The Lignite Education Seminar is typically held the second or third full week of June. This year, the dates are Monday, June 13 through Thursday, June 16, 2022.

Most of the Seminar will take place in the Bavendick Room on the 4th floor of the National Energy Center of Excellence on the campus of Bismarck State College. 

Some travel may be required to other locations within a short distance. For the tour day, participants will be split into groups and taken by bus to various facility locations in Coal Country. 

Teachers who complete all requirements are eligible to earn two professional development graduate credits. 

  • North Dakota State University – Teaching and Learning – letter grade only 
  • University of North Dakota – Education – S/U or letter grade
  • Minot State University – Science – S/U only

Letter grades require a lesson plan to be completed. S/U requires a summary of session throughout the Seminar. 

All teachers and faculty are encouraged to apply. Should applications out-number the spots available, preference will be given based on the following criteria:

  • 4th grade through 12th grade teachers
  • Science, math or social studies as a primary subject matter
  • Career counselors
  • College professors are typically not accepted, but exceptions may be considered. Please contact Kay LaCoe ( or 701-355-2194) for inquiries. 

The Lignite Education Seminar is a no-cost seminar for K-12 teachers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, and Iowa to attend. Teachers may incur transportation costs to and from the Seminar. The Lignite Energy Council provides housing and most meals during the Seminar. Graduate credits are paid for on behalf of the Lignite Energy Council. 

A $60 deposit is required to reserve your spot in the seminar. The deposit will be returned to you during the seminar. If you should have to cancel after May 1.

Sponsorships may be available for transportation reimbursement to and from the seminar for eligible teachers in Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Those sponsorships will be arranged by the utilities and cooperatives serving those states. 

Sponsorship Eligibility

If your school’s electricity is produced by an electric cooperative served by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Great River Energy, Minnkota Power Cooperative or the school receives its electricity from one of these investor-owned utilities: Montana-Dakota Utilities, Otter Tail Power Company or Minnesota Power. 

Sponsorships, or reimbursement, are ONLY available for travel costs. Hotel rooms or other incidentals are NOT reimbursable. 

Yes. We accept applications on a case-by-case and/or first-come, first-serve basis. If your application is approved you may still attend the seminar as long as you can arrange and pay for your own travel arrangements. 

If you are chosen to attend, the Lignite Energy Council will provide lodging and some meals during the seminar as well as pay for your graduate credits. 

Only if your spouse, significant other or child(ren) have applied to and have been accepted to attend the Seminar. Due to limited space and funding, we do not allow non-teaching or non-faculty/staff to attend the Seminar. Only attendees registered to attend the Seminar are allowed to stay in the on-campus housing provided by the Lignite Energy Council through Bismarck State College. 

If you are accepted to attend the Seminar you will receive a form in MAY to complete regarding housing, necessities and other information-gathering questions. This form will provide an area to request special accommodations including, but not limited to, dietary and medical needs. 

Applications will be accepted until the Seminar is full, this typically occurs by mid-April. You will be notified of your status as soon as possible, but no later than April 30. A completed application does NOT ensure that you will be selected. You will be notified by email of your status. 

If you are traveling from out of town and plan to stay in the housing provided by the Lignite Energy Council, you will be staying in a residence hall room on the Bismarck State College campus. Residence hall room availability is limited. 

Residence hall rooms are four person suites. This means two bedrooms (two to a room) that share a bathroom. Sheets, blankets, pillow, and pillowcase are provided in the rooms. You will want to bring towels, soap and an alarm clock. If you would like to request a roommate (ie: friend, spouse) that is also attending the Seminar, include that name on your housing form emailed to you in MAY. 

Lidstrom Hall will be the primary residence hall. Residence hall rooms are air-conditioned. 

TV jacks are available in the residence hall rooms (TVs NOT provided) if you wish to bring a TV (be sure to bring your own cable cords along). The cable TV hookups are free. The lounge in your residence hall also has cable TV. 

Phones are not provided in the rooms but there are phones in the lounge area where local calls can be made. 


  • Monday: Continental breakfast items such as rolls and fruit, 2 snacks throughout the day, lunch and supper. 
  • Tuesday: Breakfast, 2 snacks throughout the day, lunch and supper. 
  • Wednesday: Breakfast, 2 snacks, lunch and supper. 
  • Thursday: Breakfast, 1 snack and lunch. 

If you are accepted to attend the Seminar you will receive an email in MAY with instructions on how to register for credit. Registering with one of the colleges prior to official acceptance will NOT ensure that you will be accepted. 

Instructions for registering for credit are updated each May. Please use this link to download instructions on how to register for credit: Credit Instructions

COVID protocols are constantly being reviewed and revised so please be prepared for changes up until the day of the Seminar check-in. The following is current as of February 17, 2022, but subject to change at any moment. 

  • Masks are NOT REQUIRED but are encouraged by Bismarck State College and the tour locations. 
  • Masks are NOT PROVIDED. 
  • I, Kay LaCoe the Seminar administrator, have been fully vaccinated and I do not plan on wearing a mask at any point during the Seminar unless it is required by the facility or government entity. 
  • On Wednesday, June 15 we will be touring a coal mine and power plant. We will be traveling by bus to these facilities. The bus will NOT be able to accommodate socially distance guidelines – attendees will be traveling with two people to a seat and four people in a row separated by an aisle in most instances. 


  • Quarantine or limit exposure to others – All participants are asked to limit time outside their home for 14 days prior to travel, with the exception of going to school or work or engaging in other essential activities. If they must venture out, they should strictly observe COVID-19 safety protocols (masking, social distancing, and hand washing) and avoid large gatherings and crowded spaces. 
  • Participants are NOT required to have COVID-19 PCR test to be taken 3 days before the Seminar NOR is it required to submit test results, but a PCR test is strongly encouraged. 
  • If a participant has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the Seminar OR lives with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the Seminar, we ask that the participant withdraw from the Seminar (deposit will be returned). 

During Seminar

  • If a participant is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (including but not limited to: coughing, fever or chills, loss of taste or smell, body aches, congestion or runny  nose, nausea or vomiting), we ask that the participant withdraw from the Seminar (deposit will be returned). 
  • Daily symptom and temperature checks will NOT be conducted by Lignite Council or BSC staff. Please monitor your own symptoms and temperature. 
  • If at any point during the Seminar, if you do not feel well, please notify a staff member and separate yourself. 
  • Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will be concluding the program around 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, I will try to conclude no later than 3 p.m., often we are done by 2 p.m.
  • Your attendance is required at all sessions during the day. 
  • Supper and after supper activities are NOT required – they are merely provided to enhance your experience. 
  • Attendance WILL be taken during each session. Absences will impact receiving credit for the course. 
  • Child care is not provided during the Seminar. Please plan accordingly for childcare to accommodate sessions that do not end until 5:00 p.m.
  • If you are traveling, please plan accordingly to accommodate the Seminar schedule and take into account traffic, construction or travel mishap delays.