Nash Community College has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy through the Duke Energy Foundation to fund an enhancement project to ensure NCC’s Electric Line Construction Academy students receive classroom and field instruction.
The instruction will incorporate collaborative problem solving and critical thinking. The grant will employ project-based learning to hone skills, expand knowledge, preparing students to enter the workforce. To achieve this, the current Line Construction classroom will be redesigned to include interactive displays, lecture capture, and configurable seating to accommodate team learning, already part of the college’s Math Tank and English Studio redesigns. Multi-configurable spaces have led to increased student passing rates from 50 percent to 80 percent.
“Duke Energy has been an important partner with the college, investing in the education of electric line construction technicians help to ensure future success and job safety. The role of these trainees is critical to meeting the utility needs in our state and beyond,” NCC President Bill Carver said.
Additionally, instructor videos will provide concept previews, while helmet cameras will record and live stream climbing projects for self and peer evaluation and targeted formative instruction. Enhanced technology features include computer touch screen input, to be integrated into training field. Industry specific supplies will support team and project-based training. The improved learning environment will aide in increased instruction efficiency and provide increased supplemental resources to better engage students, leading to increased recruitment and retention, improved performance, and faster progression through skill sets.
“Nash Community College is an important partner in developing the workforces that enables Duke Energy to provide safe, reliable energy 24-hours a day,” said Duke Energy District Manager Tanya Evans.
NCC provides workforce development to improve the lives of students and their families, reduce costs for employers and enhance the quality of life in communities. The 16-week Electric Line Construction Academy prepares graduates for entry-level careers in the electrical utility field and is the first step towards the Electric Line Construction Technology diploma and degree. The academy accelerates training leading to the 3rd Class Line Construction Technology Certificate, a credential in high demand.
The academy has a reputation for training competent candidates for the utility industry. Since 2011, students have enrolled in the program from counties all across North Carolina and from other states, including Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. Employers who have hired students from the program include Progress Energy, Duke Power, Dominion Power, Electric Membership Corporations, state municipalities and contractors. Fifteen students from the semester ending in December 2013 already are working for the city of Rocky Mount, Strata Solar Company, T&D Electrical, city of Wilson, Wake Electric, Duke Energy, South River EMC, Edgecombe-Martin EMC and companies in Pennsylvania and New York.