New partnership provides access to education for energy-sector employees

Penn State announced a partnership with an international organization that helps workers and professionals in the energy industry pivot into new roles and careers during the transition from oil and gas to renewable sources and other alternative verticals.

Penn State World Campus and the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences have established an educational partnership with Global Energy Transition (GET), a Houston-based nonprofit organization that addresses the complex energy transition on a global scale. Through the partnership, GET will highlight Penn State’s online programs, in particular its programs in energy and sustainability, to those workers and professionals who may be seeking to go back to school to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree or acquire new skills and knowledge through courses or a certificate.

The global energy sector is changing and adopting cleaner energy generation practices. Today, there are sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power to be considered. As the energy industry transitions into sustainable sources, employers will need managers, engineers, scientists, and other professionals with specialized knowledge and skills in sustainability, renewable energy, and related fields.

GET partners with oil and gas operators, energy innovators, and educational institutions to guide businesses and individuals during the transition. Its mission is to advance displaced energy workers, professionals, and entrepreneurs toward new, existing, or emerging employment opportunities in the new low-carbon emissions economy and other verticals through its customized transition programs and partnerships. GET utilizes its nonprofit donations or obtains donations from corporate foundations to provide financial aid to those in transition.

“We are currently in a crucial moment in history where a new industrial revolution is unfolding before our eyes,” said Sonia Clayton, GET’s board chair and founder. “We know that the winners from previous industrial revolutions are those who made the transition and adopted change and innovation. What better way to be ready and embrace the transition to renewable energy than through education?”

Penn State World Campus is the online campus of Penn State and has been offering education online for 25 years. It offers a comprehensive portfolio of more than 175 degrees and programs. In the energy and sustainability field, World Campus has the following offerings in solar, sustainability, and renewable energy, which are taught by faculty from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences:

  • Graduate Certificate in Solar Energy
  • Graduate Certificate in Sustainability Management and Policy
  • Master of Professional Studies in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Earth Sustainability
  • bachelor’s degrees in energy and sustainability policy

Penn State World Campus students have access to a suite of services such as academic advising and disability support, tutoring and academic support services, and career counseling.

The College of Earth Mineral Sciences faculty who teach in the solar, sustainability, and renewable energy programs are part of its John A. Dutton Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence. It was originally founded in 2000 as the e-Education Institute to help faculty develop cutting-edge, online educational resources. During its 23-year history, its focus has spread to include assisting faculty with developing online and hybrid residential classes, as well as supporting face-to-face teaching and learning, and the new name better reflects the expanded mission.

“We are excited to partner with Global Energy Transition,” said Mark Fedkin, an associate teaching professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the lead faculty for its online sustainability programs. “We look forward to providing a high-quality education in renewable energy and sustainability to the energy-sector workers who have turned to GET to pivot into new roles during the energy transition.”

Penn State also has been recognized as one of the top universities in the country for its sustainability efforts. QS World University Rankings placed Penn State No. 2 among public universities in the country for its operations, research enterprise, and course-based experiential learning. The 2023 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings placed Penn State No. 3 among universities in the country for its sustainable development goals in the areas of research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching.

Global Energy Transition is one of the partners in the Penn State World Campus Education Alliance, which empowers businesses and organizations to foster learning and workforce development.

Learn more about Penn State World Campus Education Alliance.