EPCE, the Energy Providers Coalition for Education, and its founding education partner, Bismarck State College (BSC) National Energy Center for Excellence have announced an enhanced partnership. In addition to current, online education and training programs, Electric and Nuclear Power Technology, the partnership now provides four additional state-of-the art, online, energy education and training programs.
- The Electrical Transmission Systems Technology program was created in response to industry demand for qualified system operators and is designed to teach students about the electrical power system in North America and has a strong emphasis on system operations. This program is approved to offer North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)* continuing education hours (CEHs) combined with college credit for those who wish to maintain certification requirements and work towards a college degree.
- The Power Plant Technology, the industry’s most reputable power generation program, helps students learn the technical and safety aspects of plant operations and the responsibilities of plant operators. BSC is designated by the U.S. Department of Energy as the National Power Plant Operations Technology and Education Center. This official designation recognizes BSC as the premier national center of education and training for operators and technicians in the energy industry.
- The Energy Services & Renewable Technician program prepares graduates for field service technician careers across the energy industry and also focuses on renewable generation aspects. BSC is a registered provider of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Associate Program Exam. The NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Program is designed for those individuals wanting to enter the solar field.
- The Water and Wastewater Technology program is designed for entry-level employment in city, county and industries that operate and maintain water and wastewater treatment facilities. Bismarck State College has been approved as an online provider for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by multiple states.
Created by the industry, these nationally recognized online programs support the knowledge needed to keep pace with the rapidly changing energy industry. “This enhanced partnership shows the commitment to the energy industry and the best possible online education for the workforce,” says Steve Gackstetter, Director of Site Engineering at Exelon Generation and EPCE Governance Committee Member. “Earning an industry credential, including a certificate or degree through BSC’s nationally recognized online programs, prepares individuals for the evolving workforce needs of the industry.”
“Together, EPCE and BSC are educating and training current energy employees, as well as future energy employees through a multitude of online programs specific to critical technical employment needs with electric utilities”, said Christine Carpenter, Director of EPCE. “This partnership has had a significant impact on educating and training thousands of employees from energy companies across the country”.
BSC has been able to deploy state-of-the-art courses online through the use of simulations, animations, discussions, and real-time lab sessions operating real equipment to thousands of students since 1999. BSC receives strong support from industry partners, and advisory committees, such as EPCE, that consist of industry experts who help guide and shape curriculum, ensuring that the education students receive prepares them for the needs of employers.
“Our energy programs grew out of industry demand, and we continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that our programs stay current with the latest technology and that our students are learning the skill sets they need to succeed in the workforce. This allows the student to get the best educational experience possible, and lets industry hire our graduates with confidence knowing they are obtaining capable employees who can significantly contribute to their organization starting on day one,” says Bruce Emmil, Dean of the National Energy Center of Excellence.
Programs taken through Bismarck State College are convenient and flexible for students who also maintain a full time job or have other obligations. Coursework can also lead to industry-recognized credentials.