ANN ARBOR – Following a stint in the Marine Corps, where he served as an Electro-Optical Ordinance Tech, Max Mercer has built himself a nice career as a commissioning engineer for Horiba Automotive Test Systems in Ann Arbor.
The 34-year-old Brighton resident and father of two is successful and happy but has always contemplated pursuing a college degree. He found the right time and place when he discovered the Accelerated Associate in Business Degree program that Washtenaw Community College (WCC) is introducing in the Fall 2021 semester, which begins August 30.
“I was able to join Horiba straight out of the military because of my electronics background and I love my job, but further mobility is limited by my lack of a formal education,” Mercer said. “I’m looking to transfer into the project management aspect of the industry and I think my opportunities will be more fruitful with a college degree.”
The new accelerated degree format is being offered entirely online and provides the opportunity for students to earn an associate degree in just 17 months, compared to the more traditional 24-month path. The condensed format will help graduates quickly advance their careers or transfer to complete a bachelor’s.
It is among of a wide range of WCC degree and certificate programs designed in flexible formats for students juggling a demanding schedule or wanting to change their career path. Other new accelerated business offerings include certificates in human resources, cybersecurity and computer networking.
Information sessions about the Accelerated Associate in Business Degree will be offered via Zoom 5-6 p.m. every Thursday from July 15-Aug. 26. Prospective students may register online for a Zoom link. Both the new condensed and traditional formats will prepare students for rewarding careers in supply chain and retail management, entrepreneurial leadership and other areas of business administration.
“Our accelerated business associate degree is ideal for goal-oriented students wanting to get a jumpstart on their careers. We are pleased to offer this high-quality program to educate and position our graduates as community business leaders and to meet the needs of both students and the workforce,” said WCC President Dr. Rose Bellanca.
Students will join peers in a study cohort and will work with a dedicated student success coach. The program offers eight six-week sessions and is recommended for students with two years of work experience. The coursework is transferrable to partnering institutions for graduates seeking to complete a bachelor’s degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates with an associate degree may increase their annual income by more than $6,000 and see 34% more job options compared to those in the workforce without a degree.
In addition to the condensed business associate format, WCC offers a wide variety of program and schedule options for other courses – such as 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- and 7 ½-week class formats – to offer flexibility.
The shorter the class the more of a weekly time commitment students should expect. Students are encouraged to work with an academic advisor to determine what format works best for them, selecting courses they can comfortably complete according to their work and personal schedules.
“Students can take business and accounting courses in a time frame based on their needs. The don’t necessarily need to be in an accelerated program. Someone might want to take a four-week section of business law but then a ten-week section of business statistics,” said Eva Samulski, dean of Business & Computer Technologies.
Other WCC accelerated online programs include:
- HR Skills and Operations Certificate (six classes)
- Supply Chain Essentials Certificate (two classes)
- Supply Chain Skills and Operations (five classes)
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation Certificate (six classes)
- Principles of Cybersecurity Certificate (four courses)
- Computer Network Academy Certificate (four courses)
- Business Enterprise Basics Certificate (five courses)
- Management Certificate (four courses)
- Advanced Certificate in C++ Programming (three courses)
- Java Accelerated Courses (two 7½-week courses beginning Aug. 30)
Find out more
Information sessions about the new Accelerated Associate in Business Degree will be offered via Zoom 5-6 p.m. every Thursday from July 15-Aug. 26. Register online for a Zoom link or contact Ashley O. Starks at (734) 973-3657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College (WCC), Ann Arbor, Mich., educates more than 21,000 students each year through a wide range of associate and certificate programs, emphasizing workforce development and career educational areas such as health care, advanced transportation and mobility, STEM and business and entrepreneurship. WCC is committed to student success, with nearly 70% of students intending to transfer to complete a bachelor degree, and works through community, business and union partnerships to develop highly specialized training programs.