Tag Archives: Dickinson State University

Constructive Criticism For Dickinson State University

I am very familiar with small Colleges and Universities.  About 95% of them require or encourage students to complete all of their General Education requirements within the first three years, for a number of different reasons.

Usually, the General Education requirements coincide with the course work that would have to be completed in order to receive a two-year Associates of Arts degree.  Even if a student was unable to complete all four years at a small College or University, if they completed the General Education requirements, they would likely be eligible for an Associates of Arts degree.

Another reason why small Colleges and Universities require or encourage students to begin completing their General Education requirements right away, is so that their writing, math, and analytical skills are at a high enough level for them to pass the course work in their Major field of study leading to a Bachelors degree.

Most small Colleges and Universities have General Education requirements that are very similar.  One of the reasons for this, is so that the College or University will be Accredited by a review board as having a legitimate educational program.  Another reason for this, is so that students can transfer into, or out of, the College or University and have their course work credits accepted.

All of this information that I have just written above, is to establish that it is commonly known that it does not matter too much where a college student completes their first two or three years of school.  As an aside, it was very, very common in Florida for students to graduate from High School and begin going to a local Community College.  They could continue to live at home, continue working at a job they already had, and attend a college that was much less expensive.  After two or three years, they could transfer to a College or University that offered B.S. and B.A. degrees.

The decision that students and their parents made on which College or University to attend, would most often be based on what special advantage it offered, and the cost.  The special advantage that I am talking about, could be one of the following:  was the College known to be a feeder school to employment with certain companies or industries;  was the College known to have a strong and influential network of Alumni;  was the College known to be gateway to esteemed Masters and Doctoral programs;  did the College have a particular program that was very specialized and hard to find;  was the campus environment unusually beneficial and positive.

Dickinson State University is like thousands of other small Colleges and Universities located in small towns that have very little going on.  Some small college towns are located beside the ocean, in beautiful mountains, or not far from exciting metropolitan areas.  Dickinson State University is not located in a beautiful environment, it is not anywhere near a desirable metropolitan destination, and it does not have a great academic reputation.

However, Dickinson State University could begin to develop a reputation as being a feeder school to employment with certain companies and industries, and a reputation for offering a very specialized and hard to find academic program.

Dickinson State University does not have the budget or the breadth of faculty to have a degree program for Petroleum Engineering or Chemical Engineering.  This is O.K., because many large Universities offer this, and there is not a shortage of Petroleum Engineers and Chemical Engineers.

There is a great shortage of people who understand instrumentation, automation,  and controls.  Large Universities like to teach theory in their Engineering programs, and engineering students don’t spend actual hands-on time dealing with the specific actual instrumentation, automation, and control equipment that is used in the petroleum, refining, and oil industry.

Recent graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, do not have the immediate exact knowledge of how a specific brand of Programmable Logic Controller should be programmed and wired to receive signals from each kind of specific brand instrumentation, and programmed and wired to send signals to controllers and transmitters, and where and how to install the instrumentation and controls.  Many engineers would not want to perform the physical labor to build and install the instrumentation and controls in the field.

Electricians do not mind installing conduit, pulling wires, building racks, and installing instrumentation, but very few of them have the classroom training to be able to know how a Programmable Logic Controller should be programmed and set up at a particular site to receive all the input signals from the instrumentation, perform decisions on the signals, and send output to the controllers and transmitters.

In industry, not just the petroleum, refining, and oil industries, but in all industries, there is a great shortage of workers who understand instrumentation, automation, and controls.  In the oil field in Texas and in North Dakota, I have seen the people actually doing the installation having very limited knowledge, and the people back in the office having very limited knowledge, and the work being completed by trial and error, with a great amount of error.

In Vernal, Utah, there is Uintah Community College which offers courses in Automation and Controls.  This is the only College which I am aware of, which offers courses in this.  These courses exist and are possible, because there is an oil field in Vernal, Utah, and there are some personnel in Vernal, who have enough knowledge and experience to teach the courses.

What I suggest that Dickinson State University do, is create an Associates Degree program, where they offer an Associate Degree of Industrial Technology.  The students would complete the General Education requirements taught by the normal DSU professors to meet the requirements of an Associates of Arts degree, but they would also be required to complete course work involving instrumentation, automation, and controls.

It should not be a secret at all, that what the DSU Associate Degree of Industrial Technology program was offering, was a chance for people who wanted to work in the oil, gas, refining, petroleum, or other industry, to receive practical hands-on training that would allow them upon graduating, to immediately go to work in industry.  They would have the advantage of a demonstrated knowledge and ability in instrumentation, automation, and controls, and also the competency level of someone with an Associates Degree.

I would expect that many major petroleum companies such as Continental, Marathon, Tesoro, Conoco Philips, Amarada Hess, and Whiting who operate here in North Dakota would be very cooperative with funding assistance and instructional assistance, since this program is so needed and would be helpful to each of them.  I think that the petroleum companies’ support would not only help DSU, but the entire North Dakota University system.

My estimate of the College course work required in addition to the General Education requirements would be as follows:

  1.  2 credit hours – Intro To Oil Field Operations:  Overview of geologic formations of oil, drilling methods, fracturing methods, well completion, oil production, oil transmission, pipelines, storage, environmental issues.
  2.   2 credit hours – Intro To Industrial Hazards:  Includes OSHA 10 Hour type instruction, H2S training, confined space, working at heights, fall protection, MSDS, hazard communication, combustibles, flamables, hazardous chemicals, fire fighting, pressures, emergency response, lifting and operator hand signals.
  3.   3 credit hours – Valves, Fittings, & Instrumentation:  Classroom and hands-on training in valve types, operation, and failure;  fittings, installation, and failure;  instrumentation, flow meters, pressure meters, temperature gauges, level gauges, installation, failure, and units of measurement.
  4.   2 credit hours – Electrical Principles & Circuits:  Classroom instruction on basic electrical principles and circuits.
  5.   3 credit hours – Fabrication & Welding:  Classroom and hands-on training in material, taking measurements, material cutting, and welding.
  6.   3 credit hours – Automation & Controls I:  Primarily classroom training and introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers and Controls.  Instruction on programming and programming logic.
  7.   3 credit hours – Automation & Controls II:  Primarily hands-on training where students must demonstrate their ability to set up Programmable Logic Controllers, Instrumentation, and Controls to accomplish basic functions.
  8.   3 credit hours –  Industrial Applications:  Classroom instruction and field trips to provide study and instruction on practical use and application of instrumentation, automation, and controls.

I have outlined a course of study above, where a motivated student could complete two Industrial courses per semester, in addition to their General Education requirements, if they were a full-time student.  I would recommend and encourage course work in computer science and the use of common work application software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Project.

There are many personnel in Dickinson, many of them who I have met, who are capable of teaching much of the Industrial course work outlined above.

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Trying To Change Things In Dickinson And Watford City, North Dakota

In my blog posts I have written about: The Dickinson Mafia, Dickinson State University, Dickinson Police Department, Dickinson Chamber of Commerce, Watford City Chamber of Commerce, Watford City Police Department, Belfield, Gladstone, Catholics, Bohemians, Black People, Mexicans, Real Estate Agents, Property Developers, Property Investors, White Trash, Jessie Veeder, Dan Porter, Kristi Schwartz, Bill and Kamal Patel, Outlaw Sippin Band, Codi Miller, Marinna Marsh, Eric Smallwood, Bigfoot, UFOs, women, bartenders, prostitution, restaurants, and that arrogant Mexican who owns that Mexican restaurant.

Many people are mad at me.  I will suffer some negative consequences as time goes by and people figure out that it is me who wrote these things about them.  There are at least three things that I accomplish when I write about Dickinson and Watford City:  I give the readers from out-of-state a better understanding of what is going on in western North Dakota; I point out things to the local readers that they might want to think about, consider, and change; and I cause the local people who are directly involved to think about what they are doing and maybe change what they are doing.  It is worthwhile to me to give truthful information to people from out-of-state to save them from having problems, and to try to cause some things to change in Dickinson and Watford City that will benefit everyone.

There are some things that I write about, that no one else addresses in public, and the Dickinson Press newspaper will not write about.  There are some things that I write about, that no one thought needed to be written about.  The following are some subjects that I have written about that I still think are important:

  • The Dickinson Mafia.  The Dickinson Mafia exerted beneficial control over development in Dickinson.  The town of Dickinson is very organized and clean, even though it just went through an Oil Boom.  However one of the things that the Dickinson Mafia should have done was grab hold of all the Real Estate Agents and Property Investors by their necks and said, “You are not going to fuck up this beneficial growth of Dickinson by ripping off all these people so bad, that they can’t wait to leave here when this boom is over!  Do you understand that you are going to ruin the whole economic future of Dickinson for years to come with your short-sighted gouging that is only going to last a couple of years?”
  • Dickinson State University.  I quit going to the West River Community Center in 2013 because of all the hoodlum street thugs, which were here in Dickinson because they were brought here by DSU.  Everybody in Dickinson noticed this, where did all these inner city street street thugs come from?, my God, it’s DSU that is recruiting them here!  In about 2015, I think that Dickinson State University quit doing this, because I don’t see as many hoodlum street thugs in Dickinson as I used to.
  • Dickinson Chamber of Commerce and Watford City Chamber of Commerce.  At first, the Dickinson Chamber of Commerce and the Watford City Chamber of Commerce did not want to allow my blog on the first page of Google search results, but now they don’t fight with my blog as much.  Probably, the Chamber of Commerce wants people from out-of-state to know that housing prices are very high, that most people who come to North Dakota to work will not make $100,000 per year, that it is very cold for about seven months each year, and that there is no homeless shelter.
  • Jessie Veeder.  Jessie Veeder is a singer, writer, and photographer from Watford City.  I wish that she would write about Watford City and North Dakota exactly how it is, not how she wants it to be.  She should know from her grandparents, parents, and old people in Watford City how hard life in North Dakota had been, how poor people were, and how much of a struggle it was to survive.  It is very important that people in North Dakota know and never forget how hard and difficult it was for people up until this most recent Oil Boom.  People here need to know this so that they conserve everything they have, don’t waste anything, and don’t live foolishly.  There has been about a twenty-five year gap between Oil Booms in North Dakota.
  • Women, bartenders, restaurants, and prostitution.  It took me a while to catch on, but I am now 100% certain, that the single women who came to North Dakota to work had something wrong with them.  There are jobs in human resources, nursing, administrative assistant, banking, retail, hotel, bartending, and waitressing, everywhere in the United States.  A woman could make more money in these occupations in Florida, Texas, New York, Arizona, or California and live in a more comfortable and better social environment.  With the cost of housing in western North Dakota, there was no financial advantage to women in these occupations to move to North Dakota.  The thing was, they were so fucking crazy, that they could not get a job in Florida, Texas, New York, Arizona, or California, a background check or even just talking to them for five minutes would reveal that there was something wrong with them.  In North Dakota, there was a shortage of workers, so employers didn’t do much of a background check or much of an interview to exclude crazy people.  In addition to the extremely cold weather, very high housing prices, lack of things to do, and shortage of women, when you did go to a restaurant or a bar, the women servers were crazy and had something wrong with them.  I argued and argued in this blog that prostitution should have been allowed in western North Dakota due to the shortage of women.  I argued that housewives didn’t want truck drivers, construction workers, and oil field workers trying to solicit them everywhere they went.  But I was wrong about prostitution, if all the waitresses and bartender women had something wrong with them, I can’t even imagine how horrible the prostitutes would have been.

 

Getting Treated Like Shit, in Dickinson, North Dakota, Part I

I will begin this story, in the middle of my stay in Dickinson, North Dakota, in 2014.  I had applied for a government job in Dickinson.  This would be my second job working for the government.  The application was very long, approximately twenty pages.  Employment history, education history, special qualification history, criminal history/disqualifiers.

I turned in my application.  I would be required to take an exam the following week, and undergo further testing after that.  On Thursday at approximately 4:00 p.m., an e-mail was sent from the human resources person in Dickinson, stating that I needed to provide my high school transcripts by the following Monday.  I happened to check my e-mail on Thursday at 6:00 p.m., and my reaction was,”What the fuck!  God damn it!  How the fuck am I going to get my high school transcripts by Monday?  I have one business day, I graduated from high school over twenty-five years ago, 2,000 miles away, I don’t even know if they still have my transcripts.”  I cursed some more, this was the Dickinson human resource’s way of disqualifying me from this job, by me being unable to submit all required paper work by Monday.  From my application they knew when and where I graduated, they knew it would be impossible for me to get my transcripts by Monday.

I graduated from a state in the Southeast, twenty five years ago.  I telephoned my high school at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, Dickinson time, it was 9:00 a.m. back East.  My high school said that I needed to telephone the county archive office.  I listened to the county archivist phone recording which gave their website address.  I looked at the county archives website.  I understood the instructions about the request for records process, but they needed to receive a payment by check or money order by mail to complete the process.  I called the archive office back, and left a polite but desperate voice mail, quickly explaining my situation.  I sent a polite but desperate e-mail with my completed application for high school transcripts.  About one million people live in the county that I was dealing with.  The archivist woman had to go out to a warehouse, locate the high school records, find my high school, find my year of graduation, find my records, go scan them, e-mail them to me, without receiving any payment.

The human resources lady in Dickinson, was trying to disqualify me from the job because I was from out-of-state.  There was no chance that I was going to get my high school transcripts from twenty-five years ago, in one day.  The archivist lady back where I was from, dropped what she was doing, dug out my records, scanned them, and e-mailed them to me by 1:00 p.m., breaking the rules, without receiving payment.  They do things like that in the South.

I was grateful that I got my transcripts on Friday, in plenty of time to deliver them.  But I was surprised at what I got, I got about thirteen pages.  I don’t know if this was supposed to happen, but I got everything.  The first three pages were grade reports, but I had never seen them in this format.  Rather than reporting grades by quarter, they were reported by course and final grade for the year.  9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, every course was an “A”.  There was an official stamp, “Rank 1 out of 290“.  Mother fucker!  I was the salutatorian, I gave the salutatorian speech at graduation.  They lied to me!  I was actually the valedictorian, well how about that.  They fucked me out of that, oh well.

What were these other ten pages?  They were a psychological assessment and evaluation.  In 10th grade, the school system did a personal evaluation, which I somewhat remember.  There were test results, explanation and interpretation of results, scores plotted on a chart.  The first two types of intelligence testing, my IQ was 124, 125.  The third type of intelligence testing, verbal/vocabulary, my IQ was 134.  The fourth type, awareness/socialization, my IQ was 118.  The last, I believe was math, my IQ was 125.  My overall IQ was 126.  The assessment explained that 126 IQ was classified as “highly intelligent”, that 130 IQ was classified as “gifted”.  The concluding recommendation was that I should be taken out of advanced classes, and placed in the “gifted” program.

Well, that explained a lot.  I had read when I was about thirty years of age, that in order to be an engineer, you needed to have an IQ of more than 130.  No wonder that I had had such a hard time passing my engineering classes, I didn’t have a high enough IQ.  It also explained why I wasn’t working as an engineer, I found it tedious, frustrating, and difficult.  It explained why I wound up in Dickinson.  If I had my wish, if I would have been able to make enough money, I would have liked to have lived in a home on the water in Florida.  I did not have a high enough IQ, hence, I am in Dickinson.

I turned in the grade reports only, to the human resources department in Dickinson on Friday.  The following Monday, I took the exams and got an 82%, 93%, and 93%.  I only needed to get 70%, 70%, and 70% to pass and be eligible.  I thought that I did really well at the interview, there were four interviewers.  I did not get the job.  I decided, fuck them, that is the last time I will ever apply to any government job in Dickinson.

About four months later, I applied to a job at Dickinson State University.  The job did not pay that well, but I was very much looking forward to being eligible to take tuition-free, or reduced-tuition classes at Dickinson State University.  DSU had had my completed application for more than a month, when the human resources lady sent me an e-mail requesting that I send them my resume before Monday.  The DSU human resources lady waited until the end of the day on Thursday to send this request by e-mail.  I was furious when I checked my e-mail on Saturday.  I had been working on a construction site out of town.  When I tried to send my resume first thing Monday morning, I already had an e-mail in my in-box from DSU, stating that the position I had applied to, had now been filled.

The point of this blog post is this: When someone from out-of-state applies to a job in Dickinson, these local people here will do whatever it takes to try to make sure that you don’t get the job.  Both of the employment examples that I have given in this post, these two jobs were not advertised very well, they were practically hidden.  Both of theses jobs were not advertised in the newspaper, North Dakota Job Services, Indeed, CareerBuilder, or Monster.com.  Both of these jobs were advertised for a very short period of time.  The local people here in Dickinson, they wanted to tell their friends, tell their relatives about a job opening in the government or Dickinson State University, and make sure that there would not be any competition from better qualified candidates from out-of-state.  When an out-of-state person did apply, the human resources people tried to wait until the last minute to request additional paper work, so that the applicant would be unable to submit the required paper work in time, and be disqualified.  I later met the individual that was hired for the position that I had applied to at Dickinson State University.  He had far less qualifications than I did in both education and experience, but he was from Dickinson.

I stated in a previous post, that I wanted to beat the Chamber of Commerce in Dickinson, North Dakota, that I wanted to tell people the truth about Dickinson.  I want to tell people from out-of-state, that though the Chamber of Commerce wants to paint a pretty picture of Dickinson, if you come here, you will be treated like shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Good Businesses In Dickinson, North Dakota

I have written a lot of negative things about Dickinson, North Dakota:  Extremely high housing prices, shortage of women and lack of attractive women, prostitution not being allowed though it is needed, police being over zealous in DUI arrests so you can’t safely go out to bars, lack of entertainment and things to do, inhospitable and uncooperative local people.  Why would you want to live here?  You probably don’t want to live here, I don’t recommend it.  Right now, you do not want to move to Dickinson, North Dakota, because many people have just lost their jobs, and there are not many job openings.

If you are here in Dickinson, or if you come to Dickinson, there are a few businesses that I have good things to say about:

Don Pedros Restaurant:  I have eaten here about fifteen times in the last two years.  The servers have always been pleasant and quick.  The food has always been good.  Every time I have eaten here, I have had to get a to-go box because there has been so much food.  By far the best restaurant in Dickinson, because it is always quick, good, and more than you can eat.

Dan Porter Motors:  I have had a Toyota truck serviced several times, and had several repairs done.  They have always been quick, did a good job, and the prices were fair.

Charboneau Dodge:  I have had a Dodge truck serviced several times, and had several repairs done.  They were able to fit me in a couple of times so that I wasn’t without the use of this truck for long.  The prices were fair and the repairs were done right the first time.

Parkway Ford:  I have had a Ford truck serviced and repaired a couple of times.  The prices were slightly higher than what I thought they should have been, but I knew the specific repairs would take a long time, and they were done right.

Paradise Cleaners:  Huge improvement over the cleaners/laundry that had been in Dickinson in the past.  This cleaner is what you would find in a normal city.

Prairie Hills Mall Cinema:  The three movie theaters are in good condition, they are not over-full, many different movie times throughout the day.  You can watch a movie and forget you are in Dickinson.

Almost:

I can almost recommend the West River Community Center:  It has two indoor pools, one outdoor pool, four full-size basketball courts, three indoor racketball courts, two indoor tennis courts, indoor track, weight room, rock climbing wall, cardiovascular equipment.   The WRCC is open to everyone for a small daily fee.  However, Dickinson State University, which is not even a fourth-rate college, has its thugs/athletes come and use the WRCC.  Given that Dickinson State University has academic standards that are less than that of most community colleges, and their level of athletics is less than that of a large public high school, you can imagine the type of trash they get for their football and track programs.  Probably 80% of the people that came from the hood, that are now living in Dickinson, that can hook you up with some crack, came here because of an invitation from DSU.