Kellogg Community College

KCC Radiography Program updates lab with new state-of-the-art X-ray machine

Kellogg Community College received more than $2 million for updates to select occupational programs at the College via the state’s Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program last year, and among the package of CCSTEP resources were funds for a new X-ray machine for KCC’s Radiography Program.

The new equipment, funded through nearly $50,000 in CCSTEP funds and a 25 percent funds match of $12,449 from KCC, will help future radiographers studying at KCC practice pre-clinical skills on campus. Or, as noted in the original CCSTEP grant proposal, the new equipment will “allow students to increase skill sets and achieve mastery on contemporary equipment and in a setting that encourages repeated practice of high stakes clinical skills in a low-stakes learning environment.”

Chris VandenBerg, Allied Health director at KCC, said the new piece of equipment replaced equipment that was more than 30 years old and becoming difficult to repair. She explains the value of the new equipment to current and future KCC Radiography students in detail below.

Question: What does the new equipment do?

VandenBerg: The new piece of equipment is comparable to what is used in the clinical environment. We have wonderful community partners who support our program and in the past have donated their used equipment to us. Unfortunately, some of that equipment can be older, somewhat outdated and can become difficult to repair.

Having the opportunity to purchase the latest technology in the industry gives KCC the ability to better assist our students in transferring the knowledge learned in the classroom and lab to the live environment.

Q: How does the new equipment benefit students and instructors? What can they do that they couldn’t do before? What does it add experience-wise to the Radiography program?

V: The new equipment benefits both the student and faculty by being state-of-the-art and very comparable to the equipment used in the live environment. This particular piece of equipment has a control panel that sets the amount of X-ray to be used, with the latest automated features that Radiography students will encounter in the clinical setting.

This is very helpful to correlate the theory of calculating the correct dose/amount needed of radiation to create the image. With fast pace of advances in technology in the health care environment, this new equipment really aids our students in understanding the theory taught in lectures and helps them translate it into the clinical setting.

Q: Why is the new equipment important for the program and its graduates?

V: Medical imaging has changed dramatically over my 30-plus years in the profession. A big example of this is that we no longer use film in the industry; it is all digital now. With that drastic change came many big advances in the technology and capabilities in medical imaging, and the education and knowledge offered on how to use these new tools needs to be up to speed. This equipment accomplishes that goal for our Radiography students.

Admission to KCC’s Radiography Program is selective, and KCC accepts just 20 students into the program each year. For more information about KCC’s Radiography Program, including information about radiography careers and completion and credentialing exam pass rates for recent KCC Radiography Program graduates, visit

For more information about new equipment purchased through CCSTEP funds for KCC, click here.

Pictured in the photo above, KCC Radiography students Ashley Ledford and Joshua Pitchure demonstrate the use of the program’s new X-ray machine, while Radiography student Jennifer Whitaker acts as their patient.

KCC Dental Clinic upgrades include new patient chairs, improved workflow

Kellogg Community College students and community members alike are benefiting from the most significant upgrades to the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic in two decades.

Updates at the clinic – through their educational program, Dental Hygiene students provide dental services to the public – include 10 dental units, new flooring and renovations that have significantly improved efficiency and workflow since completed in August.

The new dental units include new patient chairs, new unit arms with suction and water functionality, new ergonomic operator stools for the student hygienists and new LED overhead lights, updates KCC Dental Hygiene Director Bridget Korpela said were much needed to bring dated equipment up to the standards of a modern dental environment. The old equipment was well-cared for, she said, but was starting to fail in increments.

“Any time any of that equipment breaks down we have 10 students that are relying on that for their learning experience,” Korpela said. “If you lose an appointment because your equipment doesn’t work, then that’s an imposition on the student, it’s an imposition on the patient, and things can’t happen for learning like they should.”

The older lighting systems would dim over time, for example, or need to be repaired completely, leaving students with little or no light for their appointments. In some cases, patient chairs would actually get stuck with patients lying down in an up position off the floor, and patients would have to climb out. The new equipment, Korpela said, removes such issues from the learning environment.

“Students can rely on it; the aggravation level goes away and you can focus on learning,” Korpela said. “You don’t have to be concerned and stressed about equipment not working.”

The changes haven’t gone unnoticed by the college’s second-year Dental Hygiene students, who used the old equipment in the clinic through their first year in the program and have been using the new equipment though the current academic year. Second-year Dental Hygiene student Lauren Rubley, who graduated in May, said in addition to making work easier on students, the equipment does a better job of serving their patients.

“The chairs themselves have presets, they’re a lot smoother, and the light just turns itself on,” Rubley said. “We get a lot of elderly patients in and a lot of disabled patients in, and there’s a huge benefit just in how the chairs lay back easier.”

She also noted the option to adjust the headrest of the new chairs so that patients in wheelchairs can just back their wheelchairs to the headrest; previously such patients had to be transferred to the dental chair or students would have to try and make space in their station to actually work on the patients in their wheelchairs.

“It makes it better to work on all patients, and also patients like it a lot,” Rubley said. “We get a lot of rave reviews.”

Adding to the benefits afforded by the dental units are new flooring and renovations that included moving the clinic’s sterilization center – where students clean their instruments – from a station in the center of the clinic to another room. Even though the clinic itself hasn’t expanded, Korpela said the room looks much bigger.

“The perception is that it’s much bigger, which is helpful for everybody, to feel like you have more room,” Korpela said. “And when you move that sterilization area, too, that combination really opened it up.”

The bulk of the updates to the KCC Dental Hygiene Clinic have been funded through a packages of resources bundled together via the state’s Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program, which provided KCC with $2.1 million last year for new equipment to make student and worker training more efficient in the communities served by the college. CCSTEP funds totaling approximately $157,000 were utilized for the Dental Hygiene Clinic upgrades, along with a 25 percent funds match of approximately $40,000 paid for by the college.

Dr. Jan Karazim, dean of Workforce Development at KCC and project manager for general oversight of KCC’s CCSTEP initiatives, praised the program for making it possible to equip KCC’s Dental Hygiene Program with “current and relevant technology used in contemporary dental practices.”

“The purpose of CCSTEP is to enhance occupational education and training offered through Michigan community colleges by helping these institutions purchase equipment that helps them prepare skilled workers to fill current and projected labor needs in Michigan,” Karazim said. “KCC’s Dental Hygiene graduates are entering a high-wage, high-demand career field where the recent updates to their Dental Hygiene Clinic will serve them well when entering the modern work environment.”

For more information about KCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, including a list of services offered to community patients, visit For more information about KCC’s Dental Hygiene Program, visit or contact KCC’s Admissions office at or 269-965-4153.

For more information about new equipment purchased through CCSTEP funds for KCC, click here.

Pictured in the above photo, KCC Dental Hygiene student Alexis Kosten works on “patient” and Dental Hygiene student Addie Etelamaki during class in KCC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

New Industrial Electricity/Electronics equipment adds value for students at KCC

Among the more than $2 million Kellogg Community College received for updates to select occupational programs via the state’s Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program (CCSTEP) last year was nearly $290,000 for new equipment for KCC’s Industrial Electricity/Electronics Program.

The new equipment, including an industrial Power and Control Electronics trainer and four Programmable Logic Control (PLC) trainers, was funded through nearly $287,908 in CCSTEP funds and a 25 percent funds match of $71,978 from KCC partners Battle Creek Unlimited and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Tom Longman, director of KCC’s Regional Manufacturing Technology Center, where the trainers were installed last summer, said the new equipment is used mostly by automotive component, metal fabrication and plastics manufacturers. The training had only recently been added to the IBEW’s licensing program, Longman said, and in addition to being a benefit for students, the new equipment makes KCC a destination for licensed electricians returning to KCC for more training.

“The CCSTEP program is designed to assist community colleges like KCC with making student and worker training quicker and more comprehensive and efficient, and these trainers do that at KCC,” Longman said. “The new equipment makes learning faster and easier, both for students new to the program and for licensed technicians returning to the RMTC for more training.”

Kevin Barnes, an Industrial Electricity/Electronics professor at KCC, called the PLC trainers “industrially hardened computers designed to control industrial applications and machines.”

The new trainers are from a company called Amatrol are built around a newer, more robust controller platform called ControlLogix from Rockwell Automation, Barnes said. While KCC’s older trainers offered an older processing platform from Rockwell called RS500, the new trainers allow students to train not only on that platform but on the new ControlLogix and Siemens controllers platforms, as well.

“They also provide expanded content for more in-depth exploration of industrial control concepts,” Barnes said. “The new equipment allows students to better learn industrial automation principals by programming the PLCs and related equipment, such as human-machine interfaces, Ethernet communications protocols and related industrial components.”

In addition to the PLCs, KCC also received some additional equipment that updates the College’s industrial wiring curriculum and a second Power and Control Electronics trainer that covers electronics applications in manufacturing. Similar equipment is also available to KCC students in Coldwater, where KCC offers training at the Branch Area Career Center.

In addition to training opportunities for working electricians, KCC offers three Industrial Electricity/Electronics credential options for students, including an Associate in Applied Science degree in Industrial Electricity/Electronics; a Skilled Trades Associate in Applied Science for Journeyman or USDOL Apprenticeship card holders; and an Industrial Trades Certificate in Industrial Electricity/Electronics.

For more information about KCC’s Industrial Electricity/Electronics Program, visit

For more information about new equipment purchased through CCSTEP funds for KCC, click here.

Pictured in the photo above are PLC trainers installed for students at KCC’s RMTC in Battle Creek.

3 ways to earn college credits at KCC while still in high school

Completing college classes while still in high school is a great way to earn college credits before graduation and shorten the time it takes to meet your goals. Whether you plan on earning a degree or certificate from Kellogg Community College to give you an edge in the workplace or simply want to get your basic courses out of the way before transferring to a four-year school or university, the following three options for earning college credits while still in high school will get you where you want to go faster and, in most cases, without spending a dime on tuition.

  1. Dual-enrollment. Dual-enrollment is when a high school student enrolls in classes at KCC at the same time he or she is still enrolled in high school. Dual-enrolled students traditionally spend part of the school day in class at their high school and part of the school day in class on campus at KCC. The first step to becoming a dual-enrolled high school student is to contact your high school guidance counselor and ask about dual-enrollment opportunities at KCC. More information about dual-enrollment at KCC is available online at
  2. Early College. Like dual-enrollment, Early College programs involve high school students enrolling at KCC while still attending high school. Early College programs generally begin during the student’s sophomore year of high school and run through an additional “fifth year” extending one year after traditional high school graduation. Early College students take a variety of KCC courses intermixed with their high school schedules and graduate after their fifth year with an associate degree in addition to their high school diploma. KCC currently has Early College agreements with a handful of regional high schools. For more information about Early College opportunities offered at KCC through your high school, contact your high school guidance counselor.
  3. High school articulation. While programs like dual-enrollment and Early College involve high school students taking KCC classes for college credit, high school articulation awards college credits for classes taken by the student at his or her high school. A high school student who successfully completes an approved high school course with a grade of a B or higher and also completes associated competencies to demonstrate his or her learning to KCC’s Articulation Committee is eligible to receive college credits for the equivalent course at KCC. For more information about high school articulation, visit

If you’re a high school student interested in taking advantage of one of the opportunities above now or in the near future – including next fall – now is the time to let us know! Contact our Admissions office at or 269-965-4153 and let us help you find your path at KCC!

Pictured above, Battle Creek Central High School senior and KCC dual-enrollment student Yarielis Rosario poses at the entrance to KCC’s North Avenue campus in Battle Creek. Rosario, who’s president of Central’s National Honor Society chapter, a student government representative and a section leader in the marching band, plans to study environmental biology and premed after graduation, possibly at the University of Florida.

For more news from Kellogg Community College, check our our KCC Daily blog at

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