WCC, UMCU offer financing for students seeking non-credit job training

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) recently announced a new partnership with the University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU) to provide affordable financing options for students seeking non-credit WCC classes to gain an industry certification.

This financing is available to all students and can be used in tandem with scholarships or other funding to cover costs of WCC's non-credit Fast Track Job Training programs.

WCC Vice President of Economic and College Development Dr. Michelle Merusi explains that non-credit courses tend to cost more up front than credited courses. She says the partnership with UMCU has allowed WCC to offer new financing options, and will hopefully encourage more students to consider training programs that can lead to high-paying jobs upon completion.

"The people taking these courses are not rich people. These are people that want to get into a better job but have other commitments," Merusi says. "This gives them an opportunity to pay for their education and training in a faster way."

Merusi says that students who complete any of WCC’s Fast Track Job Training programs have the option to return to WCC later to work towards an associate’s degree in their field. She hopes that this option "kills two birds with one stone" by transferring students' experience into college credit.

"When a student completes one of these programs and has been working in the field, we can go back to them and offer them the opportunity to turn it into a career through articulating that work into college credits," Merusi says. "There are so many reasons to take these classes, and this is just one more option to make them accessible."

WCC offers over 30 different flexible non-credit classes, most of them online. Merusi says WCC aims to make these classes more accessible to students who are already working or have other responsibilities that may sometimes make returning to school a challenge. 

"In addition to college credit, we have an economic development goal as well," Merusi says. "We want to help build the workforce, and we’re running something that gets people hired quicker, which benefits both the students and employers."

For more information about UMCU loans for WCC’s Fast Track Job Training program, visit WCC’s non-credit financial assistance website. To learn more about WCC’s non-credit courses and fast track opportunities, visit WCC's Professional Training website.

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo courtesy of WCC.
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