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Hands-on simulator trains BSC students to earn CDL

Posted on 12/4/2013

Bismarck State College is now using a hands-on simulator to train students to drive a semi-truck and trailer in a controlled, safe environment.

Students enrolled in the Lineworker program must successfully complete 16 hours of training on the simulator, plus an additional 16 hours in a semi-truck and trailer before taking a driving test to earn a Commercial Driver's License.

The driving test is administered by the North Dakota Department of Transportation and is required for students seeking an associate's degree in Lineworker.

Four students have successfully completed the simulator portion of the requirements.

The simulator provides a realistic semi-truck driving experience, requiring a student to shift gears, maneuver around obstacles, and use mirrors in the same way he or she would when driving a vehicle. The seat and steering wheel are mounted on a moving, vibrating platform that enhances the experience, while large screens display the environment being navigated.

The simulator was purchased with funds from a U.S. Department of Labor grant designed to help colleges in North Dakota provide flexible and high quality, accelerated training programs with stackable credentials, enabling participants to enter the workforce quickly. The semi-truck and trailer also was purchased with grant funding.

Many employers want potential employees to have a CDL to be considered for hire. By providing students with this training, BSC is better preparing students to enter the workforce and begin a career in a high-paying, in-demand industry.

To learn more or arrange an interview, contact Retha Mattern, NECE business and outreach coordinator, at 224-2445 or

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit

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