PETSM is uniquely designed to accommodate professionals working in the oil & gas industry. In 1973 the program was designed to accommodate a 7 on 7 off rotation with Wednesday crew change days. As the years have gone by, the 14 on 14 off rotational schedule has become the norm.
PETSM has adapted over the years and continues to provide access to potential students in the oil & gas industry wanting to pursue higher education. The degrees are designed so that a student working full time on a rotational schedule can finish the associate’s degree program in 2 years and receive a bachelor’s degree with 2 more years of study. Students have a choice to pursue an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree focusing on exploration and production or safety technology or students can pursue both.
How Does the 7 & 7 Scheduling Work?
A typical fall or spring semester will have 15 weeks and during each week the core petroleum or safety courses are taught on a Tuesday and Thursday. Class meetings are numbered class 1 through class 15 starting with the first week (class 1) and ending on the last week (class 15) of the semester. The instructors will teach the same class using the same content on a Tuesday and again on Thursday each week of the semester. Basically, each Tuesday class will be mirrored on Thursday and vice-versa. Students only need to attend class once a week depending on their availability (either Tuesday or Thursday). All required general education (English, Math, Science, History, etc.) are offered 100% online with no required on campus meetings. In addition, there are a number of core courses (petroleum and safety) taught online including independent study or classes taught with a hybrid delivery method (a combination of face to face and online material).
So what if you work something other than a 7 & 7 rotation?
The bottom line here is you will miss some of the required core face to face classes but all lecture materials, quizzes and tests are managed in the course management online system called Moodle. This allows you to still participate, complete and submit assignments, take quizzes and exams and network with classmates through email and forum postings. However, departmental standards for class participation credits require a minimum number of attendance for in class courses. This means your final grade could be affected negatively if you can not meet the minimum established course meetings required.
The program also has a buddy system where a student that cannot make it to class every week is paired up with a student who is attending class every week. This provides the student missing class time networking opportunities to keep up with what he/she might have missed. The weekly class lectures are also recorded and available as a streaming video to students who might miss one of the weekly course offerings due to their work schedule.
The instructors PETSM also play a big part in the success of the program. Many of the instructors in the program have worked offshore and are aware of the special circumstances that can arise with a 7 & 7 or 14 & 14 schedule.
PETSM currently has the safety associate 100% available through Nicholls Online and we are working to transform the petroleum associate level core courses to be offered with 100% online delivery. At first glance, the scheduling options offered may look confusing and intimidating but once you became familiar with the layout it is a very simple and straight forward concept. To summarize the 7 & 7 scheduling: Students attend class once a week when they are back onshore and complete any required coursework online when they are not in class.