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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Utica Shale Academy to open this month

One doubts if there will be much said about adherence to the the principles of the common core curriculum at the Utica Shale Academy when it opens its first academic year later this month. USA's focus is petroleum not pedagogy. It's mission statement:

The Utica Shale Academy provides a unique and vigorous learning environment through a specialized academic program which responds to employers’ and industries' current and emerging and changing global workforce needs and expectations through business/school partnerships.

Students will:
develop work habits that foster independence, self-awareness and commitment to personal growth.
achieve competency in industry and academic standards.

The school has agreements with Stark State and Eastern Gateway Community Colleges for students to earn college credit while in high school and has created an accelerated tract to earn certificates and associates degrees at Stark State. Coursework is recognized by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), which has been training the industry for more than 70 years, and officials are also consulting with the Society of Petroleum Engineers for curriculum options. Students will be eligible for RigPass and other oil and gas-specific certifications so they can leave high school ready to enter the job market. It also has a new partner, Express Energy Services LP.

“We have our own multimillion-dollar training facility in Texas with a rig and devices we call ‘Express U.’ We train all new employees and offer advanced training to existing employees,” said Brian Logue, a sales representative for Express Energy Services.

Imagine being recruited for a job while you're still in high school.

The school will offer more than 100 standard high school courses taught in conventional classrooms but the drilling related curriculum will be online and will tap a wealth of studies both from industry and academia.

While USA does not lack for enthusiasm from local educators and industry sponsors it has not done a good job of attracting students. It had forecast a first year enrollment of 50 but will open with only 24 students. Located in tiny Salineville in rural Columbiana County the school offers free tuition to any 9-12 grade student in the state of Ohio but obviously there are logistical problems to attendance.


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