Nov 29, 2021  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pre-Apprenticeship Line Certificate

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This one-semester certificate program prepares students to be successful in applying for groundmen and apprentice positions within the line trade. It was developed in response to a nation-wide shortage of skilled line workers. A recent survey of the National utility industry indicates that there will be a significant need for new apprentice positions each year. Individuals holding skills offered by this training for the next decade will help keep up with industry needs.

The program is limited to 25 new students per semester. Admission to Highlands College does not guarantee admission to the Pre-Apprenticeship Line Program. The following criteria must be met before admission will be granted to the Lineman program.

  1. Application date. Initial admission to the program is based on a first-come/first-served process. The first 25 individuals who apply for a specific semester will have a slot reserved pending submission of the remaining items listed below (numbers 2-5).
  2. Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. Applicants must complete and pass the DOT physical. Applicants should contact their personal physician to fulfill this requirement. A copy of the completed DOT examination form must be submitted to the Admissions office (address below). Please keep your original card.
  3. Math placement. Applicants must show proof of math proficiency. This can be accomplished by fulfilling ONE of the following math requirements.
    • Completing the math portion of the Accuplacer placement test. Students must test into Highlands College's M 90 (Introductory Algebra) course. Call (406) 496-3745 to schedule the Accuplacer. To prepare, review the concepts of fractions, decimals, percents, signed numbers, and order of operations before test day.
    • Submitting a college transcript showing a grade of a C or better in a math course completed within the last 2 years.
    • Providing proof of ACT or SAT scores within the last two years with a minimum ACT math score of 18 or SAT math score of 450.
  4. Age. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age before the first 8 weeks of the semester of study are complete.

These items must be submitted to the Montana Tech Admissions Office (1300 W. Park St.) before December 15th(for Spring entry) and July 15th (for Fall entry). If an applicant feels he or she will not meet the criteria for acceptance into the Pre-Apprenticeship Line Program, he or she should notify the Admissions Office immediately so his or her slot can be opened for another applicant.

The approximate cost for the 16-week course equals $7,000-$7,500 for Montana residents and $9500-$9900 for out-of-state residents. Applicants from western states should contact Breanna Hall (information below) for details about the WUE scholarship. Certain western states participate in this reciprocity agreement that can reduce the cost of out-of-state tuition. Students must show proof of health insurance or purchase the college's insurance for an additional $1,474 (approximately) before classes begin. Individuals who wish to live in the residence halls at Montana Tech are invited to do so, although Highland College students are not required to live on campus. The cost for room/board for one semester on campus is approximately $3,600.

All individuals who apply to Montana Tech should also complete the following:

  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine eligibility for federal financial aid. The FAFSA can be found online at

Commercial Driver's License (A) Training Permit

Students will no longer be required to have their CDL-A permit as part of the admissions requirements; however, students who can obtain the written permit in the State of Montana in advance of attending are encouraged to do so. If not, you will only have Friday's to do so and only one month to complete.

Students in the training will need to supply their work clothes and boots. Hard hat, safety glasses, tools, belts, and certification costs will be covered in the cost of the program. Instructional texts and specialized safety equipment must be purchased separately from the Tech bookstore at an approximate cost of $650-$750. Upon final selection of participants, determined by completion of the items listed on the previous page, students will be required to e-mail the instructor  - to discuss the appropriate composite-toed boots and provide measurements for the purchase of the required work belt.

Participants in the program must not have a fear of heights and should have good manual dexterity skills and like to work outdoors in all weather conditions. The first two weeks of training will include intensive pole work. If, during the first two weeks of training, an individual determines this in not an appropriate working environment for them, a refund of course fees will be provided. Any tools that were distributed to the student must be returned to the program.

Students will also have the opportunity to earn the following certifications:

  • Commercial Driver's License (Class A)
  • Flagger Training
  • First Aid


  1. At graduation, students earning a Certificate in Pre-Apprenticeship Lineman will have the necessary knowledge and skills to obtain placement within the discipline.
  2. Students within the Lineman Program will demonstrate competency in the use of tools, technology and safety equipment typically used in industry.
  3. Demonstrate problem solving, informational literacy, technological and communication skills in team and individual learning exercises.
  4. Provide students with the skills that will promote occupational growth and life-long learning.


  • Student evaluations
  • Student portfolios
  • Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey
  • Graduate Placement Survey
  • Survey of students
  • Alumni
  • Advisory Board


Total: 30

Because of the unusual credit requirments for this one-semester program, students will attend classes 40 hours per week. Individuals should be prepared to attend and participate in courses just as they would a full-time job. Because of the uniqueness of the program, program requirements and costs are approximated and subject to change.

For additional information, please contact Marilyn Patrick at (406) 496-3711 To contact the Enrollment Service Office, call (406) 496-4256.

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