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Accessible, Affordable Education: Montana State University’s Gallatin College
Do any of the following apply to you or someone you know?
· looking for a brighter employment future, and need it in less than 4 years
· hoping to increase earnings
· excited to join some of the fastest growing jobs in the economy
· need an affordable education option
· have some college credits, but did not complete a degree
· seeking a new direction
· should brush up on basics such as math and writing
· pondering how difficult a college class might be
· motivated to pave the way for further education
According to the US Department of Labor, industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020. In this same report from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, the percent change in employment by education category over the next eight years will be 18% for an Associate’s Degree compared to 17% for a Bachelor’s Degree.
Let’s take a closer look at two of the industries/occupations mentioned as having the fastest job growth: health care and construction. As stated in printed program information from Gallatin College, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry projects growth statewide in most medical sectors through 2016. Specifically, it projects growth for Medical Assistants (one of the programs offered at Gallatin College) across the state from 760 positions in 2006, to 990 positions by 2016; a growth of 30%. The average wages in the local health care industry are $716 per week. Turning next to the construction industry, closer examination of the Residential Building Performance program at Gallatin College reveals this degree was proposed by weatherization center directors and trainers who saw a need for a formal degree program with an emphasis on weatherization. Potential job opportunities include energy auditor, insulation installer and weatherization worker as well as occupations associated with green building, architecture and home inspection. Depending on the electives students choose, the degree helps prepare students for four specific Department of Energy certifications: Retrofit Installer Technician, Energy Auditor, Quality Insurance Inspector, and Crew Leader.
Anyone considering Gallatin College can find more information on its website, and I would strongly recommend making an appointment to visit with one of the faculty and/or staff at Gallatin College. Having made several calls and stopovers to the office in Hamilton Hall, I have found people to be very approachable, openhearted and responsive. From the administrative associate, program directors and academic advisor to the student employees at the front desk every interaction has been pleasant, efficient and helpful.
When asked what’s new at Gallatin College and about potential expansion, Nicole Berg, academic advisor for Workforce Programs, expresses excitement for the future of Gallatin College and for her students. Nicole beams when she talks about the boost in confidence she sees with the high school student who discovers he/she can handle a college class; the adult with renewed motivation for education; and/or the student who grows through the college experience. Nicole affirms her job is to assist the students in getting their classes in order and then making sure they are ready for graduation.
New this fall semester at Gallatin College is the previously mentioned Residential Building Performance Certificate of Applied Science Degree. Anticipated for spring semester (January 2013) are several on-line classes geared towards general education such as writing and communications. Looking a little farther down the road, Gallatin College plans to offer an Associate of Art Degree and an Associate of Science Degree. A good candidate for either of these two degrees is someone who previously almost finished a degree. These two degrees will be fully transferable to MSU.
Once a student has completed a degree at Gallatin College they may want to continue their educational path. A graduate of the Aviation Program may want to consider continuing on at Montana State University for a Business Degree. A graduate of the Interior Design Program may seek a Bachelor’s Degree at MSU in Graphic Design or Art. Liberal Studies is another option for a Gallatin College graduate. Courses such as writing, math or science 100 are all transferable to MSU.
Perks of being a student at Gallatin College and included in the tuition/fees are access to MSU housing, campus food service, library, athletic events, student health service (optional with an additional fee), and gym/recreation facilities. Federal Financial Aid can also be used at Gallatin College.Gallatin College is growing and plans continued growth with programs the Gallatin Valley wants and needs (based on needs assessments of the area). There is still time to be accepted into Gallatin College if you apply and are ready for Orientation on August 20, 2012.
Gallatin College in Bozeman is a solution to the above scenarios.
Gallatin College, located in Hamilton Hall on the Montana State University campus, offers a number of educational opportunities. Access and affordability are central to all programs offered at Gallatin College. Late afternoon and evening courses at $99 per credit ($49 for high school students taking dual enrollment classes) are not only reasonable, but really make it possible for someone to attend college full or part time while retaining a job. Offerings include:
· 7 Workforce Programs: Medical Assistant, Aviation, Bookkeeping, Welding,
Design Drafting, Interior Design, and new this fall, Residential Building
· Transfer and General Education Classes
· Developmental Education
· Dual Enrollment for high school students
201 Hamilton Hall
P.O. Box 170515
Bozeman, MT 59717-0515
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Projections Overview
Tammy Walker is a Registered and Licensed Occupational Therapist and a Norwex Consultant. She can be reached at email@example.com