Otero Junior College to Offer New Water Quality Management Technology Program


Here’s the release from Otero Junior College via Water World:

Otero Junior College is pleased to announce that a new certificate program in Water Quality Management Technology will begin on August 22 with the start of Fall Semester. The new program will include two certificates, Water Treatment and Waste Water Treatment, each requiring one semester of study. Upon completion of the certificates, students will be prepared to sit for the Colorado Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Certification Board operator’s certification test at the C and D levels.

Dr. David Cockrell, associate vice president of instruction at Otero Junior College, explained that the new certificate program is currently the only program of its kind in the state offered by a community college outside of the Denver-metro area.

“We’re very happy to be able to offer this program of study that shows some great potential for employment demand over the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, the demand for new employment opportunities in Colorado is projected to increase by 21 percent by 2018. The salary range for 2009 was between $36,000 for entry-level to over $60,000 for experienced operators,” said Cockrell.

Cockrell explained that the program will be offered during a time frame that is convenient for students who may already be working in the field or have other employment.

“During Fall Semester we will be offering WQM 124: Water Certification Review for Class C & D, and WQM 120: Water Quality Equipment Maintenance on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The completion of both classes allows a student to sit for the C and D Water Treatment certification tests. During the Spring Semester students can complete two more classes that will prepare them for the class C and D Waste Water Treatment certification exam. Within two semesters, a student can complete both certificates,” said Cockrell.

Cockrell explained that the new program is open to anyone interested in obtaining a Class C & D operator’s licenses.

“We’re hoping to generate some new interest in this field of study as well as provide the required training needed by people who are already working in local water company systems and city water systems,” he said.

Jack Barker, president of Innovative Water Technologies, Inc., in Rocky Ford, is a member of the advisory committee for the new Water Quality Management Technology program at OJC. Barker was instrumental in helping to develop the program and said he is extremely pleased to see the program getting started at OJC.

“This program will help meet the pressing need statewide for certified operators in water and wastewater. Our company was very happy to be in on the development of this important training venue for current and future water quality professionals,” said Barker.

Joe Kelley, director of La Junta Water and Wastewater Treatment, chairs the OJC Water Quality Management Advisory Committee.

“This is a great program to see come to OJC. The college has worked hard to make sure that all the courses being taught in the program have been approved by the Colorado Water and Wastewater Facilities Operators Certification Board and that they satisfy the minimum experience requirement for eligibility to sit for the class “D” operator’s exam,” said Kelley.

Fall classes will be taught by Scott Duff, director of the Rocky Ford City Water and Waste Water Department.

For more information and registration, contact the OJC Office of Student Services at 719 384-6831, or visit http://www.ojc.edu/cteWaterQual.aspx.

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