Stark State College ShaleNET Education and training expands with new funding, partners

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio — Stark State College’s ShaleNET Share project, which increases access to the innovative ShaleNET oil and gas industry curriculum, is expanding.

Belmont College has joined Stark State, Eastern Gateway Community College and Hocking College as an education partner, while Chevron Corporation has joined the group as an industry partner, adding $215,000 in funding to the $506,483 awarded in August by Ohio’s Education Innovation program.

A key architect of ShaleNET, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, also has joined the ShaleNET Share partnership.

Through resource-sharing, the project leverages the equipment and technology in Stark State College’s $3.7 million Well Site Training Lab to provide state-of-the-art, industry-driven oil and gas education and training to students at Eastern Gateway, Hocking and now Belmont, expanding education and training opportunities at the lowest possible cost to students and the state.

80 students

This collaborative approach will enable up to 80 students annually to earn a ShaleNET measurement and mechatronics technician AAS degree and a ShaleNET instrumentation and measurement technician certificate by completing 40 hours of core/technical classes at their home institutions and 20 hours of field-specific, hands-on courses at Stark State College.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education selected the ShaleNET Share project for funding because it meets Gov. John Kasich’s higher education strategy of promoting educational excellence and economic efficiency and stabilizing or reducing student tuition rates at colleges and universities.

Oil and gas industry partners Chevron and Allegheny Conference on Human Development are keenly interested in the innovative educational approach the project represents, and Ohio’s foresight in piloting the concept.

Stark State courses are provided through a Web4/Fast-Track Friday blended approach.

Boot camp

An accelerated oil and gas technical summer boot camp at Stark State’s Well Site Training Center will give EGCC, Hocking and Belmont students hands-on field experience.

Housing and limited transportation through Malone University and other partners will be offered to students as part of the summer boot-camp program. Students graduating from the program will possess the technical skills needed for midstream and downstream positions in the oil and gas industry and related industries, including advanced manufacturing.

The mechatronics skills gained through this program can be applied to Ohio’s manufacturing, transport and plastics industries.

Stark State. Stark State College is one of four ShaleNET hubs in the country supported by a U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training grant and offering oil and gas industry-approved curriculum.

Working in partnership with Navarro College of Texas, and Pennsylvania College of Technology and Westmoreland County Community College in Pennsylvania, the consortium provides oil and gas education programs in several of the country’s most active shale plays. Articulation agreements between consortium members provide students the flexibility to continue their education at any of the partner institutions.

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