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LCCC Closer To Offering Bachelor’s Degree Program!

27 July 2017 Higher Learning No Comment


By Lisa Roberson

Posted July 27th 2017




Lorain County Community College is ready to become the state’s first community college to offer a bachelor’s degree program on its campus.

For years, LCCC has filled the bachelor level need through its University Partnership, which allows students to obtain advanced degrees through one of several Ohio colleges and universities. Now, pending approval from the Ohio legislature and Ohio Department of Higher Education, LCCC will offer an applied bachelor’s degree program in microelectronic manufacturing, a field of study the college has embraced with the aim of serving as a workforce pipeline for the industry.

The college’s Board of Trustees took the first step toward program implementation Thursday by signing a resolution in support of the design and launch of the applied bachelor’s degree program.

The Ohio legislature likely will vote this week on a biennial budget that will include a provision allowing for community colleges to offer select applied bachelor’s degrees where the need for such is going unmet.

“This legislation is a game-changer for Ohio,” LCCC President Marcia Ballinger said in a statement. “Ohio has set a target to have 65 percent of its workforce with an industry recognized credential or degree by 2025. Institutions of higher education need to do all we can to reach this goal, including pursuing new models. LCCC is ready to step up and this program hits the mark. Employers are engaged in the process and working with us to design and deliver the program. Students are excited because it leads to a degree and a good job.”

LCCC launched its associate degree program in mechatronics technology with a focus in micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) in 2014.

The program is one of only 16 in the country and is often the first highlight for dignitaries and professionals who visit the college’s Richard Desich SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems wanting to know more about MEMS, the main process behind sensor packaging, testing and inspection.

Graduates of the associate degree MEMS program complete paid internships with industry partners and are often offered full-time work following the completion of their degree with that employer. Through this “Learn and Earn” model, graduates of the program have a 100 percent job placement rate.

“The employment rate of our graduates is a testament to the need for this program. By expanding LCCC’s offerings to include an applied bachelor’s degree, we will be directly meeting the needs of employers in this high-growth field,” explained Johnny Vanderford, professor of microelectronics and MEMS engineering.

The attraction of LCCC’s University Partnership Program has been its costs savings on the way to a bachelor’s degree. The applied bachelor’s degree program in microelectronic manufacturing will offer the same with a 3+1 structure, meaning the first three years of the program will be at LCCC’s tuition rate. The fourth year will be at LCCC’s tuition rate and also include additional equipment and technology fees.

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