Thomas Troost

General Manager, Green River Power Station, Kentucky Utilities (KU)

Though Tom Troost had over 22 years electric power experience, working his way up to general manager, he never had the time to complete the college degree he started after high school. When Kentucky Utilities’ Training Department alerted him to the EPCE Electric Power Technology (ELPW) program at Bismarck State College, Tom decided to give it a test run before asking his staff to take the courses. Plus, if the program was worthwhile, he’d be able to complete his Associate’s degree at the same time.

Two and a half years later, Troost accomplished both goals: he’s given the thumbs-up to have his trainers utilize the online energy courses and he himself is a 2006 graduate. “This program is a great idea. Since a large number of employees in the power industry work in shifts, they can’t attend a traditional college. This program gives everyone access to a valuable education,” says Troost.

After juggling the demands of running the Green River Station, plus his travel schedule, Tom has found that to succeed, time management skills are a must for online students and he has this advice for those entering the program: “You need to make a schedule and stick to it. I estimated a minimum of 2 hours a day on my coursework.”

Now that he’s completed his A.A.S. Tom plans to enter a Bachelor’s program in the fall.  He will be completing the next step of his education pursuing a business management degree online. During the summer break, he’ll spend time catching up on his golf game and hand-crafting stained glass windows.