Saturday, June 15, 2024

ACCJC spotlights Lake College water technology program

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The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges recently featured Woodland Community College’s Lake County campus as part of its regular newsletter, “ACCJC On The Move.”

The newsletter shares stories about the effect institutions, programs, and people have on the individuals served by the 137 ACCJC institutions, and the practices of changing lives inside and outside the classroom.

During his visit, Accrediting Commission President Mac Powell highlighted the Environmental Technology – Drinking Water and Wastewater Technology Program, which caught his attention during an earlier visit.

Woodland College President Dr. Lizette Navarette reported the “unique program offers a certificate and associate of science degree designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills essential for a career in environmental management.

“Both the certificate and degree help prepare individuals to take and pass the water and/or wastewater treatment exam given by the California Department of Public Health,” Navarette stated.

Powell has been president of the Accrediting Commission since mid-2022. He has previously served as president of three universities, including John F. Kennedy University, where he led the institution’s successful efforts to become a service-learning institution and a federally recognized and funded Hispanic Serving Institution.

In the newsletter, Powell wrote that toured the main campus in Woodland with Navarette and Yuba Community College District Chancellor, Dr. Shouan Pan, and that in addition to seeing the new Performing Arts Center and Culinary Institute “had some fun behind the microphone in the college’s eLearning Studio that has aided the college’s transition to online learning.”

“One of the more unique programs at WCC is the newly created Environmental Technology – Drinking Water and Wastewater Technology Program at the Lake County Campus,” Powell wrote. “Students completing a certificate can become water and wastewater operators, which is the first step for working in the water/wastewater utility industry. Those who complete the associate degree are prepared to become supervisors and managers at water districts and water treatment operating companies.”

Navarette told Powell that some of the key features of the program include a comprehensive curriculum covering the principles, regulations, and technologies related to drinking water and wastewater management; teaching “industry-relevant skills,” working with experienced faculty and industry professionals, and “established strong connections with local water and wastewater treatment facilities, providing students with valuable networking opportunities.”

“Many of the program alumni have gone on to achieve notable success in their careers, holding key positions in water and wastewater management agencies,” Powell wrote, noting that employer partners include the Clearlake Oaks Water District, Lake County Special Districts, Callayomi County Water District, Highlands Water District, Lower Lake County Waterworks District, and Upper Lake County Water District.

“Providing a direct connection to local employers has helped to make this program successful and is opening doors for students in the community where they live and go to school,” he stated.

“The program attracts many post-traditional students; over half of the students enrolled in the program are over the age of 30 and from diverse backgrounds,” Powell added.

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