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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

WCC Classes Meet Continuing Education Needs of Professionals

The drafting table in Jack Donaldson’s office at Carlisle/Wortman Associates is covered with drawings and schematics for structures nearing the end of their planning cycle. But they won’t pass on to the next stage until he says so, a responsibility he takes very seriously.

Across town, Kelly Van Ee is preparing to return to a career that gives her a great deal of satisfaction. Before her family grew from three to five, Van Ee was a therapist helping troubled youths. Sometime soon she hopes to do it again.

Donaldson and Van Ee are two people who know that earning a college degree is the first step in a rewarding career, and that staying current in your field is just as important. That’s why professionals employed in areas as diverse as building code enforcement and social work turn to WCC’s LifeLong Learning non-credit licensing and certification program to keep up to date with new methods and regulations that affect their work.

“A code official is responsible for seeing that Michigan’s construction codes are enforced,” said Donaldson, who has over 30 years in the field. “Code officials must be registered and must meet certain continuing education requirements every three years in order to maintain their credentials.”

The importance of that requirement can’t be overstated. Michigan has adopted seven codes for the construction of buildings, both residential and non-residential. The codes provide minimum requirements for the protection of public health, safety, and general welfare.

“The code official training at WCC helps keep officials in the field current on new materials, construction practices, and code updates,” said Donaldson. “They address the different things that are coming down in both construction and fire protection, and in every aspect of code enforcement.”

Winter semester, which begins in January 2010, features the second half of an eight-month schedule of LifeLong Learning classes for area code officials in such diverse topics as structural failures, ethics, and swimming pool code provisions. On Jan. 7 and 8, 2010, the College will sponsor a two-day seminar on wood and wood-based products just for code officials. It is a great way to get a lot of information in a short amount of time.

Social work professionals have their own track of continuing education opportunities, including an intensive, one-day seminar on April 8, 2010. The six-hour session will help satisfy continuing education requirements in professional ethics and pain management. Other seminars for social workers will tackle depression, autism, disability rights, aging and cultural diversity, and critical thinking, among other subjects.

“It is difficult to get all of the credits I need within the time required, and the clock is ticking,” said Van Ee. “But WCC makes it easier with all of the different classes it offers. It’s an affordable way to fulfill the continuing education requirements necessary to keep my clinical license active, and a wonderful way for me to get my feet wet again. I have done a fair amount of play therapy, so it’s great to get up to speed on the latest techniques.”

Lorraine Coburn was a psychotherapist for 25 years. She’s taking a hiatus from her practice for now to pursue other interests, but she wants to maintain her ability to return to it if and when the time is right. That’s why she’s taking WCC’s non-credit classes in social work.

“WCC’s licensing classes touch on topics that I might not be that familiar with,” said Coburn. “For example, I’ve taken classes on Alzheimer’s and autism because those aren’t areas I’ve specialized in, but I work with people who have family members with these conditions. I like that WCC offers these courses at different times of the day and on different days of the week. And they’re the most reasonably priced classes around.”

The licensing and certification classes offered by LifeLong Learning help many professionals in areas such as nursing and health care, education, business, and real estate stay current in their fields. The classes also help them prepare for professional exams, fulfill licensing or certification requirements, and for some, provide an introduction to an exciting new career.

More licensing and certification classes are provided online through LifeLong Learning’s partnership with Education to Go. Over 250 non-credit classes are available online through a new registration process.

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