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Baker College Jackson Adds Programs In Nursing, Mechanical Engineering

JACKSON -- Baker College of Jackson is adding a practical nurse certificate program and a mechanical engineering program with associate- and bachelor-degree options beginning 2013 fall quarter.

Registration for both programs is open. Classes start Monday, Sept. 30.

"Nursing and mechanical engineering are among the highest demand fields in our state right now," said Patricia A. Kaufman, Baker College of Jackson president. "These programs are being offered to students at other Baker College campuses across the state with great success. In fact, for the past several years, 100 percent of the graduates of the Baker practical nurse certificate and mechanical engineering bachelor's programs have been employed upon graduation."

Demand for licensed practical nurses will only get stronger. A 2010 Michigan Center for Nursing survey found that more than two of five LPNs are approaching retirement age, and the State of Michigan projects a 21 percent increase in demand for LPNs by 2018.

The Baker College practical nurse certificate program has received approval from the Michigan Board of Nursing. This program prepares students to provide supervised direct nursing care in a variety of health care settings. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students are able to sit for licensure as a LPN.

Debra Hatfield is Baker's nursing program director. She was integral in creating the new, state-of-the-art nursing lab. It includes a multimedia room, several computers, and four simulated patient rooms with many mannequins on which students will be able to practice their skills.

In May 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the average annual salary for a LPN is $42,400, with the lower 10 percent earning an estimated $30,970 and the top 10 percent making $57,360.

Baker College's mechanical technology associate degree program prepares students for employment in mechanical design, manufacturing and production industries. It is for students interested in entry-level positions as well as experienced technicians who wish to improve their skills.

Students in this program are eligible for Baker's Smart Degree Option. It allows completion of a significant portion of classes for the mechanical engineering bachelor's program while finishing this associate degree. Students are employment-ready faster, providing them an option to work full-time while completing a bachelor's degree part-time.

Baker's mechanical engineering bachelor's degree program prepares students to apply fundamentals of engineering science to practical problems using inventive design, analysis and synthesis of mechanical components, systems and tools.

"Manufacturing has rebounded in Michigan, and businesses are looking to hire mechanical engineering graduates," Kaufman said. "There's an extreme shortage of engineers, and we expect our graduates will be in high demand by several Jackson area manufacturers and other excellent Michigan companies."

The May 2012 BLS report estimated the average annual salary for a mechanical engineering technician is $53,830 with the lower 10 percent earning an estimated $33,370 and the top 10 percent making $76,660. For a mechanical engineer, the estimated annual salary is $84,770, with the estimated range of $52,030 to  $121,530.

For more information about these programs, contact the admissions office, (517) 788-7800 or

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It is a nonprofit higher education institution, serving more than 40,000 students on 12 campuses and in three satellite locations. Baker grants certificates and associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, health sciences, education and human services, and various technical fields, as well as a doctorate of business administration. As a career college, the Baker College system reports that 97 percent of its available graduates are employed.

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