Media Release

New online wood-based composite course series to provide easier access for industry professionals

February 24, 2009

Wood-Based Composite ScienceIn order to expand the reach of Oregon State University’s wood-based composite manufacturing training resources, the College of Forestry has teamed up with the Wood-Based Composites Center, the Oregon Wood Innovation Center and OSU Extended Campus (Ecampus) to deliver the program in a 19-course online series.

The online Wood-Based Composite Science Short Course Series will debut in May and will provide career professionals with a fundamental knowledge of wood as an engineering material in the manufacture of wood-based composites.  Adapted from a traditional face-to-face course program, the online course series will continue a focus on helping participants improve manufacturing efficiency and product performance, troubleshoot processing problems and overall enhance their value to their employer.

Fred Kamke, JELD-WEN chair of Wood-Based Composite Science at OSU, thinks that providing the courses online will allow employees in the industry to work the courses better into their schedules. 

“Many of the people we hope to reach work swing shifts and night shifts, so the online delivery works for them,” Kamke said.  “We have applied the same high standards of quality to the online courses that we have with the traditional classroom-based short courses.  We know the information is in demand, it was just a matter of packaging it in a format the user can easily access.”

OWIC Director Scott Leavengood adds that the online course series will provide a cost-effective option for industry employees.

“Helping ensure that wood products manufacturers have access to our faculty and facilities in a key goal,” Leavengood said.  “There is an opportunity here to provide education to industry personnel who cannot spend days away from the mill.”

Courses are taught by experts in the field of wood science and technology and have been selected from top universities, government research labs and industry.  The courses are integrated and build upon each other to provide a logical progression as participants transfer newly-acquired skills to the workplace.  Although the courses are self-paced, the instructors will provide consultation online through discussion and weekly chat sessions.

Course Instructor and WBC Director Chip Frazier knew that developing online short courses would better expose industry professionals to essential training resources.

“For many years Fred Kamke and I taught the traditional short courses together, and for just as long we have been looking for ways to broaden our coverage,” Frazier said.  “The need has always been there and now the technology is widespread and effective.”

Each course is five weeks long and includes five to 10 hours of instruction. The fee for a 10-hour course is $750. Students who complete courses from the series may be eligible for a Certificate of Mastery, which requires a minimum of 120 hours of instruction.  The first course begins May 11.

Visit the Wood-Based Composite Science Short Course Series website to view upcoming course dates and topics or to join our mailing list.  Visit All Degrees & Programs for more info on Ecampus online course and program offerings.

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