AAMI News March 2020

Howard Community College Establishes BMET Apprenticeship Program

Howard Community CollegeHoward Community College (HCC) recently launched Maryland’s first biomedical engineering technology (BMET) apprenticeship program. The three-year apprenticeship is a based on the curriculum for HCC’s BMET associate of applied science degree and is intended to allow new BMETs to “earn while they learn.”

Jim Piepenbrink, AAMI Foundation deputy executive director, collaborated on the development of the apprenticeship program through HCC’s advisory group.

A Practical Approach to Training

The first class of students will begin in June with a series of preparatory courses while they look for full-time apprenticeships with the program’s industry sponsors. The students will then begin the apprenticeship portion of the program in winter 2021. The program requires 46 academic credits and 2,200 annual hours of practical training with their employer before earning their associate of applied science degree as a BMET.

“This program is a win-win for our students as well as area employers,” said Minah Woo, associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development at HCC, in a press release. “After students become apprentices, they are paid for the time they spend on the job, helping them reduce student debt while also gaining work experience with guaranteed employment. The employer gains a well-trained new hire who has also attained a clear understanding of what their organization does.”

Meeting Student and Industry Needs

The need for the BMET apprenticeship program was in part driven by local industry, which is facing a shortage of healthcare technology management professionals.

“[We] discussed local employers’ concerns about the lack of qualified technicians coming up in the ranks,” said Bahman Nasseri, HCC electronics and technology laboratory manager in the department of science engineering and technology and adjunct professor for the BMET program.

“To answer their concerns, we worked with industry representatives through the advisory board to develop this BMET apprenticeship, which will enhance the education and training we can provide our students while at the same time provide well-trained technicians for employers in our community,” said Adrienne Summers, HCC director of apprenticeships and workforce innovation.

For more information about the BMET apprenticeship program at HCC, visit www.howardcc.edu/apprenticeships.