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About the Program

This program offers an Associate in Applied Science degree and three certificate options to prepare students for positions as photonics technicians installing and troubleshooting lasers, optical systems, fiber optic devices, telecommunications equipment, photonics manufacturing equipment and simple control systems.

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Why study at CLC?

The Lasers, Photonics and Optics field has enormous growth potential because lasers are used everywhere today, from marking prescription drug bottles to manufacturing aircraft. CLC is the only community college in the Chicago area to offer an Associate in Applied Science degree and certificates in this leading-edge field.

The college has several years experience in offering strong career preparation in the field. It first introduced a certificate in the field in 2009. and introduced the degree program in Fall 2014 based on employer feedback. "An associate degree shows an employer that an applicant has a well-rounded education and commitment to the field," said Professor Steve Dulmes, program chair.

The college continually invests in updating equipment. Recent acquisitions are a fiber optic laser and computer-controlled adaptive optics technology.

According to the National Center for Optics and Photonics Education (OP-TEC), college programs in the field are expected to produce only enough graduates to meet one-third of the projected demand for new photonics technicians through 2017.

Local demand also is projected to be high."There are several employers in the area that want approximately 100 people per year and the next closest school offering a photonics program is in Iowa," Dulmes said.


Laser/Photonics/Options Program

From explosives detectors in airport security to blood tests that don't require a pin prick, light and lasers have hundreds of applications in daily life. The fascinating world of photonics (from the word, "photon," a unit of light) studies the science of light and its practical uses. College of Lake County (CLC) is the first community college in Chicagoland to offer a certificate program in this leading-edge field, which was launched in fall 2011.

Read the video transcript.

See also: Laser/Photonics/Optics program offered by the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus and CLC.