TVA and Chattanooga State Helping Prepare Students for Nuclear Jobs
August 11, 2009
TVA and Chattanooga State Community College are collaborating to offer an engineering technology curriculum that helps prepare students for careers in the nuclear industry.
In consultation with TVA and using nuclear industry guidelines, Chattanooga State has developed an associate of applied science degree in radiation protection technology. The collaboration helps ensure that the program addresses workforce needs of TVA and others in the nuclear power industry, as well as employers in nuclear medicine.
“Chattanooga State has a long-standing reputation for educational innovation and robust technology programs,” said Preston Swafford, TVA’s Chief Nuclear Officer. “By being involved with the program’s development and participating in its implementation, TVA is helping to ensure that students see the connection with real-world expectations.”
“People working in nuclear power plants or in nuclear medicine must be technically astute and knowledgeable about the nuclear industry,” says Tim McGhee, Dean of Chattanooga State’s Engineering Technology Division. “TVA’s guidance in developing our radiation protection program gives our students a relevant curriculum to become part of a highly skilled and well-educated workforce.”
The college introduced the radiation technology program at the start of the 2008-2009 academic year, and more than 40 students enrolled for the spring 2009 semester. The first class of 14 students is expected to graduate in May 2010.
TVA and Chattanooga State officials collaborated on the program design and established an advisory council to recommend improvements and help ensure it meets the criteria for TVA’s accredited training program and state regulations.
Dr. Jim Barrott, Vice President for Technology at Chattanooga State, says the collaboration is a model for other community colleges in advancing technical education. “The agreement between TVA and Chattanooga State is a progressive, proactive accomplishment of industry and education working together to benefit the community,” Barrott said.
Ron Bruno, senior manager in TVA’s Nuclear Power Group, said TVA and Chattanooga State want to enhance other programs by adding more offerings. “TVA has many career opportunities with training programs that are open to qualified applicants with two-year engineering technology degrees. The Chattanooga State program is a bridge between higher education and industry that benefits Chattanooga State, its students, and TVA,” Bruno said.
Chattanooga State Community College is a comprehensive, regionally accredited community college, operated under the policies and guidelines of the Tennessee Board of Regents College System. Founded in 1965 and serving a six-county area in Southeast Tennessee, Chattanooga State offers a wide array of programs and services.
TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million people in seven southeastern states. TVA also manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.
Terry Johnson, Chattanooga, (423) 751-6875
TVA News Bureau, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000
Phyllis Mescon, Chattanooga, (423) 697-3380
Chattanooga State Community College