The Water Training Institute at WKU

The Water Training
Institute at WKU
Jana Fattic
Center for Water Resource Studies
Western Kentucky University
State of the Industry
• Increased need for critical thinking skills
• More technical Federal regulations
• Increased expectations in occupational and
professional competencies
• More complex treatment processes
• New technologies
• Increased automation
• Need to elevate perception of operators and
their importance
NRWA Quotes
 “Utilities and other companies in the water
industry are facing an impending mass exodus
of senior workers the likes of which has never
before been seen.”
 “The incoming workforce generation is small,
and coupled with their high turnover rate and
transient nature, means a shrinking pool of
replacements and increased competition for
those employees.”
AWWA State of the Water
Industry Report, 2012
AWWA State of the
Industry Report, 2009
“As the industry becomes more
complex, there is a lack of quality
people entering the field.”
Water Sector
Competency Model
Tier 2: Academics
Higher Education
• Rural education issues
• Cost
• Transportation
• Lack of emphasis
• Community Colleges
• Less expensive
• Closer to home
• Credits transferrable
Nationwide Opportunity
• Research on water technology programs
at community colleges
• Over 40 CCs nationwide offer 2-year
• Websites with curriculum
• Most face-to-face; some on-line
Community Colleges with 2Year Water Degrees
Advanced Technology Environmental & Energy Center
Resource center funded by NSF ATE to provide:
• Professional development
• Program improvement
• Curriculum design
• Instructional materials development
• Online resources clearinghouse
Mission - To advance environmental and energy
technology education through curriculum development,
professional development and program improvement.
Vision - To foster a network of educational communities,
supported through public and private partnerships, that
ensures human health, safety, and global sustainability.
Water Defining Workshop
 Approximately 20 SMEs with over 600 years of
combined experience in the water industry
 Brainstorming session to define:
 Job titles
 Job functions
Workshop Outcomes
Field: Water Environment Management
Name: Water Professional
Duties: Too Many to List!
Water Training Institute
Core Concepts
• Training Providers
• Secondary Schools
• Higher Education
• Industry/Employers
• Regulatory Agencies
• Trade Associations
Problem Statement
• Operator certification requires education
and on-the-job experience
• Workforce needs (treatment plants) in
rural areas
• Too dispersed to justify development of
degree program at local institution
Rural Populations
Treatment Plant Capacity
“The effects of the retiring Baby Boomer
generation have been exacerbated in the
water industry. Competition for employees
entering the workforce from colleges and
trade schools is fierce.”
American Water Works Association
State of the Industry Report, 2008
• Water treatment crucial to:
• rural economic development
• public and environmental health
• Growing industry: 15,000 jobs being
created in the next 10 years
• Baby Boomers: 50% of operators will
retire in next 7 years
Motivating Rationale
Water Training Institute
• 2-year Degree Program
• On-line courses; hands-on internship
• Associate of Science in Water Resource
New and existing operators
Can transfer into Bachelors
Certificate Program
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Degree Program
60 Hours of Academic Credit
 15 Hours – General Education
 21 Hours – Science Core
 24 Hours – Concentration-Specific
 3 Concentrations
 Water Operations
 Wastewater Operations
 Water Utility Management
General Education
 ENG100: Intro to College Writing
 PS110: American National Government
 MATH116: College Algebra
 Category B: Humanities Elective
 Category C: Social & Behavioral Science Elective
Science Core
 BIOL113: General Biology
 BIOL207: General Microbiology
 CHEM101: Intro to Chemistry
 ENV280: Intro to Environmental Sciences
 MATH117: Trigonometry
 GEOG100: Intro to Physical Environment
 PHYS101: Concepts of Motion
Drinking Water Operations Track
 WTTI 200: Water Supply & Wastewater Control
 WTTI 210: Intro to Water Treatment
 WTTI 212: Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection
 WTTI 220: Calculations & Hydraulics for Water
 WTTI 222: Water & Wastewater Instrumentation & Control
 WTTI 226: Water Chemistry
 WTTI 230: Advanced Water Treatment
 WTTI 291: Internship: Utility Operations
Wastewater Operations Track
 WTTI 200: Water Supply & Wastewater Control
 WTTI 211: Intro to Wastewater Treatment
 WTTI 212: Water Distribution and Wastewater Collection
 WTTI 221: Calculations & Hydraulics for Wastewater
 WTTI 222: Water & Wastewater Instrumentation & Control
 WTTI 226: Water Chemistry
 WTTI 231: Advanced Wastewater Treatment
 WTTI 291: Internship: Utility Operations
Hybrid Experiential & Distance Learning Educational
Model (HEDLEM)
 Hands-on requirement
 Internships with local utilities
 Geographically dispersed need
 On-line classes and forums
Distance Learning
• Can include mail, video, Internet
• Internet pros
• Availability rapidly increasing
• Access to multiple electronic learning resources
• No travel required
• Convenient
• Internet cons
• Infrastructure required
• Must pay for access
• Must have a computer
• Lack of hands-on experiences
Experiential Learning
 Pros:
• Increases employability
• Higher pay/responsibility
• Increases job satisfaction
 Cons:
• Requires access to physical resources
• May require travel
• Security/safety issues
Hybrid Experiential and Distance
Learning Educational Model
• Educational component > online
• Hands-on component > local utility
• On-the-job training
• Issues
• Internet access
• Sufficient workforce recruitment pool
• Distance to experiential location
Industry Linkages
 Programmatic Direction – driven by
 Steering Committee
 Employment Sector – DW/WW utilities
 Trade Associations – local TAs linked to
national organizations
 State Primacy Agencies
 Educators – WKU, Community Colleges,
Training Providers
Utility Network (UNet)
 Local point of presence for students
 Provide access to local facilities
 Internships
Utility Network
The Subversive End: Change the
EMPLOYER’s Mindset!
Mentor Network
 On-line network of experienced
water professionals
 Participate in discussion forums
 Provide expertise to educators
 Give career guidance to students
Mentor Network
Student Incentives
 Internships
 One college credit hour for every 80 hrs of
supervised work-based experience
 Employer must complete student evaluation
 Scholarships
 Trade Associations
 Utilities – tuition reimbursement
Student Incentives (cont’d.)
 On-line courses
 Moving toward independent learning
 Flexible for existing operators
 Discussion Forums
 Modularization – short courses by TA
 8 hr short course ~ 0.5 academic credit hour
 Must have assessment tool (quiz)
CEU Articulation
 Water Treatment
 Distribution
Instructor Credentials
Content Equivalency
Student Assessment
 Utility Management 101
 Utility Organization, Regulation & Law
 Wastewater Treatment
 Water Treatment & Distribution
 Disinfection and Disinfection Alternatives
 Gravity Media Filter Optimization
The Role of WTI
Pathways for Millennials
Certificate in
Water Ops
Water Resource
Technology Mgmt
Public Admin.
Technology Mgmt
Public Admin.
Professional Standards
Example: Engineering Licensure
Water & Wastewater Workforce
Setting the Professional
Evolving a National Center of
National Replication
 Model can be extrapolated to other disciplines
Laboratory Technician
Stormwater Management
Energy Management
Resource Conservation
 Model can be franchised to other educational
institutions/ training providers
 Content only
 Content and instruction
• More well-trained operators needed throughout
the country
• Many educational opportunities for operators,
even in rural areas
• Existing professionals can act as instructors
and/or mentors
• Meet the needs of rural water systems and jobseekers in those areas
It’s a Win-Win!
• Learn theory and application
• On-the-Job training
• Competitive edge
• Scholarships from trade associations
• Tuition reimbursement by utilities
• Existing operators receive CEUs
Utilities/Internship Providers
• Get to ‘test-drive’ students
• Get an extra set of hands
Thank You!
Jana Fattic
[email protected]

similar documents