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Petroleum Academy to Fast Track Students into the Oil Industry

Midland ISD has teamed up with Midland College to start academies for students to start their career pathways early.

One of those is the Petroleum Academy where students will have a curriculum that is focused on getting students into the oil industry after graduating from college.

“There are a couple of classes that are very specific to petroleum, like Introduction to Petroleum and Recovery and Production,” says Tammy Ridgway, Petroleum Academy Coordinator. “But it goes beyond that, touching on the energy industry as a whole, from exploration and production to transporting it through welded pipelines and consuming it in our automobiles that rely on skilled auto and diesel technicians to keep us going. We provide the industry skilled workers from production to consumption and beyond.”

The Petroleum Academy offers several different certificates for its students, which includes Energy Technology, Automotive, Diesel, Welding, and College Engineering.

“Some of our students are looking for that certificate that will lead to an immediate job after graduation, while others plan to pursue an engineering degree in college,” says Mickala Harper, MISD’s Director of Career and Technical Education. “The goal of this academy is to prepare them to meet those goals, no matter what they are.”

The academy also has Medical Engineering prerequisites for its students interested in pursuing it in college.

“The engineering programs at the universities are very theory-based,” Ridgway said. “Our curriculum introduces them to the engineering concepts in a technical, hands on environment. What we teach is then reinforced by the theory they’ll learn in college.”

The district hopes to expand the program in the near future and provide more opportunities for their students to work in the Permian Basin oil industry.

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