Schenectady County

Union Graduate college adding energy program

Union Graduate College announced last week that it will be teaming up with National Grid to start a

Union Graduate College announced last week that it will be teaming up with National Grid to start a new online program for graduate students in fall 2014. The certificate program will focus on the business of electric and gas energy.

A few years ago, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., helped Union Graduate College get the wheels moving toward this program. Schumer obtained for the graduate school a federal grant worth close to $300,000, which the school used to focus on the energy business.

“We’ve been nurturing our programs towards the energy world over the last five or six years. We’ve got wind courses, solar courses, turbine courses, generator courses, so we’ve been really focusing very heavily on energy products and energy technology,” said Robert Kozik, dean at Union Graduate College.

The energy business is very important in New York, according to Kozik. One of the first steps Kozik made in developing the program was talking with Kenneth Daly, president of National Grid New York, in an attempt to work together.

“Such a program would be invaluable to professionals working in the energy industry because of the depth and breadth of the course work involved,” Daly said in a news release. “It would increase their ability to generate ideas, solve energy challenges and develop sustainable solutions for this critical industry. We’re looking forward to enrolling National Grid employees.”

For Union Graduate College, National Grid New York was a great fit for their new program, Kozik said.

“They are somebody that deals with all of the affiliates from the beginning to the end in some way,” said Kozik. “They are a good example of somebody that deals with all facets with the business of energy. Their people are prime candidates for contributing to the content but also taking the courses.”

The goal for the new energy program is to put people from different avenues within the energy business together so they can learn all of the elements of the energy business as a whole.

“You have all these things in this system that require all these multiple disciplines. So for anybody to be really good in this business and understand it all, you really need to have a feel for it all, and there really is no program or no school doing a program that focuses on the business of energy,” said Kozik.

The program beginning in 2014 will include six courses.

“To actually get a certification, you would have to do four [courses], and the reason for that is kind of obvious,” said Kozik. “If you have people in the business already that have a certain expertise in finance, they might skip the finance element.”

Before the entire program begins, the school will open each course as it becomes available as an independent course. The first course to become available on campus this fall will be Fundamentals of the Business of Energy. The other courses will begin as soon as possible.

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