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EAST LANSING, MI -- The Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) is offering academic programs in partnership with seven community colleges across the state and on campus in East Lansing where students can earn certificates in programs ranging from agricultural operations to electrical technology.

IAT has been conducting practical plant, animal and technology certificate courses in East Lansing for more than 100 years. Now MSU has partnered with Southwest Michigan College, Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College, Montcalm Community College, Northwestern Michigan College, Delta College and Glen Oaks Community College to offer a variety of certificate programs at each location.

"Partnering with area community colleges gives us the opportunity to bring programs that will lead to jobs in those communities," said Randy Showerman, IAT director. "Together with the community colleges, we have identified programs that match those areas of the state where the need for qualified candidates is the greatest. For instance, in the Traverse City and Dowagiac areas, the grape and wine industry is bustling, so we are offering the viticulture certificate in those areas. Our goal is to help students find work in high-demand careers in Michigan's agricultural sectors, one of our state's leading economic players."

All IAT certificate programs can be completed in two years, including a required professional internship experience. Classes in IAT certificate programs are taught by faculty and staff members of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), so students gain from the research and extension programs at MSU. The IAT is housed in the CANR.

The partnerships with community colleges allow students to earn certificates from the MSU IAT while working toward associate's degrees from the community college.

Off-campus certificate programs are Agricultural Operations, Applied Horse Science, Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management, Landscape and Lawn Management, Landscape Management and Viticulture.

Not all programs are offered at all locations. To obtain information about off-campus MSU IAT certificate programs and admission requirements, visit the website -- www.iat.msu.edu -- or contact one of the staff members listed below:

• Southwestern Michigan College, Stacey Rocklin, rocklin@msu.edu, 269-782-1291.

• Grand Rapids Community College, Muskegon Community College, Marcus Duck, duckmarc@msu.edu, 517-353-0351.

• Montcalm Community College, Merry Kim Meyers, meyersm6@msu.edu, 989-328-2111, ext. 398.

• Northwestern Michigan College, Brian Matchett, matchet4@msu.edu, 231-995-1719.

• Delta College, Leslie Siefka Donovan, ldonovan@msu.edu, 989-686-9350.

• Glen Oaks Community College, Randy Showerman, showerma@msu.edu, 517-353-3562.

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