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Associate Degree Programs

Generating a Green Workforce for Bioenergy and Allied Industries

The Plant Operations Program offers two associate degree pathways for students interested in careers operating energy generators in a variety of manufacturing, processing and conversion facilities. An Associate in Applied Arts and Science (AAAS) degree in Plant Operations and an Associate in Applied Science transfer (AAS-T) degree with a Plant Operations emphasis are both available. Graduates of the programs will be ready to work as technicians and operators managing the safe and effective operations of manufacturing and processing facilities that generate bioenergy and other high-value materials. Plant Operation courses cover safety standards, electricity principles, equipment, processes, controls, fluid dynamics, and other key scientific concepts utilized in the bioenergy, processing, and manufacturing industries. Students who graduate with an Associate Degree in Plant Operations have a broad understanding of biomass-generated energy and the tools, skills and knowledge needed to begin their bioenergy careers.

Both pathways in Plant Operations consist of the following online courses with applied labs:

  • Introduction to Bioproducts
  • Process Support Systems
  • Plant Equipment and Controls
  • Biorefinery Operations
  • Plant Operations
  • Bio-chemical Conversion
  • Thermo-chemical Conversion
  • Biomass Feedstock Management (AAAS only)
  • Cooperative Work Experience and Seminar (AAAS only)

The two pathways launched at Walla Walla Community College in Fall 2013:

  • Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) degree in Plant Operations (with a Certificate in Plant Operations available after completion of Year One courses.
  • View or download the Plant Operations Degree Guide
  • View or download the Short Certificate in Bioproducts Guide:
    Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 credits through WWCC towards this Short Certificate. This program is geared towards incumbent workers who are interested in taking Plant Operations courses part-time for continuing education credits and/or students at collaborating institutions such as Bellingham Technical College. (NOTE: It is ok for students from collaborating institutions to complete five credits, towards the 20 minimum required, at their home community or technical college).
  • Associate in Applied Science transfer (AAS-T) degree with a Plant Operations emphasis. Articulation agreements are emerging with four-year institutions: University of Idaho, University of Washington, Oregon State University, and Washington State University.
  • View or download the Guide to the Transfer Degree

WWCC Perspectives on Plant Operations
The biomass industry and community colleges are preparing operators to work at plants that produce alternative fuels.

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Walla Walla Community College

For more information contact Jason Selwitz
(509) 527-3678