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WSC nets approval for new programs of study

Friday, April 30th, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

Williston State College is pleased to announce that the State Board of Higher Education has recently approved three new program requests. The three approved programs include Associate of Applied Science in Petroleum Production Technology; A.A.S. and a Program Certification in Residential Carpentry Technology; and A.A.S. and P.C. in Welding Technology.

These programs will be housed in the new Career and Technology Education building, currently under construction on the WSC campus. "We will probably have a class or two ready for the fall 2010 semester, but we have no place to put everyone until the building is done," according to Wanda Meyer, Vice President for Instruction at WSC.

Students wanting to start the programs next fall will be able to start with their general education requirements immediately and "get a class or two" in their program of study, Meyer said. "That's about all we can do for the fall semester. We're hoping to be able to go full speed ahead" by the spring 2011 semester.

Funding for the programs has come from Western Corridor Earmarked federal dollars, which will be available in two waves. The first wave of $1.9 million was earmarked for Oct. 1, 2009, to Oct. 2011 and is split between Bismarck State College, Dickinson State University, Minot State University and WSC.

WSC and BSC split $1.5 million in the first round of funding; MSU and DSU split the remaining $.4 million. "A little over $700,000 is our portion," Meyer said. "These funds will be used for equipment and salaries for the welding and residential carpentry programs. They will pay instructors' salaries for those two programs and get us major pieces of equipment to get us started.

"The second wave of funding, if all goes well, will be from October 2010 to October 2012, so there is some overlap there," she said. "So until 2012, these programs should be fairly well funded. Most programs don't get those funds at start up."

The next round of funding should bring WSC about $455,000, which should fund the faculty and equipment for the petroleum production technology program, which will be done in partnership with BSC. "Their dollars will also help with that program," Meyer said.

There is a stipulation to the funding that there must be a 20 percent match of funds. "This doesn't have to necessarily be money," Meyer said. "It could be space, people, etc. It just can't be federal dollars. With the donated equipment we've already received from oil companies, we're sitting good in that respect."

Heading up the projects at hand is Interim CTE Director Robb Floco. "I am excited to work with the community on providing programs that are in demand here in the northwest," he said. "Obviously there was a need. There's a great building being built and now we're wanting to put in productive programs so that we can service the students here at WSC and in the community."

Meyer doesn't anticipate any problems getting students for the programs, which are available to both high school and college students. "I'm already getting calls from potential students," she said.

"We have had welding classes here at WSC, but we had no program," Meyer said. "It's been around 20 years since we had programs in welding and carpentry. It's exciting to think that we are recycling around to bring them back again."