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updated: 1/24/2014 2:16 PM

New certificate in environmental health and safety offered; first 24 enrollees to attend tuition-free

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College of Lake County

In March, the College of Lake County will launch a new 10-course certificate program in environmental health and safety. Through support from a federal grant, the first 24 students to enroll can complete the entire program at no charge. Courses will be held in the evenings starting March 10.

Information sessions to provide an overview of the new program and the careers that graduates can enter will be held on the following days in the Technology Building on the CLC Grayslake campus: Feb. 4 from 7-8 p.m. in Room T323; Feb. 10 from 2-3 p.m. in Room T117; Feb. 20 from 5-6 p.m. in Room T130; and Feb. 25 from noon-1 p.m. in Room T117.

The time to apply and enroll is now, according to Dr. Ali O'Brien, assistant vice president of Educational Affairs. "If you're one of the first 24 students to enroll, this is a rare opportunity to earn a career certificate at no cost," she said.

The certificate, financed by a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, is designed to meet a growing need for biological and environmental technicians, especially in water resources and water quality industries.

"The environmental health and safety certificate covers the areas of environmental compliance, hazardous materials regulation, environmental sampling procedures, environmental health, water resources and water quality analysis and includes preparation for industry certifications. It opens the door for students to pursue a career in the area they feel the most passionate about," said Maureen Robinson, associate dean, Biological and Health Sciences.

Industry certifications will be available in five areas: environmental law, advanced air monitoring, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Generator, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) and the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) confined space entry.

The certificate will prepare graduates to work as biological, chemical, environmental and occupational safety and health technicians, as well as water/wastewater treatment plant and system operators. Environmental technicians investigate sources of pollution, including those affecting health. Many work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct their work and evaluate their results.

The certificate has appeal for career changers, individuals working already working in an environmental safety or health career as well as recent high school graduates who have done well in a college-level, introductory chemistry or biology course, O'Brien said.

For more information, contact Ted Stefaniak at (847) 543-2000 extension 31642 or Or visit