Muskegon Community College is partnering with the Michigan State University Department of Forestry, the Institute of Agricultural Technology and Bay College in Escanaba to create forestry certificate programs.
The programs will teach urban and community forestry at MCC. MSU forestry professors, MSU Extension experts, forestry industry professionals and local foresters will develop the curriculum.
Organizers of the program will engage stakeholders in the forestry industry to assist with educational content and programming identified by industry and employers.
“Having MSU expand its flagship programs in West Michigan provides a critical pathway for residents who otherwise would lack the opportunity to learn and grow in this manner,” said Dale Nesbary, president of Muskegon Community College.
“We plan to support agriculture, food and natural resources post-secondary educational programs in West Michigan, and this includes collaborating with MSU on providing classroom space for our respective students, faculty and community partners. Moreover, we expect to identify and recruit a broad array of students with an emphasis on students of color and those from urban areas, in addition to seeking those traditionally sought for such programs.”
The MSU Forest Biomass Innovation Center in Escanaba will provide nontimber forest product education for students, including instruction on maple syrup, Christmas trees, ginseng, as well as examples of UAV technology in forestry applications.
The first cohort of students is expected as early as fall 2021. Each program will begin with eight students.
The work is funded by a $749,000 Higher Education Challenge grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.