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Adair, Russell Countians in electrical tech program at SCC

Sean Keltner, Columbia, KY, and Connie Hensley, Adair County, KY are students in program
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By Allison Horseman
News from Somerset Community College

When instructors in the Somerset Community College Electrical Technology program realized that they weren't meeting the needs of their students, they sought a solution to the problem that would benefit both the school and the students.

The Electrical Technology program is designed to prepare students for entry level electrician positions in industry and the building trades. Until this year, only part of the program was offered at the Somerset Campus of SCC. Students needing to take more hands-on classes, specifically Electrical Construction I and II, were required to travel to the SCC Laurel Campus for classes.

"We currently have eight students in the class that would have gone to a different school all together if we had not expanded the program to our Somerset Campus," said Curt Null, Assistant Professor in electronics and electrical technology. "And the London program would have had more than 40 students, which is just too many for the hands-on experience required for this type of class."

Students like Sean Keltner of Columbia and Connie Hensley of Adair County agree.

"I wasn't even going to do the Electrical Technology program because I couldn't get the classes I needed here in Somerset," said Hensley.

"It was actually going to be closer for me to go to Bowling Green for this program," said Keltner. "I was glad it turned out to be possible for me to take it here."

To make the class a reality on the Somerset Campus, Travis McQueen, an SCC carpentry associate professor at the Laurel Campus, worked with Null and Phillip Moran, Assistant Professor of Electronics and Electrical Technology, to build two framed rooms that are being utilized by the students to learn how to wire a residence or office.

"Working together with the Laurel Campus, we are able to ease the burden on the students at both locations," said Null.

And for students who are trying to finish a degree, sometimes location makes all the difference.

When asked why she chose the Electrical Technology program, Hensley said that she had been working in electronics but didn't have a certificate. When her company downsized, she was cut. For others, like Scott Hoover, of Russell County, and Monica Conner or Russell Springs, it was more of a career calling.

"I started getting into electronics my sophomore year of high school," said Hoover. "I found I enjoyed wiring, working with motors and even the math and science behind it."

"This is just something I always wanted to do," said Conner. "I was scared to death to start, but I love the hands-on work in this field."

And, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in electricity are expected to be on the rise, increasing 12 percent between 2008 and 2018.

"The construction industry may fluctuate from time to time, but it will never go away," said Null. "Electricians are always going to be in demand."

Students in the program at SCC, such as Hoover, Conner, Keltner and Hensley, will finish the program in approximately two years when attending full time. At graduation, they leave with an Associate of Applied Science in General Occupational and Technological Studies with two diplomas in Construction and Industrial Electricity and up to seven certificates of completion, making them very employable, said Null.

To continue to meet the needs of the students SCC plans to offer the Electrical Construction classes at both Somerset and Laurel locations as needed.

To find out more about the program, contact Phillip Moran at or by phone at 606-451-6825.

This story was posted on 2012-02-16 04:19:53
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Adair, Russell Countians learn electrical skills at SCC

2012-02-16 - Kentucky - Photo by Allison Horseman.
Electrical Technology students work on correctly wiring a home using a framed room on the SCC Somerset Campus. The Electrical Technology program was recently expanded to offer the hands-on construction classes in both London and Somerset. Students from left: Monica Conner of Russell Springs, Connie Hensley of Adair County, Scott Hoover of Russell County and Sean Keltner of Columbia, KY.

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