JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- "Not having hands on experience and having to go into the workforce, I don't think I would be as well qualified or as comfortable going into that," said student, Tracey Statler.
That hands on approach is one aspect student Tracey Statler enjoys most about ASU Newport's Renewable Energy Technology program.
"I can't wait to get into the lab," said Statler.
The lab Tracey is talking about is a brand new lecture and lab facility just a couple of weeks away from being fully functional and used by the students in the program.
"The biggest benefit this lab is going to offer our students is the ability to focus on some applied research projects," said instructor, Jack Osier.
It's research in the area of bio fuels, solar, and even wind energy, several areas getting a lot of attention in Northeast Arkansas and nationwide.
"Teaches them to do research that gives them real life applications when they go out into the industry," said Osier.
"It provides a broad foundation where students can go into a multitude of different directions," said ASU Newport Chancellor, Dr. Larry Williams.
Instructor Jack Osier says while this program is only in its second year, already there are about 90 students. He says it's growing in size and resources it offers.
"Any science field, it is so important that students are given the opportunity to do hands on, real life application projects," said Osier.
For Tracey Statler, she says it's that hands on learning that will be essential to her success.
"It makes a huge difference," said Statler.