Fort Hays State University teams with Integrated Solutions, Inc. to offer training courses for industry

Integrated Solutions, Inc. (ISI) and Fort Hays State University's Virtual College are teaming up to provide environmental, health and safety training. ISI is an environmental, health and safety consulting firm based in Wichita.

The courses offered cover numerous EPA and OSHA regulations and are required for people who have jobs with potential safety hazards or risks of exposure to chemicals or hazardous waste. Workers from manufacturing, government, healthcare, refineries and various service industries typically need the courses.

"Our partnership with FHSU will allow environmental, health and safety professionals to obtain the continuing education credits required for professional certifications," said Karma Mason, president of ISI. "I am not aware of another training provider in our area who can offer this service."

FHSU's Virtual College is the continuing education arm of the university. In 1997, the former Office of Continuing Education was renamed the Virtual College to reflect the growing interest in distance education from adult learners and the university's expanding use of technology to deliver distance education.

"FHSU is seeking opportunities to serve Kansas business and manufacturing needs, and their training partnership with us is one way to accomplish this," said Mason. The Virtual College currently offers more than 500 courses through a variety of technology and delivers to students throughout the world. Through the convenience of the Internet, video and CD-ROMs, the Virtual College continues to expand its coverage area to surrounding states, the military and internationally. In May, FHSU's Virtual College graduated Chinese students with dual degrees from Fort Hays State and China's SIAS University of Business and Management. SIAS is the third largest and the first solely American-owned university in China. The Virtual College also has a cooperative agreement with Hong Kong's Tak Ming College. Courses on the Tak Ming College campus are taught by faculty at FHSU using teaching assistants in Hong Kong.

Training is not a new venture for ISI either. The Wichita firm has trained workers since its beginning in 1991. In the spring of 1997, ISI put forth a more organized effort and started holding classes on a regular schedule. The program has grown steadily and trains hundreds of students each year. "ISI's success in the training arena is due to the expertise of our technical staff. Our trainers' combined experience in the environmental, health and safety fields exceeds 150 years," said Mason.

Some of the classes taught include: HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response), OSHA Occupational Health and Safety for General Industry, DOT Regulations Awareness, Hazardous Waste Management, Mold Awareness, Asbestos Operations and Maintenance, Confined Space Entry and much more.

In the partnership with ISI, FHSU's Virtual College will provide the continuing education units, issue certificates and keep a permanent record of student training. ISI will continue to handle all other administrative functions and provide trainers. It is the intention of the ISI/FHSU partnership to eventually provide college credit for their courses. "Using the Virtual College to provide college credit for this training makes a lot of sense for both FHSU and the business community," said Mason.

Integrated Solutions, Inc. is central Kansas' largest environmental, health and safety consulting firm. In addition to training, ISI provides environmental site investigation and remediation, EPA/OSHA compliance assistance, asbestos management (inspection and abatement), industrial hygiene, hazmat cleanup and emergency response, mold remediation and full-time/part-time staffing. Founded in 1991, ISI is both locally and 100% woman-owned. For more information about ISI, please see our Web site at

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