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One-Year Entry Level Program


One-Year Water Quality Control Operations Certificate Program

Year One

The SIUE water quality control operations program is a one-year, full-time program of study leading to a Certificate of Completion. Classes meet Tuesday through Friday (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) for nine months starting mid-August each year. During the summer, students complete a 10 week internship program, where they work five weeks at a drinking water treatment plant and five weeks at a wastewater treatment plant. Upon completion of the full year program, students are eligible to take Illinois and Missouri certification exams to become certified as entry-level public water supply operators and/or wastewater treatment system operators.

Career Outlook

Persons who operate, maintain and manage drinking water and wastewater treatment systems are responsible for protecting the health and welfare of the population. They must ensure that the treatment system is operated properly to produce safe drinking water or quality discharges into a river, lake or stream. Because of the responsibility involved, Illinois and most other states require that such persons pass certification requirements before operating a treatment system.

The demand for safe drinking water and quality recreational waters is continually rising. As a result, the need for operators of drinking water and wastewater treatment systems can be expected to increase. The IEPA has indicated that Illinois may needs as many as 400 additional operators each year.

Faculty/Facilities

The instructors at the Environmental Resources Training Center have extensive experience and education in water supply and wastewater treatment. All of the instructors are experienced, licensed water supply and/or wastewater operators. They have provided technical assistance to water supply and wastewater treatment plants and they hold leadership roles in professional organizations. Instructor guides and support materials prepared by ERTC staff are used in water quality control operations programs throughout Illinois and some instructor guides have been published nationally.

The ERTC facilities were designed and equipped to train operations personnel in the most current technology and procedures for treatment of drinking water and wastewaters. In addition to providing classrooms and an auditorium, the ERTC includes fully equipped wet chemistry teaching labs, an instrumental analysis teaching lab, a library/computer center, a 30,000 gallon/day pilot scale water/wastewater treatment plant and the 0.03 million-gallon-per-day SIUE wastewater treatment plant.

Admission/Retention

Because this program does not lead to an academic degree, formal entry into SIUE is not required for admission to this program. All application materials should be submitted directly to the ERTC. There is a $20 application fee. Enrollment is in Fall Semester only (mid-August) and is limited to 35 students per academic year.

Individual student potential is considered when granting admission to the program. ERTC prefers to admit only high school graduates or persons with a GED certificate. However, ERTC does admit some students, 18 or older, who are not high school graduates.

After initial application, applicants are required to submit a written self-evaluation, two personal references and academic transcripts.

ERTC requires that students remain in good academic standing by maintaining a cumulative 2.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) to remain in the program and to be eligible to complete an internship.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

The Community

The 2600-acre campus is unique in size and environment. Footpaths crisscross forest, gentle hills and natural prairie areas, converging at the core building cluster. The University is located just off Interstate 270 in southwestern Illinois, convenient to I-255, I-70, I-55 and I-64 and 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. Students living on campus or in Edwardsville enjoy the charm and informality of a small town as well as easy access to all the advantages of a major metropolitan area.

University Resources

SIUE is a major public university, offering a broad choice of degrees and programs. Students are offered a quality educational experience at affordable tuition rates as well as a wide range of cultural, social and recreational activities. These activities include theater, dance, and musical presentations; art collections; public speakers and artists; athletic events in the Vadalabene Center; swimming and biking.

While enrolled in the Water Quality Control Operations program, ERTC students have access to all the above as well as other University facilities including Lovejoy Library, the University Center, the Student Fitness Center, the Religious Center and Housing. Other student services are listed in the SIUE Undergraduate Catalog.

Financial Assistance

Students attending the ERTC Certificate of Completion program are eligible to apply for certain financial aid programs administered through the University Student Financial Aid Office. Programs available include the Pell Grant program, various student loan programs, regular student employment, emergency short-term loans and Veterans Benefits. Contact the SIUE Student Financial Aid Office (618/650-3880) for information on how to apply for these programs.

Workforce Investment Act funds may also be available. Student should contact the WIA office in the county where they reside.

Typical Program of Study

The program emphasizes practical training during 35 contact hours per week. The theoretical aspects of drinking water and wastewater treatment presented in lecture sessions are supplemented by experience in laboratories, shops, pilot plant work and treatment plants. A 10-week supervised work-study internship is an integral part of the program. All students enroll in an internship in a public water supply and/or wastewater treatment system.

Fall

Hours Per Week

Lecture
Lab
Total
ERTC 101 Wastewater Operations I
4
4
8
ERTC 102 Water Supply Operations
4
4
8
ERTC 103 Water Quality Laboratory I
2
6
8
ERTC 105 Mechanical Maintenance
3
4
7
ERTC 106 Water Quality Math and Science
4
0
4
Total
17
18
35
Spring

Hours Per Week

Lecture
Lab
Total
ERTC 201 Wastewater Operations II
4
4
8
ERTC 202 Water Suppy Operations II
4
4
8
ERTC 203 Water Quality Laboratory II
2
4
6
ERTC 205 Electrical/Instrumentation Maintenance
2
4
6
ERTC 207 WaterQualityCommunications
1
1
2
ERTC 208 System Maintenance
2
3
5
Total
15
20
35
Summer
ERTC 300 Supervised Work Study - 40 hrs/week for 10 weeks

Total Hours for Program Completion - 1,430