Industries Education

Shipbuilding apprentices can earn degrees from ODU

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Apprentices at Newport News Shipbuilding will now have the opportunity to earn bachelor’s degrees while completing marine engineer apprenticeships.

The new program is the result of a partnership between Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Apprentice School in Newport News and Old Dominion University.

The arrangement allows apprentices to earn a mechanical or electrical engineering degree from ODU while gaining related on-the-job engineering experience in manufacturing, construction, maintenance and overhaul of ships.

"This is not just a degree program," Everett Jordan, The Apprentice School's director of education, said in a statement. "This program aligns academics with real-life, on-the-job utilization of skills in a 550-acre laboratory. Our relationship with Old Dominion University has helped to make it happen, and this program puts us on solid footing to continue attracting the best and the brightest to Newport News Shipbuilding."

Instruction will be handled by Apprentice School and ODU faculty. Students selected annually to participate in the program will complete their apprenticeship and engineering degree in five to eight years.

Graduates will complete the program as engineers at the shipyard and be paid starting salaries of up to $60,000.

Oktay Baysal, dean of ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, said the partnership aligns well with the goals ODU has as an engineering school. "ODU Engineering has long held the philosophy of extending its impact, both by partnering with industry leaders as well as by taking education to those who desire it, a practice that balances access and success," Baysal said.

Huntington Ingalls Industries designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe.
The company employs more than 38,000 workers in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California.

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