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Power Technician Associate Degree Program

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Recruiting, Retention, and Diversity in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1162.1 - 22.1162.6



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Paper Authors


Michael D. Rudisill Northern Michigan University

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Michael Rudisill received a B.S.E.E. from the University of Illinois and a M.S.E.E. from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Michigan and has been with Northern Michigan University for over 15 years.

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Power Technician Associate Degree ProgramA diverse combination of companies involved in the electrical power industry along withxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx University (XXU) and coordinated by Lake Superior Partnership (LSP)have operated an Electrical Line Technician Program for several year, a very successful pre-apprenticeship program that prepares students to install, maintain and operate electrical systemsto supply energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers, and to undergroundgeneration facilitiesAs a result of the success of the Line Technician program and the needs of industry members inthe consortium, a comprehensive survey was conducted in the summer of 2008 which indicated astrong regional need for another program. In response to the survey and needs of the LSCPconsortium industry partners, XXU initiated a second program, the Electric Power Technicianprogram. This is an associate degree level program with the first cohort entering the program inthe fall of 2009.To support the program the consortium members agreed to build a mock electrical substation onthe XXU campus to allow students in the program to have a realistic laboratory environmentwhere they can learn the skills they will use in their future employment. Members of theconsortium include electric utilities, construction companies that support the electrical powerindustry and manufacturers of electrical power equipment.In 2010 the Department of Energy joined the effort with a $670,000 grant to support the programwith equipment and support for additional instructors. We feel this was a very strongcorroboration that the program is both structurally coherent and timely.The program will graduate its first cohort in May of 2011. The mock substation on the XXUcampus will be completed in late 2010. We believe this effort is an excellent example ofindustry collaboration with a higher education institution to produce graduates that can movedirectly into the workforce. It will provide these companies with qualified workers that have theability to quickly become productive employees with the knowledge to advance within theindustry and stay current with evolving technology.

Rudisill, M. D. (2011, June), Power Technician Associate Degree Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18641

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