July 29, 2014

BNSF partners with Ill. colleges to offer certificate

BNSF_Color_LogoSpoon River College (SRC) of Canton, Ill., Carl Sandburg College (CSC) of Galesburg, Ill. and BNSF has partnered together to offer a new Rail Transportation & Power System Technology Certificate.

Students enrolled in the program will study circuits, hydraulics, welding, diesel tractor technology, engine systems, safety in the workplace and much more. Students will have classes at both SRC and CSC. CSC offers access to a BNSF switchyard where students will get hands-on experience. SRC and BNSF have donated equipment for students to use.

BNSF and SRC realized a while ago that current engine technicians (baby boomers) are getting ready to retire. BNSF’s business is booming and so they decided to take steps now to be ready for when the large number of employees retire.

Because of the distance (46 miles or about one hour) between SRC and CSC, the usual 18-week session that is standard for other degrees of this type at the college, has been condensed down into one eight-week session.

Students coming out of the one-year program (31 credit hours) will have obtained a certificate and the experience and training required to get a job with BNSF. Classes are set to start in the fall. SRC is accepting applications for the program now.