Gold coins stacked increasing with each stack.
Application open for 2020-21 Presidential and Dean’s Scholarships

Glen Oaks Community College is now accepting applications for the Presidential and Dean Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year.

To be eligible for these scholarships students must be a 2020 graduate from a public or private high school in St. Joseph County or a public high school within the Glen Oaks service area (Cass County residents attending Three Rivers, Constantine or White Pigeon High Schools; students attending high schools in Branch County in Michigan; and students attending high schools in LaGrange, Elkhart, Steuben and St. Joseph Counties of Indiana).

For the Presidential Scholarship students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be eligible for up to $4,000 per year. For the Dean’s Scholarship, worth up to $2,000 per year, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0.  Students must meet the minimum GPA requirement after the first semester of their senior year.  Both scholarships may be renewable for a second year.

“A Glen Oaks Presidential Scholarship will be awarded to one student from each of the eight high schools in St. Joseph County, one scholarship for a student attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, and two additional scholarships will be awarded to students residing in the Glen Oaks Service Area,” said Jean Zimmerman, director of financial aid. “For the Dean’s Scholarship, we will award two students from each high school in the county, two students attending a private high school in St. Joseph County, plus two scholarships for students residing in the Glen Oaks service area.”

To access the scholarship descriptions and application please go to: glenoaks.edu/current-students/financial-aid/Types-of-Aid and select Scholarships. The scholarship descriptions and the link to the application are listed under Currently Active Scholarships.

To be considered for these awards, all application materials must be received in the Glen Oaks Financial Aid Office by 4 p.m. on March 1, 2020.

Contact the GOCC Financial Aid office with questions by calling (269) 294-4260 or email financialaid@glenoaks.edu.  Office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Thursday and Friday and 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Great Job text in Gold Circle
Glen Oaks announces Summer 2019 President’s and Dean’s list

Glen Oaks Community College announces its outstanding scholars for the Summer 2019 Semester. Students on the President’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.75-4.0. Students on the Dean’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.5-3.74. The students are listed alphabetically according to their towns of residency.

President’s List
Michigan

Buchanan – Robert Becvar

Centreville – Brenden Bell, Kayla Gest, Alexander Meyer

Coldwater – Morgan Hoard, Daphyne Locklin, Keona Salesman, Samuel Welch

Colon – Nayomie Allen, Phillip Alva, Sabrina Baker, Mary Ellen Borkholder, Angelina Eagle, Bailey Fisher, Maddelyn Fisher, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ciarra Hardy, Anna Hauenschild, Kennedy Hawkins, Samantha Hirschy, Jillian Kinstle, Desirae Martin, Abby Saxman, Brenden Shelton, Andrew Smolarz, Kianna Sterlini, Sydney Tomlinson, Brianna Vinson, Madison Wooden

Leonidas – Naomi Spicer

Roseville – Madelyn LaGassa

Scotts – Madlyn Brown

Sherwood – Jhenna Puckett, Kali Reeg, Heather Schumacher, Andrew Stoll, Jacob Weaver

Sturgis – Darcy Clouse, Jarrett Delarye, Rachel Kay Frye, Brandy Hibbert, Jessica Luna, Vania Martinez, Maria Nieves, Peter Smith

Three Rivers – Jacquelynn Allan, Joe Caton, Amy Lau, Stephen Murphy, Veronica Wooten

White Pigeon – Larissa Proffitt

 

Indiana

Bristol – Brandy  Barnett Rood

Shipshewana – April Friesen, Summer Konkle

 

Florida

Riverview – Cori Van Wagoner

 

Dean’s List

Michigan

Bronson – Chaselyn Preston

Colon – Abby Saxman

Constantine – Britany Frye

Gobles – Samantha Nickerson

Jones – Karissa Sanchez

Mendon – Emily Goble, Meagon Persing

Sturgis – Sebastian Bottger, Michael Hartman, Sara Lewis , Brenda Lopez Esparza, Morelia Munoz, Courtney Reingardt, Kylee Stephenson

Three Rivers – Kayla Byers, Samantha Chaplin, Tessa Hawkins, Mariah Kinney

Union – Kelly Cloud

White Pigeon – Cahil Krajniak

 

Indiana

Howe – Katherine Wickey

LaGrange – Ashley Miller

Glen Oaks to host SJC College Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Over 800 students, prospective students and members of the community are expected to ascend on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College on Tuesday morning, Oct. 15 for the 2019 St. Joseph County College Fair. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Ken Schuler Court, the college’s gymnasium.

“Whether you are a current student interested in transfer information, an adult wanting to start classes
to expand your knowledge, a high school student (and or parent) wanting to learn about program
options at colleges and universities from Michigan and Indiana, this event is a great opportunity for you to meet with college representatives all in one place at one time,” said Adrienne Skinner, director of admissions at Glen Oaks.

All eight public schools in the county will be busing upper level students to the event. “This year we changed the time of the event from evening to morning,” said Skinner. “Often it was difficult for students to attend in the evening due to school related activities. During the planning stages, it became clear that the high schools were receptive to busing students to the college. To help with the student traffic flow, the area high schools will bus students at different times throughout the morning.”

Over 50 colleges and universities, both two-and four-year institutions, will be represented at the fair, along with representatives from the military branches and technical schools.

The event is free and open to anyone in the community. To learn more, call the Office of Admissions at Glen Oaks at (269) 294-4253.

Jim Ayres
Amway leader to kick off Viking Speaker Series

Jim Ayres, managing director at Amway, will kick off the 2019-20 Glen Oaks Viking Speaker Series, Thursday, Oct. 10, at noon in the Nora Hagen Theatre on the campus of Glen Oaks Community College.

His talk, “Leadership Success in the Global Marketplace” will focus on what makes a great leader, especially in the global market.

Drawing from many years of experience in business, Ayres will talk about success when facing numerous challenges in today’s business world. His emphasis is on business, but current or future leaders in any career can benefit from the lessons he has learned.

Ayres oversees all business operations for the North American affiliate of Amway. He leads the affiliate’s efforts to grow its business by increasing brand awareness and launching exceptional new products through partnership with IBO’s support and service.

A graduate from Grand Valley State University, Ayres earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Biological Sciences. He has a MBA from Davenport University.  His interests and areas of expertise include cross-cultural international business, coaching and mentoring, change leadership, strategic planning and project management.

The event is free and open to the public.

Horizon Bank Donation Check
Horizon Bank selects Glen Oaks Community College Foundation to receive donation

Horizon Bank recently donated $2,500 to the Glen Oaks Community College Foundation.  The donation will be used to provide scholarships to students as they pursue their educational dreams.

Presenter Jeff Gatton, Horizon Bank market president, So MI & N Central IN, shared that “Horizon Bank has supported the GOCC Foundation for many years.  Our corporate philosophy is to assist with the growth and prosperity of our service area, not only through serving your community banking needs, but also as a leader in corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, and helping to meet unfulfilled community needs.”

Foundation President Phyllis Youga, while accepting the donation said “The Foundation is grateful to Horizon Bank for this donation.  Our purpose is to help students achieve degrees and certificates from GOCC.  The Foundation Board members understand that financial constraints are often the main reason students do not go to College.  We want to help students meet the financial need.  We are very appreciative of this community and the financial support we receive each year.”

For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Foundation was able to award over $69,000 to 70 students.  Students receiving scholarships are pursuing degrees and certificates in business, nursing, health and human services, agriculture, computer science, communications, arts, general studies, manufacturing and industrial technology.

For information on how to donate, contact Vonda Marrow, executive director, GOCC Foundation, (269) 294-4384 or vmarrow@glenoaks.edu.

Michael Nortrop Icon of St. Cyprian
Glen Oaks to feature Russian Art at new Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery

Glen Oaks Community College will host over 80 pieces from the Garrylee McCormick and John Hall Russian Art Collection in the new Flora Kirsch Beck Art Gallery.

The opening reception will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with McCormick and Hall on hand for the event. The exhibit will feature both two- and three-dimensional objects. Appetizers will be prepared in traditional Russian cuisine.

“One of the oldest pieces of art ‘Icon of Saint Cyprian,’ will be on display,” said Michael Northrop, professor of art at Glen Oaks. “The artist is unknown, but the piece was created in the late 18th century around 1790.”

A number of paintings and a lithographic print by female Russian painter Militsa Sergeevna Charnetskaya (1914-1997) are part of the collection.

“And, a Russian exhibit wouldn’t be complete without the popular Matryoshka – The Russian Nesting Doll,” said Northrop. “The first set of Russian dolls was turned out in 1890. The exhibit includes both the typical wooden dolls in addition to a carved set of dolls representing the figures of the Russian Orthodox Church. Yet still another set features some of the past presidents of the Soviet Union including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mikhail Gorbachev.”

Other pieces of art include wooden eggs, often referred to as “pysanky” eggs as they model the style of pysanka in a different medium, and Russian lacquer art boxes, which typically are paper mache decorative boxes that were lacquered and then hand painted by artists, often with scenes from folk tales.

Soviet Socialist propaganda posters promoting the idea of government systems in favor of the Soviet Union system of governance were popular in the Soviet times; only pro-Soviet posters were allowed. A number of these posters are part of the collection.

“I’m very excited about hosting our first major exhibit in the new Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery,” said Northrop. “Personally, Garrylee McCormick was “instrumental in helping me pursue my career in art.”

Garrylee McCormick and John Hall, both of Kalamazoo, have been collecting Russian Art throughout their lifetime. The collection on exhibit is only a fraction of the total collection as together they have over hundreds of pieces of art. McCormick is a hair and wig master at Western Michigan University. In addition to his work with WMU, he serves as hair and wig master for the Barn Theatre and is a freelance wig master for national tours playing at Miller Auditorium and DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids. He is a member of IATSE Local 26 and the Theatrical Stage Employees. He owns Garry’s Magic Comb Hair Salon in Kalamazoo. In addition, he is a printmaker, photographer and painter.

John Hall was a registered nurse and instructor at the Bronson School of Nursing and is Garrylee’s partner of over 40 years.

The McCormick and Hall Russian Art exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display on lunch hours through October. Special arrangements for groups to view the exhibit can be made by appointment by contacting Michael Northrop at mnorthrop@glenoaks.edu or by calling (269) 294-4277.  Parking at Glen Oaks is free.

Glen Oaks Leaf Logo
Fall semester brings new faces and new challenges at Glen Oaks

Glen Oaks Community College has started the Fall 2019 Semester with some new faces; while other employees at the college have taken on new challenges.

In administrative positions, Dr. Michael Goldin is serving as the interim dean of academics following the recent retirement of Dr. Patricia Morgenstern. Dr. Goldin has been assistant dean at Glen Oaks since 2018 and prior to that he was the dean of math and science at Oakland Community College. Goldin has a Ph.D from Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology in Moscow, Russia, a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s from Western Michigan University.

Assisting Goldin will be Dr. Maria Jose Rodriguez Mora, interim, assistant dean of academics, who has been a professor of microbiology at Glen Oaks since 2012. She holds a Ph.D from the University of Louisiana, and a bachelor’s from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela.

Sara Birch, R.N., is the new director of nursing. She most recently was the clinical nurse director at Oaklawn Hospital Birth Center in Marshall. Birch has a master’s and bachelor’s of nursing and a master’s of business administration all from Spring Arbor University and an associate degree from Kellogg Community College.

Robert Kuhlman is the new director of institutional innovation. He previously served as both a college and K-12 administrator.  He most recently served as interim superintendent for Three Rivers High School after serving as superintendent for Mendon and Centreville. Prior to those appointments, he served as principal of Vicksburg or 11 years. Much of his early career was as a football coach and instructor at universities in Missouri, Illinois and at WMU. He has a master’s from Central Missouri State and a bachelor’s from the University of Minnesota.

Nina Dickerson will serve as special population coordinator, counselor and academic advisor. She has a master’s from Spring Arbor University and a bachelor’s from Michigan State University. Dickerson worked for Glen Oaks in prior years as part of the Upward Bound program.

New Faculty
In new faculty roles are Sara Boylan, R.N., Carol Weatherford, and Dr. Roshini Pimmachcharige.

Boylan, instructor of nursing, has a master’s in nursing from Michigan State, a bachelor’s of nursing from Bethel College and an associate of nursing from Glen Oaks.

Weatherford, instructor of English, has a master’s from North Central University and Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s from Trinity International University. She has served as an adjunct faculty at Glen Oaks in the past.

Pimmachcharige will serve in an annual faculty role teaching chemistry. She has a Ph.D from Wayne State University.

Aron Miller, President Devier, and Fred Upton
Upton visits campus

On left, 59th District State Rep Aaron Miller, and right, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, posed for a photo with Glen Oaks President David Devier. The representatives made a visit to campus during the first week of fall semester classes to see the newly renovated grand concourse using USDA Rural Development funds.

Great Job gold stamp
Glen Oaks announces Winter 2019 President’s and Dean’s list

Glen Oaks Community College announces its outstanding scholars for the Winter 2019 Semester. Students on the President’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.75-4.0. Students on the Dean’s Honor Roll achieved a grade point average of 3.5-3.74. The students are listed alphabetically according to their towns of residency.

 

President’s List
Michigan

Athens

Payton James


Battle Creek

Brendan Gray, Brandon Mead

 

Bronson

Aleena Bidwell, Ashley Boyd, Cassandra Byers, Alberto Caballero, Lauren Cary, Harlee Davis, Samuel DePaz, Graham Eley, Kiera Lasky, Alanna Mayer, Victor McBride, Cami McVehil, Avery Rees, Abigail Schwartz, Veronica Shortridge, Morgan Sillings, Julia Stevens, Cody Vaughn, Ashton Wronikowski

 

Burlington

Alex Cross, Ashley Mack

 

Burr Oak

Ramsey Cline, Abigail Compton, Zackary Conklin, Cayla Ferrier, Ethan Grubb, Braxton Hernandez, Noah Norton, Israel Schwemer, Katelyn Walls

 

Cassopolis

Kelsey Barrett

 

Centreville

Terence Brueck, Jonathon Dorman, Isaiah Fellers, Robert Frederick, Broderick French, Victoria Gage, Roxanne Hart, Molly Kirby, Noah Lewin, Chyna McMillian, Abby McNamara, Jacob Miller, Regan Monnett, Asia Pratel, Dustin Spencer, Rebecca Warner, Ainsley Webb

 

Coldwater

Morgan Hoard, Daphyne Locklin, Keona Salesman, Samuel Welch

 

Colon

Nayomie Allen, Phillip Alva, Sabrina Baker, Mary Ellen Borkholder, Angelina Eagle, Bailey Fisher, Maddelyn Fisher, Elizabeth Gilbert, Ciarra Hardy, Anna Hauenschild, Kennedy Hawkins, Samantha Hirschy, Jillian Kinstle, Desirae Martin, Abby Saxman, Brenden Shelton, Andrew Smolarz, Kianna Sterlini, Sydney Tomlinson, Brianna Vinson, Madison Wooden

 

Constantine

Anthony Barnes, Hollie Binkley, Seth Chiddister, Shaniah Cosey, Meagan Herlein, Asiah Jent, Zoey Lebarre, Katlyn Sequin, Caleb Wisel

 

Dearborn

Ariel Wiegand

 

Jones

Grace Gardner, Codi Hunt, Parker Jackson, Austin Outlaw, Elena Rodriguez

 

Leonidas

Joel Richardson, Kali Tyler

 

Marcellus

Taylor Cornwell, Erika Eggleston, Hunter Kimble

 

Marshall

Jonathan Bomia

 

Mendon

Cole Burpee, Anna Cupp, Kody Drewer, Kylee Eckert, Paige Frays, Sydney Griffith, Kerri Kline, Carissa Kline, Emily Loudenslager, Taylor Mailhot, Sydney Miller, Jaime Moore, Meagon Persing, Noah Slaughter, Ashley Smith, Donald Vandelaare

 

Niles

Hunter Bedell

 

Nottawa

Joshua Wright

 

Paw Paw

Erica Vrhel

 

Scotts

Madlyn Brown

 

Sherwood

Jhenna Puckett, Kali Reeg, Heather Schumacher, Andrew Stoll, Jacob Weaver

 

Sturgis

Andrew Bowen, Baleigh Brazo, Stephany Bucio Reyes, MacKenzie Claar, Darcy Clouse, Jarrett Delarye, Andrew Dickerson, Grace Edwards, Kellie Figueroa-Reyes, Rachel Kay Frye, Jacqueline Gallegos Alcantar. Leslie Gamez, Saray Garcia Ruiz, Carina Geigley, Noah Gleason, Joshua Grace, Morelia Guijosa, Gabrielle Gushwa, Matthew Happel, Hannah Harless, Aimi Hettinger, Lauren Kane, Sierra Keeslar, Iancarlo Lopez, Brandon Martinez, Jaeden McBride, Emily Mead, William Murphy, Adilene Nieves Rios, Sarahi Nieves Rubio, Abigail Nighswonger, Michael Olarean, Tanner Pavek, Mayra Perez Correa, Cecilia Rambadt, Victoria Randolph, Peter Smith, Benjamin Stafford, Amber Summey, Adriana Summey, Raymond Swinsick, Victoria Tison, Rachel Toner, Joshua Vizthum, Dillan Ware, Nathan Wood, Jay Wright

 

Tekonsha

Blaine Shedd

 

Three Rivers

Alaina Abnet, Cole Appoloni, Jessica Barnes, Kolton Beachey, Christina Borchardt, Brendan Brown, Lauryn Carlisi, Gavin Charvat, Christopher Dao, Alexandria Deel, Karsyn Draime, Mykala Dunson, Tia Euring, Daniel Foura, Kaden Frye, Michael Gamet Herendeen, John Paul Gamet Herendeen, Hunter Gordon, Skyler Graham, Austin Hall, Jalen Heivilin, Luke Hoxie, Taylor Jones, Isabella Karle, Nathaniel Krauss, Amy Lau, Emily Lough, Riley Ludwig, Scott Luegge, Gabriella MacAnas, Nolan Mark, Ryan Mauldin, Shaina McIntosh Wyeth, Noah Miller, Justin Milliman, Vernis Mims, Abigail Moore, Kaitlyn Nichols, Nicole Parsons, Jordan Phillips, Madaline Pobanz, Lauren Rice, Paige Richardson, Hannah Roberts, Alise Roberts, Jonathan Santos, Kallista Sayer, Russell Shutes, Abigail Stephens, Aislyn Sternbergh, Travis Stewart, Hailey Stoppenbach, Alexis Sullivan, Megan Tadajewski, Emma Thatcher, Mercedes Weirich, Lucas Withers, Veronica Wooten

 

Union

Megan Lockmondy, Logyn Miller

 

Union City

Kaitlyn Brinkman, Zachary Davis, Tate Herman, Lyndsey Katz

 

Vicksburg

Wyatt McClish

 

White Pigeon

Zane Andrews, Kathryn Bedard, Makala Carr, Courtney Delarye, Faith Goins, Noah Hagen, Shanna Hagner, Drew Horn, Tresa Johnson, Sidney Mishler, Todd Montandon, Sharon Oleskiewicz, Riley Reid, Emma Russell, Melody Wilson

 

Indiana

Howe

Nathaniel Denton, Jennifer Miller, Todd Wisler

 

Middlebury

Maximilian Bystry

 

Shipshewana

April Friesen

 

Spencerville

Luke Crilly

 

Topeka

Chelsea Burton

 

Florida

Riverview

Cori Van Wagoner

 

Ohio

Archbold

Bryson Taylor

 

Dean’s List

Michigan

Athens

Everett Korn

 

Battle Creek

Keegan Drake, Osvaldo Flores, Ivan Guerrero, Do Khup, Andy Mejia Hernandez, Benjamin Ostrander, Landon Wiersma

 

Bronson

Chloe Garr, Makensy Jourdan, Paris Outwater, Chaselyn Preston, Gavin Preston, MacKenna Quick, Erik Reyes, Brett Sikorski, William Taylor, Hudson Wotta

 

Buchanan

Britta Mollberg

 

Burlington

Madison Groholski

 

Burr Oak

MaKayala Cary

Cassopolis

Collin Dussel

Centreville

Edward Arver, Maria Clementz, Logan Jourdan, Heather Persing, Courtney Ridenour, Austyn Riggio, Skyler Wood

 

Coldwater

Brittany Gray, Madelynn Thompson, Lizandra Trujillo Estrada

 

Colon

Olivia Eagle, Nathen Horne, Jasmine Russell, Toby Studabaker, John Mark Valpatic

 

Constantine

Zoe Armstrong, Micheal Bullard, Hannah Fries, Chelsea Schoetzow

 

Jones

Jessica Barfield, Aaliyah Washington

 

Kalamazoo

Jeremy VanOosterum

 

Leonidas

Renea Baird, Christin Hicks, Brooke Sexton

 

Marcellus

Steven Jibson, Judell Vasi

 

Marshall

Payten Frey

 

Mendon

Morgan Eckert, Sabrina Griffith, Connor Henckel, Ciera Kline, McKenna Leighton, Paige Russell, Taylor Schabes, Jeremiah Vroman

 

Niles

Jora Barnes

 

Nottawa

Noah Dewitt

 

Schoolcraft

Camille Beyer

 

Sturgis

Taylor Albarran, Mauricio Arias, Joseph Erwin Atienza, McKenna Barfield, Dontae Brown, Justus Chupp, Tayler Coe, Analiz Correa, Rebecca Crites, Rodrigo Delgado, Mark Duffy, Zachary Fackelman, Cierra Geigley, Vanessa Gonzalez, Jessica Haller, Jade Halsey, Maria Hernandez Munoz, Caitlynn Hughes, Naomi Julien, Michael Kandolf, Brittany Kindig, Julia LaLone, Brenda Lopez Esparza, Trae Martin, Dustin Miller, Crystal Miller, Jasmine Miller, Bryan Parson, Marcos Santana, Kalee Schrock, Jordan Smith, Edna Yoder, Hunter Zona

 

Three Rivers

Paige Beckwith, Tori Brown, Maya Cooper, Jaxon Dobrowolski, Coletin Gascho, Renee Gilleylen, Trenton Goodrich, Hayley Haney, Tessa Hawkins, Meranda Hubin, James Hunter, Hayley Kramer, Lucielle Leitch, Zachary Ludwig, Megan McDowell, Madelyn Reus, Renee Surdick, Keylee Tripp, Devin Wilkins, Hunter Zinsmaster

 

Union

Lara Perkins

 

Union City

Logan Allen, Hope Austin, Trey Herman, Larson Kever, Avery Stuart, Jake Varner

 

Vicksburg

Claire Hodges

White Pigeon

Elizabeth Alwine, Maddison Andrews, Paul Dudasko Schelstraete, Mahala Long, Alec Weaver, Teara Webb

 

Indiana

Anderson

Rickey Boyd

 

Bristol

Brandy Barnett Rood

 

Howe

Megan Huss

 

LaGrange

Rosemary Marcon, Ashley Miller

 

Milford

Aimee Trammell

 

Shipshewana

Corina Hochstetler, Jesse Kooistra

 

 

 

 

Glen Oaks Leaf Logo
Why Glen Oaks Now More Than Ever?

As a person who has benefited greatly from higher education, I am sometimes surprised by the reluctance on the part of some of our community to avail themselves to the education offered at Glen Oaks Community College. One does not have to look very far beyond the simple Google search to see significant benefits of advanced education.

This being the case, the reasons why so many individuals do not pursue postsecondary education are difficult to understand on the one hand but not when viewed from the perspective of potential first-generation students. This segment of our population in St. Joseph County is much larger than one might think. Suffice it to say that St. Joseph County’s educational attainment is in the bottom third of the counties in Michigan, and Michigan is in the bottom third of the states in the US.

I hear weekly from local employers who lament the fact that they cannot find candidates with the proper advanced education and training for the positions they have to fill. Please keep in mind that this education does not necessarily mean bachelor’s degree or even an associate degree. It can be as limited as one course in the technical subject to prepare an individual for advanced employment. An example of this would be welding where one course may prepare an individual to enter a well-paying position.

WHILE THOSE EARNING master’s, doctoral, or professional degrees still earn more during their careers than those with less education, the gap is closing, according to The College Payoff, a report published today by the Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce.

Those holding bachelor’s degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively. That said, the major and industry a student selects ultimately have an enormous impact on lifetime earnings. Those with bachelor’s degrees who work either in management or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) earn more, on average, than people with advanced degrees of any level who work in fields like education, sales, and community service.

For a lot of people, going to a four-year college seems like an automatic choice when they graduate from high school. Over a 30-year career in the workforce, that’s more than a $500,000 difference in earnings. However, these numbers may not paint the whole picture. Due to the increasingly high costs associated with a college education, as well as other drawbacks, more and more people have been considering trade school as an education alternative.

For starters, a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years of study, which means that people who enter the workforce after receiving their bachelor’s degree aren’t doing so until age 22. That shaves some years off of a person’s career and can be considered an opportunity cost for experiencing the ‘real world’ hands-on instead of being in a classroom.

My response to young people approaching high school graduation is that they should seriously consider technical/trade school, particularly if they are not at the top of their class. A traditional four-year degree is not for everyone, and technical/trade school offers a pretty compelling career path, especially when considering the factors associated with a college education outlined above

A technical/trade program is an educational offering that exists to teach skills related to a specific job. Technical/trade programs are a more streamlined approach to education, with curricula focusing on developing a particular skillset and knowledge base for a career rather than receiving a general education. Technical/trade programs typically take a lot less time to complete, have smaller class sizes, and the majority of the training is hands-on, which is an ideal environment for many types of learners. Technical/trade certificates and degrees can lead to well-paying jobs like electrician, mechanic, machinist, nurse, agricultural equipment technician, and a long list of others, with room for growth and managerial potential in each field.

Salaries for technical/trade program graduates aren’t that much of a drop-off compared to a four-year degree. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, technical and trade jobs have a median annual salary of $35,720, though this figure varies heavily based on the particular industry and the experience level of the worker. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted earnings for bachelor’s degree holders to be roughly $46,900, amounting to an annual difference of $11,180. This stat, of course, doesn’t factor in long term earnings growth. However, because technical/trade programs only take an average of two years to complete versus four, that amounts to an additional two years of income for the these graduates, or $71,440. Factor in another $70,000 in costs for the many students who take an extra year to graduate from college, and technical/trade grads can be over $140,000 ahead at the get-go, making up for over 12 years of difference in income.

The average technical/trade degree costs $33,000 (and this cost is closer to $15,000 for traditional post-high school students at Glen Oaks), which, compared to a $127,000 bachelor’s degree, means a savings of $94,000. But that’s not all! If you assume that students are fully financing their education with loans at 4 percent over 10 years, the bachelor’s degree will cost $154,000, while the trade school degree will cost only $40,000. That’s a savings of $114,000 just on the degree. If a student completed much of their studies while in high school as dual enrollment they can reduce the total cost dramatically, even to free for early middle college.

Glen Oaks is fully prepared to provide the best educational choice desired by any student whether it be the first two years of a bachelor’s degree or a technical/trade certificate or degree. GOCC offers more than twenty technical/trade certificates and degrees across a wide range of fields including allied health and nursing, business, information technology, graphic design, electrical trades, automotive technology, machining, welding, computer aided design, agricultural equipment technology, and agricultural operations (combined with offerings from MSU). The pre-bachelor’s degree pathways are across all traditional academic fields and GOCC students have transferred to over 150 different colleges and universities over the past five years.

We invite one and all to take advantage of the opportunities GOCC offers to add value to lives and improve our communities. We were established more than 50 years ago by the county’s citizens for the county’s citizens. The investment in this institution has paid back the county many times over both individually and collectively. We remain resolute in our commitment to our students and our communities.