First certified online nuclear degree program available this summer
NUCP Approved curriculum developed by industry helps open career opportunities
The very first online nuclear degree program to be Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP) approved will now be offered over the summer, Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE) Director Christine Carpenter announced today. The curriculum, developed with EPCE energy companies and its education partner, the National Energy Center of Excellence at Bismarck State College (BSC) is accelerated, transferable, and flexible, and provides a “Stamp of Approval” from national employers insuring that the skills and knowledge gained will directly apply to the job. It will be offered by BSC beginning the first week of June.
Said Carpenter, “Many energy companies are hiring, but to qualify workers need the right training and credentials. Getting them can be difficult for those with jobs or families, but the opportunity to take classes over the summer can help. The curriculum was created by leveraging the strength of a national coalition of energy subject matter experts and includes courses and degrees that align to skills needed in the energy industry and the credits are earned entirely online and are totally transferrable. Anyone working in the nuclear industry or considering a career in the future can benefit from this program by qualifying for open positions and promotions faster. And now, the option to take the classes over the summer makes the program more accessible than ever.”
The summer programs include online courses in electric power and nuclear power. The nuclear online courses in the Nuclear Power Technology program are nationally approved by the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program and a one-of-a-kind innovative, online Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) simulator is integrated into BSC’s online Nuclear Power Technology curriculum designed to educate employees for the nuclear power industry.
This simulator incorporates all the aspects of an actual nuclear power plant, including the primary, secondary, electrical distribution, and auxiliary systems. It is designed to operate just like a real plant and has the same fidelity and precision as the simulators around the country used by the nuclear providers themselves. However, students in BSC’s Nuclear Power Technology program will be able to access this high-quality simulator from their computer anytime, anywhere, since it is delivered online.
“The most important benefit of this program is that it allows prospective students and employees greater access to nuclear training,” said Steve Gackstetter, Director, Site Engineering at Exelon Generation. ”This is a high-quality training tool similar to those used inside of the nuclear companies themselves.” Many of the EPCE energy companies support this education and training across the country, including AEP, Ameren, Dominion, Duke Energy, Entergy, Exelon, FPL, Palo Verde, STPNOC, Xcel Energy.
Added Kyren Miller, Program Manager/Associate Professor at BSC, “Because nearly 20% of America’s energy is generated from nuclear power, it is very important to equip the nuclear workforce with the education and knowledge to safely and efficiently produce and protect this critical piece of our infrastructure.”
Graduate Britttany Busker says that the program helped her land her current job with Exelon. She did not have any experience working for an energy company, but knew she needed more education before she could get her foot in the door. With her degree from an EPCE sponsored college in her pocket, she became employed at Exelon’s Bryon Generating Station. “The background knowledge the program provided me was great. It was easier to catch onto things because I understood what people were talking about. It’s also made it easier to learn things outside of my actual job position, which will hopefully help me to move up in the near future.” Britt said.
Concluded Carpenter, “Implementing a training tool of this caliber continues to show a commitment to the energy industry and the best possible education of its future workforce. It is a powerful program that can help graduates push their career forward into higher-paying, more rewarding jobs, and we urge current and future industry workers to enroll today.”
The Energy Providers Coalition for Education (www.epceonline.org) is a national alliance delivering solutions to attract and engage the energy industry’s workforce through quality online education. These programs offer interested candidates and incumbent workers technical skills as well as academic knowledge needed for industry career paths in electric utilities including nuclear power.
EPCE members, representing over two-thirds of the industry, champion industry needs in their joint efforts to develop and sponsor online curriculum with qualified accredited high schools, colleges, and universities.
EPCE is a signature initiative of CAEL, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (www.cael.org), an international non-profit organization with more than 40 years of experience in working with the public sector, private sector industries, and higher education institutions to ensure that adult students receive the most efficient training and education to occupy a meaningful professional place in a 21st century economy.
Bismarck State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence offers online and classroom training for the energy industry. Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degrees can be earned, or courses can simply be taken for professional development and training.
Classes are available in Electric Power Technology (distribution), Electrical Transmission Systems Technology (system operations), Power Plant, Process Plant (refining, gasification, ethanol, biodiesel), Nuclear Power and Renewable Generation (wind, solar, tidal, hydro, biomass) Technologies.
In addition, a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Energy Management is available entirely online. The classes are offered in a convenient block-style format, giving students the opportunity to complete a class in 3-8 weeks. The National Energy Center of Excellence is also known for their non-credit offerings such as apprenticeship programs, customized training, and NERC CEH courses.
Fritz Schneider, 301.728.4811
Jackie Clark, 301.641.3750
Christine Carpenter 303.804.4663