Lorain County Community College is positioned to offer Ohio’s first bachelor of applied science in microelectronic manufacturing. LCCC is one of six community colleges in the state to receive approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to develop applied bachelor’s degrees that meet industry workforce needs.
“We are extremely excited to be selected,” said LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “Our students will have the opportunity to complete a pathway from certificate to bachelor’s degree in this highly specialized field that offers strong employment opportunities in our region.”
Microelectronic manufacturing is an interdisciplinary field that combines mechanical and electrical engineering technology with science, mathematics and communications. This emerging advanced manufacturing field helps companies make products and processes “smart” by embedding sensors and micro electromechanical systems (MEMS).
In 2014, LCCC answered industry need by launching the state’s first associate degree program in mechatronics technology with a focus in micro electromechanical systems (MEMS). The program is one of only 16 in the United States and the only one of its kind in Ohio. Expanding this offering to include an applied bachelor’s degree will greatly benefit students and employers in the region, Ballinger said.
LCCC has, since 1995, offered access to bachelor’s and master’s degrees on its campus through the University Partnership Program. The applied bachelor’s degree in microelectronic manufacturing will be an enhancement to LCCC’s University Partnership and is the first bachelor’s degree program offered entirely by LCCC.
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 are pursuing new models of instruction – like the applied bachelor’s degree – to reach these goals.
“LCCC is ready to step up and this program hits the mark. Students are excited because it leads to a degree and a good job and includes a paid internship along the way,” Ballinger said.
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 authority to deliver applied bachelor’s degrees, especially in fields like this, expands upon our commitment to our community to keep access to higher education affordable and relevant to the job market. In fact, this program, designed and delivered totally by Lorain County Community College, will cost student less than $15,000. Furthermore, it’s a great return on investment. Salary levels for students after graduation are on average $65,000 or more,” Ballinger said.
CORE Technology, Inc., located in Avon and a designer and manufacturer of high performance standard and custom AC/DC and DC/DC power conversion products, is one of the employers partnering with LCCC on the program.
“This program will increase the talent pool available for new hires to my company and also provide a method for upgrading the skills of our current employees,” said CORE Technology President Jack Redilla.
These approved programs must still go to the Higher Learning Commission for its input and approval.