BSC’s reputation in the energy industry attracted Colorado student | Bismarck State College

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BSC’s reputation in the energy industry attracted Colorado student

Posted: Jan 19 2021
Shane Townsend BSC Energy Student
BSC’s National Energy Center of Excellence is well known for educating high quality workers. Just ask Shane Townsend of Brighton, Colo.
“Most operator positions require process technology degrees, and BSC is one of the top schools in the United States to offer these programs. I heard about BSC from my dad’s coworkers as most of the operators that come into the plant have this type of education.”
Townsend is carrying on a family tradition by pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry. His grandfather worked at a ConocoPhillips oil refinery (now Suncor) for 42 years, his dad has been there 23 years, his brother spent time working there and his mom works for DCP Midstream, a natural gas company.
“I have always wanted to work in this industry because of them. I saw the success my family had and wanted that for myself.”
While working on his degree through BSC, he did shiftwork at a glycol processing plant at Denver International Airport (DIA) as a plant specialist. He said he appreciated the flexibility of online courses as he would spend time sleeping after a night shift and then tackle his coursework.

“The education through the online courses is phenomenal, even from a distance. I could reach out to any teacher, even on weekends, and they would respond within two hours.”
While Townsend was able to complete his studies online, he also needed to do hands-on training. This was difficult to arrange in Colorado as a result of shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. He reached out to his professors to see if they could help.
“BSC arranged for me to come to Bismarck, stay in the dorms and spend a week taking the class I needed on campus. Shane Townsend Energy StudentWorking on the state-of-the-art equipment here on campus was fascinating and allowed me to use my knowledge in real-life scenarios. I am so thankful to BSC for giving me the opportunity to graduate on time.”
With this accommodation, he was able to earn degrees in power plant technology and process plant technology by December 2020. Townsend said BSC has prepared him well for either advancement at his current company or to work elsewhere in the energy industry.
“My position at DIA and my education have put me in a better position than some of the operators who have been working there for a few years. I have more knowledge about the processes and equipment. BSC is known in Colorado to produce graduates that are ready to work in the field as soon as they graduate.”
For more information on the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence, visit