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WV's Marshall University chosen to implement energy, power program for high schoolers

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The Southern Regional Education Board has selected Marshall University to help implement an energy and power program aimed at high school students in West Virginia and other states.

In the Advanced Career Program, faculty from Marshall's College of Information Technology and Engineering will work with the West Virginia Department of Education to launch four courses aimed at increasing the number of students who leave high school ready for further study, advanced training and careers in the power and energy sectors.

Richard Begley, who is in charge of the program at Marshall, said energy and power are important for West Virginia, and that's why those fields were selected for the program, which is one of several similar initiatives SREB is developing in partnership with member states.

"The Advanced Career program focuses on high-wage, skilled fields important to the participating state's economy." Begley said. "The goal is to deliver courses that start students down the path toward a recognized industry certificate, a community/technical college certificate or an associate or bachelor's degree in that field."

Teams from universities and high schools partnered to design the courses with aid from industry partners. The curriculum incorporates a hands-on approach with experiments using energy and power measurement instruments, data software and computer simulations.

Students will learn to apply math and science concepts and will use technology and engineering to solve real-world problems in the energy and power industry.

Gene Bottoms, senior vice president of SREB, said this program is available to any and all interested students.

"This is what modern career-tech looks like," he said. "Because the aim is to graduate more students with more options, this program is available to any and all mainstream students. It flips the switch for those students who aren't sparked by traditional teaching styles and gives them a new way to learn. It's a path we must take to not only graduate more students, but to prepare them for what comes after high school."

Marshall's primary role in the program will be to train high school teachers to deliver the curriculum. Sessions to train selected teachers will take place this summer, and trained teachers will pilot the new courses during the upcoming academic year. They also will help train a new class of teachers from other states next summer.

For information about the Advanced Career program at Marshall, contact Begley at 304-696-3438 or Begley@marshall.edu.