Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that apprentices at Newport News Shipbuilding will now have the opportunity to earn a bachelor of science degree while completing a marine engineer apprenticeship, thanks to a partnership between The Apprentice School and Old Dominion University (ODU).
The new program allows apprentices to earn a mechanical or electrical engineering degree from ODU while gaining related on-the-job engineering experience in manufacturing, construction, maintenance and overhaul of some of the most complex ships in the world.
"This is not just a degree program," said Everett Jordan, The Apprentice School's director of education. "This program aligns academics with real-life, on-the-job utilization of skills in a 550-acre laboratory. Our relationship with Old Dominion University has helped to make it happen, and this program puts us on solid footing to continue attracting the best and the brightest to Newport News Shipbuilding."
Instruction will be delivered by faculty at The Apprentice School and ODU. Students selected annually to participate in the program will complete their apprenticeship and engineering degree in five to eight years. Graduates will complete the program as engineers at the shipyard and be paid starting salaries of up to $60,000.
Oktay Baysal, dean of ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, said the partnership aligns well with the goals ODU has as an engineering school.
"ODU Engineering has long held the philosophy of extending its impact, both by partnering with industry leaders as well as by taking education to those who desire it, a practice that balances access and success," Baysal said. "Through these commitments, ODU Engineering has widened its presence throughout the Peninsula of Hampton Roads and farther beyond. More than 1,000 Newport News Shipbuilding personnel call ODU their alma mater, a true testament to the decades-lasting, secure relationship between ODU and Newport News Shipbuilding."