John Porter

Excelsior College

Unit Supervisor, License Class Florida Power & Light (FPL), St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant

John Porter always had the drive and desire to complete his degree; he just couldn’t find a way to make it work logistically.  Not until he found the online Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology degree through Excelsior College.  “The flexibility is fantastic,” John said, adding, “The online courses are much easier to fit in rather than trying to maintain a schedule to go to class where you have to physically be there.” 


John spent nine years in the Navy as a nuclear electrician on submarines before starting his career at Florida Power & Light at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station.  He began as a Field Operator in the non-licensed program and eventually earned his license as a Reactor Operator.  He was working on completing his degree, but had too many challenges with scheduling.  “Because of my changing schedule and overtime, I couldn’t make date commitments or get the time off to actually attend class or show up to take the exams,” John said. 


But John was determined to find a way to make it work, noting, “I actually transferred to St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant so I could get enough time off to finish my college.”  The online program made earning his degree a reality.  Excelsior College evaluated the credits he’d earn from his previous attempts as well as his experience in the Navy and with FPL.  “Most of my courses were actually covered because I’d completed the Navy’s nuclear training program and had a license from the NRC.  I only ended up needing 18 credits through Excelsior to complete my degree, and was able to finish it in about a year.”


Currently, John is a Unit Supervisor – License Class at St. Lucie, and is in a program to obtain his Senior Reactor Operator license from the NRC.  Although John notes the degree hasn’t helped land him a promotion yet, he believes it potentially could in the future.  More important to John, however, is that he finished what he set out to do: “I wanted to get my Bachelor’s degree to be able to say I’d accomplished it.”