New packaging certificate at UMASS Lowell

A new packaging certificate program, sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Institute of Packaging Professionals, has been instituted at the University of Massachusetts' Lowell campus.

Although not a baccalaureate program in itself, many of the courses offered are applicable and creditable toward a B.S. degree. To earn the certificate, a student needs 27 credit hours in some nine specific courses. Developed in conjunction with the school's Plastics and Engineering departments, the curricula include: Principles of Packaging, Materials and Packages, Packaging for the Environment, and Package Development. The program usually takes about one year to complete, and a few scholarships are available. In addition to attracting students already studying for a degree, the program is designed to attract workers who seek new careers as well as people employed in packaging positions who want to expand their knowledge and skills while they work. Along with regular campus attendance, classes are also offered via a Picture Telecommunications system. According to Roger VanDam of the New England Chapter Education Committee, this will permit groups of packaging workers to gather off-campus in satellite classrooms that employ the appropriate communications equipment.

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