According to the Associated Press, Lincoln Trail College, an Illinois community college, is planning on adding a petroleum drilling technology degree program to its curriculum this fall. The new addition is designed to help prepare students for careers in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
College President Kathryn Harris reports that state officials have approved the schools petition to start offering the program, and that she predicts it will be a very valuable degree in the state of Illinois.
"Fracking is coming to Illinois soon, and that will mean good jobs. This program will help people get skills they need to find jobs in the field," says Harris.
This degree isn't only benefiting the students either. According to Harris, the majority of people working on oil fields are nearing retirement, so a new educated work force will be extremely valuable.
This program will specifically focus on horizontal fracking, and will help to educate students for jobs related to planning, development and operating oil and gas extraction and processing facilities. The requirements for the degree will consist of 19 credit hours of general education classes and 44 credit hours in required career and technical education coursework. The students will then be evaluated on a final capstone project, and upon completion will receive an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Petroleum Drilling Technology.
“We work hard to adapt to the needs of our local industries,” says Harris and this degree is a testament to that.