Students enrolled in Onondaga’s Nuclear Energy Technology (NET) program received an extraordinary level of new financial and educational support.
In August 2014 the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced it would fund scholarships benefiting students in the NET major. The program will provide 10 first-year students with scholarships totaling 50% of in-county tuition and fees, and 12 returning students with funding which covers 100% of in-county tuition and fees.
Students in the NET program will also benefit from the contributions of Exelon Corporation, the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Their generous contribution of $250,000 has provided student scholarships and a state-of-the-art Lab-Volt Process Workstation which brings nuclear plant operations into the classroom giving students the opportunity for hands-on learning.
During the summer eight Onondaga NET students completed a nine-week-long internship at Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in Scriba. Students divided their time evenly among all three maintenance disciplines; instrument & controls, mechanical, and electrical and received hands-on experience working throughout the plant. Three more Onondaga NET students interned at Nucor Steel of Auburn which has similar operational processes to a nuclear facility.
Onondaga’s NET program started in the fall 2013 semester in response to a workforce demand. The nuclear energy industry estimates approximately half of its workforce will be eligible to retire in the next 10 years. Students who successfully complete the two-year degree program will be eligible for a job at a nuclear facility with a starting salary of more than $50,000. Onondaga is one of only 36 colleges in the nation that offer the NET degree.