.

6 Future

Environmental Scientist Gets RockSolid Start at WCC A geology class inspired Sabrina Lanker to become an environmental scientist.

8 Parent Perspective:

Affordable and Excellent Programs Translate to Degrees for Mother and Son As the mother of three, Maria Acuna was grateful for the opportunities her middle son, Pablo Garcia, found at Washtenaw Community College.

9 2021 Programs 10 Program Spotlights 10

A ccelerated Associate in Business General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences


I can’t wait to personally welcome new and continuing students to campus and to our online programs. This fall, WCC students can choose to study in class, online or attend a combination of both online and in-person classes, to earn their degrees. Each year, more than 21,000 diverse students pursue their goals and aspirations at WCC, one of the top community colleges in the country. Whether you’re a budding manager or entrepreneur, passionate about math and science or the skilled trades, human services or liberal arts, WCC has more than 130 programs of study to fuel your aspirations. In this issue of Launch, you will learn about a few of our graduates and ways to kick-start your business career with an accelerated degree program. Sabrina Lanker found a love of geology at WCC while earning a General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences associate degree. Next, she’s off to the University of Michigan to pursue her dream of becoming an environmental scientist, with the rock-solid foundation she built right here at WCC. Education is a family affair for Maria Acuna and Pablo Garcia, a mother-son duo who were on a parallel path to achieving their goals. Maria and Pablo both graduated from WCC in May and provide great perspective on their educational journeys and what they valued most about their educational experience at the college. I am always inspired by our students, their stories and their drive to pursue their chosen passions and professions. Whatever your aspirations may be, our exceptional faculty and staff are always here to provide support and guidance every step of the way. I hope you will enjoy this issue of Launch and look forward to welcoming you as a new or continuing student this fall. With warm regard,


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

RECONNECT AT WCC GET YOUR DEGREE TUITIONFREE. Now is the time for Michigan residents over the age of 25 to attend college. Apply today for this new State of Michigan scholarship and make your education dreams a reality! Join us for information sessions from 5–6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Learn more at 3

Kick-Start Your Business Career with New Accelerated Associate in Business Degree In search of a quick and effective pathway to the business world? If so, then look no further than Washtenaw Community College’s Accelerated Associate in Business degree program.


pecifically designed for students seeking an associate degree in business, the program strategically compresses eight six-week sessions into a 17-month educational journey, shorter than the traditional college timeline. It normally takes an individual 24 months to complete an associate degree. This program also offers the convenience of being 100% online, a real advantage for students who are working full time or part time. Enrolled students are given access to invaluable tools such as dedicated success coaches, cost-saving resources and support for transfer to a four-year college or university. WCC faculty work closely together to provide a unique learning experience with classes and assignments building off each other for greater impact. The program’s class scheduling is defined with specific content in each offered course. “This is a great option to boost careers, as well as take a big step toward a bachelor’s degree if that’s a student’s chosen next

step,” said Dr. Kimberly Hurns, WCC executive vice president of instruction & academic affairs.

model allowing them to build relationships with their instructors and peers which will last a lifetime.”

“We have great partnerships with fouryear institutions that offer accelerated and online bachelor’s degrees in business that are looking forward to working with students from our program.”

Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal students who successfully complete their associate degree boost their annual income by more than $6,000. An associate degree increases the total number of jobs available by 34%. An associate degree holder earns $400,000 more than someone with only a high school diploma over a 40-year work-life span, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Whether your career pathway is geared toward breaking into a new industry or establishing your own opportunities as an entrepreneur, WCC’s accelerated business degree equips you with the skills needed to navigate today’s ever-evolving workforce. “Students are seeking educational opportunities that allow them success in the timeframe and schedule that works for them,” said Eva Samulski, dean of business & computer technologies at WCC. “The accelerated business degree merges work experience with classroom theory. Not only will students complete their degree in a shorter period, they will also move through the program cohort

Learn more about the Accelerated Associate in Business degree at

Facts About the Accelerated Associate in Business Degree

100% ONLINE PROGRAM LENGTH: only 17 months Limited spots available for the Fall 2021 semester. Apply now at


EMPLOYED. 4 | Launch Fall 2021


Future Environmental Scientist Gets

Rock-Solid Start at WCC

Sabrina Lanker, WCC class of 2021 and U-M student 6 | Launch Fall 2021


abrina Lanker started her academic journey at Washtenaw Community College not knowing exactly what she wanted to study or do for a living.

Society, contributing to the Campus Vote Project and working part-time jobs in the Student Activities department and at the WCC Health & Fitness Center.

She considered being a science teacher, primarily because of the positive influence Pinckney High School teacher Penny Ventrone—also a part-time instructor at WCC—had on her. It was Ventrone, in fact, who first encouraged Lanker and some of her classmates to consider WCC.

“Community colleges don’t get as much praise as four-year universities, but you can have just as many experiences and opportunities,” said the 21-year-old Whitmore Lake resident. “You get what you put in. I turned WCC into the best thing in the world for me. You can just go to class and then go home, or you can turn it into a great experience.”

But a geology class intended for future teachers piqued Lanker’s interest. “I ended up loving geology way more than I loved education, so I changed my major and career path,” Lanker said. She took most of the geology courses WCC offers on her way to earning a General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences associate degree in December and is heading off to study Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan this fall, with hopes of one day performing fieldwork for the National Park Service or the U.S. Geological Survey. Once her course of study was determined, Lanker maximized her time at WCC by participating in the college’s STEM Scholars program, founding a Spanish conversation club, serving as a vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor

Before starting classes at U-M, Lanker is participating in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates in Sisimiut, Greenland from July 12 to August 12. She will be the only community college student among the cohort studying how earthquake ruptures propagate through bedrock in the deeper reaches of Earth’s crust. So while Michiganders are enjoying the state’s peak temperatures, Lanker will be conducting on-site field research in 50-degree weather and bracing for the potential of overnight below-freezing temperatures in her tent. “I’m not a huge fan of hot weather, anyway,” she said with a laugh. “It’ll be jeans and a hoodie weather every day, which is the best weather for me.”

Being in the WCC STEM Scholars program—which encourages, supports and facilitates success for students interested in STEM careers—brought the National Science Foundation internship to Lanker’s attention. “I’m excited to gain the skills and knowledge about what happens in the day-to-day life of a geologist,” Lanker said. “I also want to reassure myself this is really what I want to do. Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Or maybe there’s a different part of geology that’s a better path for me?”

Community colleges don’t get as much praise

as four-year universities, but you can have just as many experiences and opportunities.”

EARN YOUR BACHELOR’S DEGREE START: WCC General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences associate degree FINISH: University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and more! Learn more at


Parent Perspective

Affordable and Excellent Programs Translate to Degrees for Mother and Son As the mother of three, Maria Acuna was grateful for the opportunities her middle son, Pablo Garcia, found at Washtenaw Community College.


t started with the full-ride President’s Scholarship he earned upon graduating from Ann Arbor Huron High School, continued with the STEM Scholars program that challenged and supported him at WCC, and culminated with advisors who made sure he was on track to achieve his dream of transferring to the University of Michigan. “We always knew Pablo was very smart, but finances are an issue for us,” Acuna said. “Now he has the opportunity to go to one of the best universities in the world. We’re very thankful for WCC.” Acuna always stressed the importance of education to her children, so she envisioned the day one would receive a college diploma. What she didn’t anticipate was graduating herself on the very same day. That happened May 22, when both Acuna and Garcia wore cap-and-gown regalia to the WCC Commencement Parade. “My mother has always been a motivation for me, so having a chance to graduate right next to her was something really beautiful,” Garcia said.

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Acuna was working in the Environmental Services department at the University of Michigan Hospital when she learned about WCC’s Sterile Processing certificate program, which prepares students for the high-demand field after just 16 credits.

“Saving money was important, but also Washtenaw is a good school and I met really great people along the way and had a great experience,” said Garcia, who was accepted into the Electrical & Computer Engineering School at the University of Michigan.

She completed the program, passed the national certification examination and had a new job—with a boost in pay— preparing surgical instrumentation and equipment in the hospital operating rooms just two weeks later.

WCC Keeps College Affordable

“I never thought I’d be graduating at the same time as my children,” said Acuna. “We were all very happy and made a lot of fun out of it.”

In-district tuition only $95/credit hour

Garcia, who received his Pre-Engineering Science Transfer associate degree from WCC, was considering several four-year universities after high school but couldn’t turn down the free tuition provided by the President’s Scholarship, awarded to six students from each public high school in Washtenaw County. In retrospect, Garcia says choosing WCC “was the best decision I could have made.”

Nearly all students are eligible for financial support Open Education Resources program reduces buying expensive textbooks Learn more at

WCC has programs you want! With more than 130 different programs of study, it’s easy to get an associate degree and transfer to a four-year college, train for a career you can start right away, or earn a certificate to advance in your job. 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 Digital Business Marketing and Sales Entrepreneurship and Innovation

BUSINESS, CONTINUED Human Resources Management Management Occupational Studies Retail Operations or Management Supply Chain Operations or Management

GENERAL STUDIES General Studies– Transfer Pathway General Studies– Employment Pathway


Dental Assisting


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


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.


Child Development Early Childhood Education Elementary Education Secondary Education


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


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


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

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




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: Accelerated Associate in Business Degree

Take a Faster Path to Your Business Career If you’re looking to start your business career as quickly as possible, consider enrolling in the Accelerated Associate in Business degree program. This 100% online program allows you to earn your degree in just 17 months, faster than the traditional timeframe of 24 months. In addition, this program can prepare you to transfer into a bachelor’s of business administration degree program at a four-year college or university to further transform your skills while developing a specialty in an area of business. WCC’s accelerated programs are fast and flexible pathways for you to quickly enter the workforce, advance your career, add skills to your current educational path, or begin creating your own opportunities through entrepreneurship.

Did You Know? WCC offers a variety of accelerated programs and courses for you to boost your career or earn your degree faster! • HR Essentials Certificate • Business Enterprise Basics Certificate • Management Certificate • Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate • Sports Management and Entertainment Certificate and more! Learn more at 10 | Launch Fall 2021

EARNING POTENTIAL General and Operations Managers NEW WORKERS


Generally start around

Normal pay is









Job and salary information source:

ACCELERATED ASSOCIATE IN BUSINESS DEGREE Program Description The Accelerated Associate in Business degree program is a condensed version of WCC’s Business Administration–Transfer program with a predetermined course schedule. The program length has been streamlined to only 17 months consisting of just eight sessions that are six weeks in length. Students who are enrolled in the program will have the added benefit of a dedicated success coach and study peers to help them stay on track and achieve their goals.

For more information, visit Careers in Business CAREER



Business Intelligence Analyst



Associate degree + transfer

Human Resources Specialist



Associate degree + transfer

Supervising Manager



Associate degree + transfer

Management Analyst



Associate degree + transfer

Marketing Manager



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

ichigan private nonprofit four-year M college or university* ichigan public four-year M 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: General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences (ASGSMS)

You Too Can Be a Math and Science Rock Star! Does the thrill of uncovering the mysteries of the earth’s soil and minerals interest you? Are you passionate about protecting the world’s precious water, energy and other resources? Or maybe you’d like to apply your math skills to design systems, products and solutions in the field of engineering. Whatever your math and science interests are, WCC’s associate degree in General Studies in Math and Natural Sciences can get you there! This program is specifically designed for students who wish to explore a variety of program areas while concentrating on math and the natural sciences. It also makes an excellent path for students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

EARNING POTENTIAL Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary NEW WORKERS


Generally start around

Normal pay is





MICHIGAN NUMBERS CURRENTLY EMPLOYED Atmospheric, Earth, Marine and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

46,846 Job and salary information source:

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GENERAL STUDIES IN MATH AND NATURAL SCIENCES (ASGSMS) Program Description This program allows students to design a program of study to meet their individual needs. This may be a good option if students are undecided about a major and want to explore a variety of discipline areas with a concentration in math and natural sciences. The program also allows students to customize their coursework to the requirements of the senior college or university to which they are transferring. Students should begin by meeting with a counselor who will assist them in developing a program of study that meets all of the College’s graduation requirements. A counselor can also help students determine their interests and career and educational goals as well as provide transfer and career information.

For more information, visit Careers in Math and Natural Sciences CAREER



Electrical Engineer



Associate degree + transfer

Environmental Scientist



Associate degree + transfer

Geographic Information Systems Technician



Associate degree + transfer

Manufacturing Engineer



Associate degree + transfer


Job and salary information source:

Quality EDUCATION. Affordable PRICE. With our award-winning* courses taught by faculty who also teach at U-M, EMU and others, you’ll get a university-quality education at an affordable price before transferring to a four-year school! *Blackboard Exemplary Course award for innovative technology and learning, 2020.


Apply now for the Fall Semester! Get a university-quality education at an affordable price. • Low tuition at only $95/credit hour • Award-winning courses • Over 130 programs with flexible options

Achieve your educational goals at WCC! Fall semester begins August 30.

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!


Register Now for Fall Semester! Fall Classes Begin August 30, 2021

How To Get Started at WCC

Important Dates

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

August 28

Xpress Registration Available

August 30

Fall Semester 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.

September 6–7

Labor Day Holiday; No Academic Classes

September 22

Fall Session II Begins

September 15

Winter 2022 Schedule Available

October 6

Fall Session III 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.

October 13

Winter 2022 Registration Begins for Current Students

October 14

Winter 2022 Registration Begins for New Students

October 23

Fall Session IV Begins

November 24–29

Thanksgiving Break; No Academic Classes WCC Board of Trustees Mr. William G. Milliken Jr., Board Chair

Ms. Angela Davis, Vice Chair

Tips to help you register!

Mr. David DeVarti, Treasurer

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

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? Aerospace engineer. Each year over 21,000 diverse students all bring goals and aspirations to WCC, one of the top community colleges in the U.S. With our renowned faculty and nationally recognized programs, our educational culture has become a model for the country. Students study in class, online, or both, to achieve their individual goals. Whether it’s a transfer to the Big Ten or Ivy League, or a new career or promotion, WCC’s degrees and programs open doors wherever you go. Together we can make great things happen. So, go ahead


Aisha Bowe, WCC Alumna Former NASA aerospace engineer Tech entrepreneur

Fall registration now open

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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