First cohort of WVU Parkersburg’s Learn and Earn students prepare to graduate

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First cohort of WVU Parkersburg’s Learn and Earn students prepare to graduate


Parkersburg, W.Va. 10/25/12 – The first cohort of students in West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Learn and Earn program has completed the initial rounds of classroom and on-the-job experience at DuPont Washington Works and is on par to complete the program in February 2013. The college and DuPont announced the collaboration in January, and students began the following month. This was the first such partnership formed under the “Learn and Earn” program sponsored by the Community and Technical College Education System of West Virginia.

Two students started the program in February 2012 and will finish in February 2013. In May of 2012, ten additional students were enrolled. The program will continue to add cohorts of ten students every three months. The college is still looking for qualified students to fill openings in the November 2012 class.

“Our first two groups of students have gained valuable hands-on, real-world manufacturing skill. Our experience is that this is a successful way to meet the state’s growing need for a skilled, qualified manufacturing workforce,” said Karl Boelter, DuPont plant manager.

During the course of the program, students alternate classroom learning at WVU Parkersburg with work rotations at DuPont in three-month increments over a one-year period. At the completion of the program, students receive a 30-hour degree certificate of applied science in chemical and polymer operator technology. Tuition and course materials, including work boots and books, are estimated to be cost less than $3,000. Students will earn approximately $12,000 in the time they are in the program.

“The students currently enrolled in the program have done very well. It is not very often that an opportunity like this comes along – where students can earn $12,000 while getting a credential that can lead to a good career,” said Robin Ambrozy, WVU Parkersburg director of non-traditional programs.

The state of West Virginia will reimburse DuPont for half of the students’ wages during the internship period. WVU Parkersburg is hoping to receive another grant and is looking into other partnerships that will meet the requirement for the technical grant. Those interested in enrolling can call 304-424-8272.

Posted in Academic Affairs, General News, Non-Traditional Programs, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics