Central Carolina Community College Chosen as NCCCS Energy Sector CIP Lead
By Katherine McDonald
Special to The Pilot
Central Carolina Community College has been selected by the North Carolina Community College System as the Energy Sector lead college for the system's Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP).
The 2010-2012 Code Green Super CIP will develop uniform improvements in curriculum and continuing education green programs in five sectors: energy, transportation, engineering technology, environment and building. The improvements will be used at North Carolina's 58 community colleges with the goal of providing outstanding education for workers for the growing green economy.
"Central Carolina Community College has been a leader in green education for a long time," said Dr. Bud Marchant, college president. "We look forward to the exciting challenge of leading the Energy Sector CIP team in envisioning and creating even better green energy education for the future of North Carolina."
Central Carolina was selected as the lead college for the Energy Sector because of its track record in innovation, leadership and partnerships to promote environmentally- and consumer-friendly education, according to Andrew McMahan, CCCC's biofuels program coordinator and the Energy Sector project manager. Among its achievements, Central Carolina was the first North Carolina community college to develop associate in applied science degree programs in sustainable agriculture and biofuels. In the fall, it will offer another new program: an AAS in sustainability technologies. The college is also focusing on green construction, with the energy-efficient LEED-certified Sustainable Technologies Center, joint Chatham County-CCCC library, and new Siler City Center scheduled to open in the fall in Chatham County.
"The incorporation of sustainability into courses throughout the community college system will have a tremendous impact on workforce training in North Carolina," McMahan said. "Strategic plans like the Code Green CIP help to ensure that North Carolina is a leader in a low-carbon future."
CCCC's Energy Sector faculty team consists of Laura Lauffer, sustainability coordinator; John Delafield, sustainable technologies coordinator; Bob Armantrout, biofuels instructor; and Robert Arble, weatherization instructor. They will work with a team of representatives from other community colleges to develop changes in energy education based on the college's Energy Sector Project Design and Implementation Plan.
The plan is designed to streamline the structure of green energy programs at community colleges, reducing the number of curriculum titles and overlapping continuing education courses to allow for seamless transition between programs. It will promote the development of green subject modules that can be incorporated into courses, as appropriate.
The plan also calls for identifying current and emerging skills in sustainable energy industries and increasing student skill assessments that lead to industry-recognized credentials.
In 2009, the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges established Code Green, an initiative committing the community college system to a major expansion of training for the green-collar workforce.
In January, the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents Code Green Leadership Team developed the concept for a Code Green Super CIP to improve curriculum in green subject areas. Community colleges were invited to apply to be lead colleges for the five targeted areas in sustainability education: energy, transportation, engineering technology, environment and building.
At its May 21 meeting, the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges approved six lead colleges. In addition to Central Carolina, they are: Blue Ridge, transportation; Central Piedmont, engineering technology; Davidson, environment; and Wilson, building. Wake Technical Community College will serve as the over-all Super CIP Lead College.
"The scope and impact of this Super CIP initiative will be huge for the NCCCS," said Sharon Morrissey, NCCCS senior vice president and chief academic officer, who provides administrative oversight for the initiative. "The Code Green Super CIP will result in revitalized -programs and courses that integrate green technology skills; in specialized credentials for continuing education and curriculum; and in a more streamlined program structure. More -important, the NCCCS will emerge as a primary driver in North Carolina's emerging green technologies economic sector."
Katherine McDonald is a news and feature writer for Central Carolina Community College.
More like this story