Evaluation of a Nuclear Energy Production Technology Program

By Flowers, Kenneth W.; Zinser, Richard | Journal of Technology Studies, Fall 2015 | Go to article overview

Evaluation of a Nuclear Energy Production Technology Program


Flowers, Kenneth W., Zinser, Richard, Journal of Technology Studies


PROJECT BACKGROUND

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) over one-third of the current workforce in the industry may be retiring within the next five years, which will require training and hiring about 25,000 new workers (NEI, 2010). To address the projected shortage of energy industry professionals for the region it serves, the community college in this study, through a partnership with the local energy industry, developed an Energy Production Technology degree program to give local individuals looking for employment the opportunity to prepare for high-skilled, high-wage jobs in the energy field. Due to feedback from local energy employers, the community college was sought out, because, historically, the commercial nuclear industry counted on the U.S. Navy to provide technicians for civilian jobs, but the size of this group has decreased over the years while the demand has increased.

This program was developed in part by following the curriculum outline that was established by the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP) created in 2007 by NEI. The NUCP was created as a quasi-accreditation process to guide community colleges to help power plants staff their future workforce, and it is a standardized program for educating operators and technicians for jobs at nuclear plants (NEI, 2010). Based on a review of the literature, prior to 2007, there is little evidence of a concerted effort between nuclear power plants and community colleges to engage in such a partnership. The NUCP program requires a common curriculum regarding plant equipment and systems, science and mathematics, and technical electives in a student's chosen focus area (chemistry, operations, health, physics, radiation protection, and maintenance).

Regardless of NEI involvement, prior to the development of an energy-focused program, one of the concerns often unfamiliar to any college that attempts to develop such a degree program is that the power production industry is highly regulated. According to Laraia and Dlouhy (1999), "the laws and regulations are often complex and overlapping, involving several government ministries, departments, and/or agencies. These laws and regulations typically provide licensing of various aspects of the nuclear industry, government oversight, setting of standards (both technical and environmental), and protection of human health from radiological (and other) hazards" (p. 40). Safety is a preeminent concern in the nuclear industry, not only for its own sake, but also because of its sensitivity in terms of public perception and, formally, because of national and regional regulations and international agreements (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2012). Local Energy partners supported this, by characterizing the importance of a high level of education and training to maintain the level of safety necessary for the plants to run successfully.

RATIONALE FOR THE STUDY

The purpose of this research was to determine the perceived success of the new Energy Production Technology program created in partnership with a community college and its local business and industry service district. It was essential to assess the feedback process within this partnership to determine if the program was yielding effective results as perceived by program graduates and their employers. Equally important was to determine the role played by the advisory committee that was developed to implement and provide oversight to the program.

A principal goal of community colleges is to ensure that the workers in the region they serve have the educational tools needed to survive in today's job market (Government Accountability Office, 2008). In order for any degree program to remain viable and relevant, it must prepare highly skilled individuals who are aligned with the changing needs of a given industry. To do this, the labor force and educational organizations should be structured around integrated education, training, and program evaluation processes (Government Accountability Office, 2008). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Evaluation of a Nuclear Energy Production Technology Program
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.