Energy Utility Technology

Leveraging in-house training into college credit

power linesIn 2006, Thomas Edison State College and Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, developed the nation’s first bachelor degree program in Energy Utility Technology and created a career pathway from an associate degree to a bachelor degree that leverages professional training programs.

Initially, the Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology degree in Energy Utility Technology was designed to build on PSE&G training and associate degree programs the company developed with community colleges in New Jersey.

To create the bachelor degree program, Thomas Edison State College teamed up with experts from academia and the industry to identify job duties, skills, educational objectives and learning outcomes that would be critical for a four-year degree in Energy Utility Technology. The College also led the assessment of PSE&G technical training courses and curriculum to determine whether the company’s training programs could be used to fulfill part of the degree requirements. This assessment concluded that PSE&G training could be used to fulfill up approximately 15 credits towards the bachelor degree.

In 2007, the College expanded the Energy Utility Technology program to utility workers nationwide through a similar partnership with the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE), a group formed by industry leaders and the Council for Adult Experimental Learning (CAEL) that represents some of the largest energy providers in the nation.