NDSU Distance & Continuing Education (DCE)

Bringing Education to You

Course Descriptions

Lignite Education Seminar 2019

EDUC 2000

This seminar will provide the participant with a broader understanding of the lignite coal industry and the important role it plays in providing electricity to consumers, farmers and businesses in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana. Discussions on how lignite coal is mined and converted into energy, and the economic impact of the industry on the region including a tour of a lignite mine, a lignite-based power plant and the Great Plains Synfuels Plant are featured. Classroom activities are provided to participating teachers which they can take back to their classrooms to teach their students about the coal industry and the importance of it. Information is also provided to help their students look at careers in the coal industry which provide high paying jobs with excellent benefits.


We want teachers to:

  • learn the importance of the lignite industry in this region; the huge economic impact it provides to this state with the number of jobs it provides and the well-paying jobs it provides;
  • to take what they learn back to their students and encourage them to look at jobs in this industry. There are a large number of industry employees retiring in the next 5 to 10 years so there will be job openings.

"I obtained a lot of new information and felt they did a great job of covering the process from beginning to end. Plus it was very interesting to then get to tour the mining and production sites and see firsthand all that we had learned about. Also really appreciated the discussion panel concerning education and hiring as it will be very helpful to share with my students."

"This was the most organized class I have ever taken. It was nice to know what was expected each day down to the minute. There was a tremendous amount of information which was quite useful. I appreciate that it was all given on PowerPoint for those of us that are visual learners."

"Touring the mines, power plant, and gasification plant facilities were very valuable. Seeing some of the process of mining and producting electricity take place as well as the jobs required to fulfill that process was beneficial."

"This is an excellent course. It's super informative and I'll definitely encourage other teaching collegues to take this class."

"I feel more informed about our State and how it is a leader in energy resources. I am now able to be more of an advocate for lignite coal and how much it contibutes to our energy as well as how it provides for our economy."

"Learning how big of a role the energy industry plays in our economy."

"To see the importance of coal! I never realized how much it's used and for so many different things."