Michigan Photonics and Lasers Technician Education and Training
This project focuses on creating and implementing a Photonics and Lasers Technology Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program at Baker College of Flint. The new program, unique in Michigan, responds to a documented need for photonics technicians in the state, the Midwest region, and across the United States. The project consists of multiple activities including: developing new curricula, creating a well-equipped optics and photonics laboratory, training faculty to teach in the program, performing outreach activities to area high schools, and educating a first group of students to become photonics technicians. The project also offers opportunities for flexible training of employed technicians and displaced workers. The project leverages broad collaborative work between Baker College of Flint, the newly formed Mi-Light Michigan Photonics Cluster industry group, OP-TEC National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, and Indian Hills Community College. It creates an Associate level Photonics program that encompasses fundamental knowledge and skills in the discipline as well as recent photonics applications that are becoming widely used in diverse industries. The new AAS degree program creates a model that can be adopted by colleges interested in photonics nationwide. Results of the project will be disseminated to educational, industry and professional organizations to reach a wide audience. The project includes efforts to recruit underrepresented minorities and veterans to advanced technological education and training programs. The project supports the advancement of an economically depressed local area and the diversification of the Michigan economy as a whole.