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LMC’s Nuclear Training Certificate Earns National Accreditation

August 7, 2013

BENTON HARBOR, MI – The Nuclear Energy Institute and the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations has accredited Lake Michigan College’s Energy Production Technology program as a Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP). The designation applies specifically to the College’s Radiation Protection/Health Physics (HPRP) area of study under the Energy Production Technology program.

“Receiving NUCP recognition is an important mark of quality for our program and for our students as they prepare for careers in the energy industry,” stated Ken Flowers, director of Workforce and Technology Development at LMC. “We appreciate the assistance that both D.C. Cook and Palisades Power plant has provided to us in obtaining this designation.”

With the accreditation, the College may award NUCP certification to students who pass each of the industry-related courses at 80 percent or higher. The certification is awarded in addition to the associate degree students earn from the College, and indicates that graduates are trained to an industry-designated level.  According to Flowers, this may result in some initial training at the power plant being waived.

“The nuclear industry has very strict job-specific requirements and NUCP certification shows hiring managers that LMC graduates have mastered many of those skills,” said Ron Sieber, training manager at Cook Nuclear Plant. “Actually, students in LMC’s Energy Production Program are learning skills and how to work to the high standards of many other high-tech industries as well.”

Flowers and Sieber led the team that completed the NUCP approval process, which included a 16-page self-study document and a Challenge Board made up of industry experts. The team began the analysis of the curriculum, facility, faculty, advisory board, student base, and sustainability of the program for the self-study three years ago. The LMC/AEP program received the highest approval level, “approved with no comment.” Other members of the team included Gloria Winn, career education instructional leader at LMC, John Custer and Monica Eberhardt of the Cook Nuclear Plant, and Bart Nixon, Jeff Iliff, and Kevin Simpson, of the Palisades Power Plant.

The Energy Production Technology/HPRP program, which is based at the College’s M-TEC facility, includes courses in math, electrical science, thermo-fluid sciences, atomic and nuclear physics, and plant safety, as well as courses specific to radiation protection and health physics. The courses are taught by adjunct faculty who currently work in the energy field.

For more information on the Energy Production Technology program, contact Ken Flowers at (269) 927-4103 or flowers@lakemichigancollege.edu.

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