As I understand it (please correct me where I am wrong), Bismarck State College is offering training and education in energy-related jobs through on-site and "distance-learning (internet)-based modalities.
On-site instruction and education is provided in a state-of-the art 106,200 square-foot building, that, in itself, is an educational model for students of energy production, management, and conservation.
The building is made of Flexcrete, a construction material manufactured from fly ash. The Flexcrete was donated by Great River Energy as a demonstration of the use of North Dakota fly ash as a building material. The Flexcrete material is recycled from coal combustion byproducts (which require disposal) and has been used throughout the interior of the building.The college is now accepting applications for courses beginning this August (2011). Main page (starting page) is here.
The heating and cooling system is particularly remarkable. According to the website, The NECE is heated, cooled and ventilated from a geothermal system consisting of 504 wells that are 200 feet deep. The ventilation system, which provides outside air to maintain indoor air quality, is achieved by a total energy heat recovery system coupled to the geothermal piping system to have the earth preheat and precool the outside air without the use of electricity or gas.
My hunch is that companies like Schlumberger and Halliburton will be sending some of their folks to the school for on-site training. Others will obtain their degree through distance learning (internet).
I'm hoping that the school will provide some statistics or metrics regarding the student body of their classes, breaking it down by students who follow a traditional route from high school to college, as well as those students who are already working in the industry and are getting advanced training and/or advanced degrees.