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Supporting Graduate Students In An Engineering Technology Program At A Nuclear Power Plant

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Graduate Student Experiences and Funding

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1140.1 - 9.1140.4

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Paper Authors

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Jerome Davis

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Roman Stemprok

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Charles Bittle

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Mitty Plummer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2177

Supporting Graduate Students In An Engineering Technology Master’s Degree Program At A Nuclear Power Plant

By Mitty C. Plummer, Jerome J Davis, Charles C. Bittle and Roman Stemprok

University of North Texas

I. Introduction. The University of North Texas of North Texas has had a commercial arrangement with the local electric utility company to deliver a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology to the operators and technicians of their nuclear power plant for 15 years. The initial contract was for five years, but has been continued on for an additional 10 years. During this time, several members of the utility staff, who already had obtained Bachelor’s Degrees in engineering, applied for graduate school and were accepted into the Master’s degree program. This paper details the support that was provided to these individuals by both the utility company and the university.

II. Degree Program Description. The earliest degrees were granted on the basis of taking 12 courses for a total of 36 credit hours and then completing an oral comprehensive examination. Two students completed this arrangement.

Beginning in 1994, the degree requirements were changed to become a thesis required degree plan that included 36 total hours with 30 hours course work and six hours of thesis. This is the plan under which five students graduated.

In 2003 the degree was changed again to permit an optional thesis at 30 hours total (24 of class work and six of thesis) and 36 hours of straight course work with written and oral comprehensive exam. It might be noted that this last change followed years of greatly reduced graduation rates in the department in spite of a growing number of graduate students.

The university provided support to the students in a large variety of nontraditional ways. In the earliest days of the program the program director would visit the site weekly for meetings with students who drove to campus for some courses. In those days, the early 90’s, a student could take up to six hours of 4000 level courses and apply it to a graduate degree. This meant that Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Davis, J., & Stemprok, R., & Bittle, C., & Plummer, M. (2004, June), Supporting Graduate Students In An Engineering Technology Program At A Nuclear Power Plant Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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