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Miner working on a mining machine underground.

Recommended Academic Plan

The associate of science degree in mining technology blends basic sciences, mathematics, principles and practices of management, and applied courses in mining technology to prepare students for supervisory roles in the mining industry. This major helps to prepare students for either a production-oriented or a maintenance-oriented position.

Graduates of the major, after serving the required apprenticeship, should be qualified to become certified managers in their field. Learning federal and state mining laws and regulations is a requirement for this major. All students will complete a common core of classes.

Students can choose one of two emphases:

The Maintenance Emphasis prepares students to become maintenance supervisors. Initially, graduates may work as apprentice electrician or mechanic to gain experience in repairs and planned maintenance. After certification is obtained, they may become involved with maintenance planning, working as or with the chief mine mechanic or chief mine electrician.

The Production Emphasis enables graduates to become front-line supervisors, shift foremen, mine foremen, and mine assistant superintendents. Coursework develops critical thinking, management, and communication skills. Scheduled observation and work experience at actual mining sites will enhance students' practical preparation.

Safety is the major component of this program. Applicable safety culture is taught in each mining technology course.

Program Objectives: Graduates from the Mining Technology Program shall be proficient in the following:

  1. Have the technical knowledge and skills to work in the professional sector of the mining industry
  2. Use critical-thinking skills to solve complex real-world problems and applications
  3. Communicate effectively using information technology when appropriate
  4. Possess the workplace skills needed to function well in a mining and business environment
  5. Continue to learn and adapt emerging technologies in either formal or informal settings
  6. Be prepared to move into a front-line supervisor position in the mining industry

Each student will have the following attributes before graduation:

  1. Knowledge and skills identified as critical and common to the production and equipment maintenance sectors of the mining industry
  2. Ability to work as a team member to identify and correct equipment failures to minimize production interruption
  3. Ability to produce written documents, deliver oral presentations, develop, prepare and interpret graphical information, using information technology when appropriate, to a specific audience or client at a level of effectiveness expected of new employees
  4. Awareness of project management, the decision-making process, applicable federal and state mine safety regulations, appropriate ethics and professional conduct, teamwork and conflict resolution, ability to conduct a literature search

Enrollment and Graduation Data

In the fall semester of 2012 there were a total of 74 students enrolled in the Mining Technology program. During the 2012/13 academic year a total of 38 students graduated.

The Mining Technology program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET Inc., www.Abet.org. This is valuable because many employers prefer graduates from an ABET-accredited program, and it shortens the amount of time a person must work underground to take the assistant mine foreman or mine foreman exams.

The Mining Technology program does not satisfy the legal requirement for the 40- or 80-hour safety course that apprentice miners must take before they go underground.