New Thomas Nelson/NASA Co-op Grooms Students for Careers in Aerospace

Published: April 9, 2007

Thomas Nelson Community College is positioning students for careers in the aerospace industry. Beginning this fall, a new SpaceTEC™ cooperative education program developed by the College and NASA Langley Research Center will provide federal work experience for eligible students committed to simultaneously earning an Associate Degree in either Mechanical Engineering Technology or Electronics with a specialization in Electrical Engineering Technology.

The program will provide formal training and salaried on-the-job training as well as a comprehensive benefits package, according to Patricia Taylor, the College’s Dean of Mathematics, Engineering and Technologies. Fourteen students will be selected for the fall semester with paid tuition and books at Thomas Nelson. Those who complete the three-year co-op and pass the SpaceTEC™ certification exam will be considered for entry in a two-year Apprentice Program at NASA, she added.

Students can learn more about the program on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:00 p.m. when the College hosts an information session at the Peninsula Workforce Development Center in Hampton at 600 Butler Farm Road. Representatives from NASA will also be on hand to discuss the co-op program when the Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg has an open house on Saturday, April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The campus is located at 161 C Jefferson Square in the Busch Corporate Center.

“This is very exciting given that NASA Langley is now working on the new space program at about the same level of its involvement in the 1970s. This is also a great opportunity for the College since NASA Langley is working exclusively with co-ops to handle its increased technician workload and critical skill shortages,” Taylor noted. “Those accepted can gain valuable career experience in a number of areas at NASA including research, flight operations and simulation, fabrication technology and center operation, among other areas that are critical to space exploration.”

The College is accepting applications for the program through May 18. In addition to Thomas Nelson’s general admission requirements, applicants for the co-op must obtain a high school diploma with at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA) that includes the successful completion of three units of high school Math (Algebra I & II and Geometry). Applicants with college credits must have earned a 2.5 GPA or higher and meet the mathematics prerequisites.

All students interested in the co-op education program must apply by submitting an application to Jessena Godfrey, Thomas Nelson’s Cooperative Education Coordinator, and complete an essay detailing why they want to work at NASA and why the agency would like them as employees. Applicants must also hold U.S. citizenship. The final selection will be based on the minimum grade point average requirements, information within the application, a physical examination, a security background check, and an interview conducted by NASA personnel.

For more details, please call Ms. Godfrey at 865-5882 or e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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