Student Success Stories

45.jpgAfter 16 years of working as an office manager for a local hospital, Jacalynn Bentz decided it was time for a career  change.  Jacalynn's older brother and children also had attended BSC and her brother had secured a position in the energy industry.  Jacalynn decided to pursue BSC's Power Plant Technology program through the online option. 

"I knew immediately that with dedication that was a way that I could continue to work while pursuing my desire to enter the energy industry," she said.  "I would never have been able to achieve this milestone had the online program not been an option."

Jacalynn completed the Associate in Applied Science degree in December of 2005 and was offered a position with Great River Energy as a control room operator. "This position allows me an opportunity to learn generation, distribution, transmission, marketing and the standards that apply to the industry," she said.  "Since the start of my employment I have met and exceeded expectations that I had set for myself and have been given every opportunity by my company to expand my knowledge and education."

Jacalynn has also expanded her learning by completing some courses in the Electrical Transmission Systems Technology program and is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Management program offered by BSC.  "Again, BSC is offering me the tools needed to continue setting and achieving new goals with Great River Energy.  The satisfaction and opportunities that I have gained from these programs has been monumental," she said.
Jacalynn indicated that the most beneficial part of the program was that it was offered online.  "I appreciated the vast knowledge base that I had access to from professors who had and have decades of experience in the industry, she said.  "BSC has secured some of the industries finest!"

When asked about her recommendations for persons considering a career in the energy industry, she said, "Do not hesitate!  The industry is opening up.  The present workforce in this industry is reaching retirement and the job opportunities are increasing rapidly.  With the programs that BSC offers, the directions you can choose to take your career are abundant.  With dedication and persistence your success is on the horizon."

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Jacalynn!
25.jpgRandy began working at Xcel Energy as a Plant Specialist C in 2005.  As a recent hire, he noticed a company promotion about Bismarck State College.  He took interest in the Power Plant Technology program because it would offer him additional training to give him a better background in power generation.  Xcel Energy offered an 80% tuition reimbursement plan which proved to be a worthwhile opportunity for him.  Another bonus was there were no upfront tuition costs due to vouchers offered by Xcel.

Randy started the Power Plant Technology program in the spring semester of 2006, and received his Associate in Applied Science degree in August of 2007.  He said, "The faculty did an awesome job engaging students.  I also was pleased with the staff support at BSC and would recommend the program to anyone looking to get a job in the energy industry."

Randy was recently interviewed for a shift supervisor position and is now in the supervisor candidate pool.  This pool grooms employees for supervisor positions and requires a two-year degree.  His supervisors like BSC's program and believe  it was definitely worth Randy's hard work and time to earn the degree.

Randy was promoted to Plant Specialist A at Xcel Energy.

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Randy!