The Cooperative Developmental Energy Program at Fort Valley State University in Georgia is celebrating its 30th anniversary. For the past three decades the dual-degree program has prepared high achieving minority students for careers in the energy industry. Under the program, which is supported by corporations including Exxon, Chevron, Shell Oil, and the federal government, students earn an undergraduate degree at Fort Valley State and a second degree in an energy-related field at a partnering university. Students spend three years at Fort Valley State and then transfer to one of the partner schools for two years. The partnering universities include Georgia Tech, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the University of Arkansas, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Texas Pan American.
The students receive scholarships to participate in the program and graduate debt free. In addition, successful graduates of the program are recruited into high-paying jobs at the corporations that fund the program.
Since the dual degree program began, 78 students have graduated as engineers and 29 have earned degrees in the geosciences.