New construction, pre-professional health programs to launch this fall

The Metropolitan Community College Board of Trustees approved two new academic programs at its March 29 meeting: certificates and a degree in building maintenance and construction, and a degree in pre-professional studies, health emphasis. Both programs launch in Fall 2018.

Building maintenance and construction

Students can earn two certificates and an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree in  building maintenance and construction. The new A.A.S. degree is pending approval from the state and the Higher Learning Commission.

This fall, MCC will start the Kansas City Construction Career Academy, an outgrowth of the new program. KCCCA is an early college program that will initially be offered to students in the North Kansas City School District, who will spend their junior and senior years at the MCC-Business & Technology campus.

Students will acquire skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), general construction and building repair.

Courses in the program include General Construction Principles and Trade Tools; Electrical Safety and Principles; Introduction to Health and Safety for Construction; Carpentry: Stairs, Flooring and Roofs; and Building Mechanical Systems.

In discussions with industry and government officials, “there were indications of a shortage of workers with construction skills,” says Joe Roche,  dean of instruction at MCC-Business & Technology. “Hotels and multifamily housing as well as residential construction were all struggling because commercial and industrial construction demands were growing.”

The carpenters union, with the support of the Builders’ Association, told MCC officials they needed an A.A.S. degree in building maintenance and construction that would transfer to a four-year school.

Construction is the second-highest sector in expected job growth in the Kansas City area in 2018, with just over 3,800 positions to fill, according to the Mid-America Regional Council.

Pre-professional studies, health emphasis

This new associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree is designed for students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a baccalaureate degree in health fields such as nursing, dietetics, radiologic technology, health science and dental hygiene.

Additionally, students who earn this A.A.S. will have completed many of the prerequisites for graduate programs such as master of occupational therapy and doctor of physical therapy.

In addition to general education courses, students will take courses such as Introduction to Health Professions, Human Physiology, Statistics, Chemistry for Health Sciences or General Chemistry I, and Human Anatomy.

The program will be offered on evenings and weekends, and 50 percent or more of coursework can be completed online.

The new degree is pending approval by the state and the Higher Learning Commission.