Bay College, located in Escanaba, Mich. (located in the heart of the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan), recently decided to reinstate its Water Technology Program. After suspending the program for the Fall 2001 semester, a decision has been made to fully reactivate the program to students effective with the Winter 2002 semester.
The program has been under study for the last five months regarding its future potential in terms of enrollment and its service to a very important environmental industry in our region and beyond. The study concluded that there is a strong potential for increasing enrollment in the program through more intensive student recruitment and marketing efforts.
The Water Technology program is one of the few programs of its kind in the nation and is the only program offered in the state of Michigan. Students who graduate with an associate degree in Water Technology have the opportunity to obtain state certification without having to meet the work requirement. The program also provides opportunity for rapid promotion and mobility. Water technology graduates are in demand nationwide. The decision to suspend the program for one semester was a difficult one, but a necessary action to evaluate the viability of the program.
According to Jim Barr, Vice President for Instructional Services, the retirement of the program this past spring and the extremely low enrollments experienced over the past seven years led to the suspension. ADespite having a nationally-recognized curriculum where our graduates can earn $35,000 on average in annual salaries, the students were not filling the classrooms,@ states Barr. AIt was the correct action to suspend the program allowing us time to fully assess the situation.
Bay College is now in the process of recruiting for a full-time Water Technology instructor. According to Dean Masters, the Associate Dean of business and Technology, they have high expectations for the program and for the new instructor. "Bay College is determined to make the program successful and the instructor we hire need to be active in marketing and promoting the career field across the state and region, states Masters."
Along with hiring a new instructor, Bay College will restructure the Water Technology curriculum to provide greater flexibility for students who wish to enter the field. Students will have a choice of earning a certificate after completing two semesters of technical course work or they may pursue the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree. Masters added, "We are excited about the prospects for success in the future as we provide students with a choice. We also plan to offer on-line delivery, which will make access to technical courses easier for students across the region."
The improved curriculum and the on-line Water Technology courses are being planned for the 2002 Fall semester. Bay College is now the only college in the state of Michigan to offer a full-time Water Technology program.