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Montcalm Community College’s recent expansion of its Greenville campus increases access to higher education for area learners.

MCC recently opened the Bill Braman Family Center for Education on its Greenville campus. The center doubles MCC’s capacity to serve learners in Greenville, allowing students to select from a wide variety of courses beginning fall semester. It is located on Hillcrest Street south of Greenville High School adjacent to MCC’s Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center.

“The additional space provides more ability for students to take a complete schedule of classes in Greenville,” says MCC President Bob Ferrentino. “It also allows MCC to expand its cultural and community event offerings.”

“With our expanded Greenville campus, MCC is better suited to prepare students for jobs in high- skill, high-demand careers.”

With the increased capacity, MCC offers a variety of career and personal development courses this fall in areas such as automotive, computers, health care, foreign language, business, building construction, health and fitness, and music.

In addition, recent renovation of the Stanley and Blanche Ash Technology and Learning Center included remodeling of some classrooms, computer labs and meeting areas to enhance the learning environment for students and the community.

Since his election in 2010, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has looked to community colleges to train workers for jobs in Michigan’s Big Three industries – automobiles and manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.

Ferrentino says MCC is poised to meet the challenge.

“With our expanded Greenville campus, MCC is better suited to prepare students for jobs in high-skill, high-demand careers,” Ferrentino says. “A new hands-on lab allows MCC to offer more opportunities for people to develop skills in high-tech areas related to manufacturing. Plus, we’ve increased capacity to develop more highly skilled workers in the high-demand employment area of health careers.”

Technology labs in MCC’s new facility focus on advanced manufacturing applications. Hydraulics, pneumatics, vacuum technology, electronics and electricity programming provides hands-on learning to prepare students to be work-ready for high-tech careers in manufacturing. A wind turbine and solar panels allow for hands-on instruction in sustainability and renewable energy.

A partnership with Michigan State University offers options for MCC students who plan to pursue careers in the agricultural industry. A similar agreement with Ferris State University provides several options for students in food service, hotel and restaurant management and other tourism-related career fields.

Expanded programming at MCC’s Greenville campus is completed with additional flexible classrooms for access to university-level courses. Additional baccalaureate programs with university partners offer opportunities in nursing, business management, entrepreneurship, sustainability, agriculture, health-care administration and advanced computer technology.

The Braman Center also offers an area for university partners to be on-site to meet with MCC students. Cleary University will pilot this program beginning fall semester with a university representative conducting regular hours on MCC’s Greenville and Sidney campuses.

“A critical component of re-invigorating our state’s economic condition is the ability of our citizens to more easily access higher education and training opportunities offered in a quality, affordable and relevant fashion,” Ferrentino says. “MCC exists to satisfy the needs of our learners, our business and industry partners and our K-12 partners. Satisfying these needs leads to improved prosperity and a renewed vitality for our entire region.

“The Greenville campus will serve as an educational and economic development tool in Montcalm County for many years to come,” he adds.

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