CCCC-Chatham Launches Green Degree
Central Carolina Community College's associate in applied science in sustainability technologies is a major addition to the college's offerings in green, sustainable and environmentally sound education.
"The sustainability technologies program is a natural fit with the campus environment," said Karen Allen, the college's provost for Chatham County. "I'm particularly excited because this program so clearly furthers our college mission to be a catalyst for economic development in the community, and it does so in a way which appropriately reflects the college's core value of sustainability."
This third green degree program at the college's Chatham County campus strengthens the college's reputation as a national leader in sustainability education. It already offers degrees in alternative energy technology: biofuels and sustainable agriculture. It also offers programs in eco-tourism, organic culinary arts (natural chef), and green building/weatherization.
The new degree program will open the door to a variety of careers in the green economy. Students will be prepared for positions such as sustainability consultant, green building supervisor and renewable energy technician. They can work in environmental, construction, alternative energy, manufacturing and related industries where the emphasis is on the production and efficient use of energy. Students have a choice of two areas of study: alternative energy and green building. Both train students in sustainability design and environmental awareness.
The alternative energy track emphasizes education in energy analysis, renewable energy modeling and system design. It covers energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and biofuels.
Students on the green building track will be trained in sustainable design materials and methods for constructing energy efficient homes, weatherization, water management and related skills.
"The Chatham County Economic Development Corporation has identified both renewable energy and green building design and construction as areas in which Chatham County has a competitive advantage, said Dianne Reid, president of the CCEDC. "CCCC's new sustainability technologies programs will help provide the skilled workforce to attract new companies and support existing businesses. We commend the college for staying ahead of the curve."
Central Carolina Community College is one of only 11 community colleges statewide offering sustainability technologies. The others are Asheville-Buncombe, Cape Fear, Central Piedmont, Durham Technical, Forsyth Technical, Isothermal, Lenoir, Southwestern, Surry and Wayne.
"Within the next 10 years, we are moving into an economy that will be driven by energy efficiency - a green economy," said Matthew Meyer, associate vice president for innovation and biotechnology for the North Carolina Community College System. "The sustainability technologies program is really key to the NCCCS Code Green effort to train people for that economy. Hopefully, this will produce the pool of workers we need."
Meyer said it made sense for the NCCCS to approve CCCC to offer sustainability technologies. "The sustainability programs already happening at the college's Pittsboro campus fit in with this," he said. "Each college will offer the same core courses, but each college's program will have a different flavor because of the local environment and the companies around the college."
Central Carolina's sustainable technologies program will be housed in a new 17,300-square-foot facility. The Sustainable Technology Center is U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified. It showcases the latest in green building technology, such as a vegetative roof, use of recycled water and solar water-heating panels. It will serve not only as a class and lab space, but also as a living laboratory for the students, demonstrating energy efficiency, water conservation and sustainable design.
"It is so exciting to be a part of sustainable education for our region," said Laura Lauffer, the college's sustainability coordinator. "We are not only teaching the technical skills, but also the ecological, policy and environmental literacy students will need to succeed in the 21st century marketplace."
Lauffer said that employers already call the college when they have openings in their green businesses.
"We are recognized as a leader in quality, affordable and technically relevant training," she said. "This new sustainable technologies associate degree program will only enhance that."
For more information about the program, go online to www.cccc.edu and check "Programs of Study" or call the Chatham Campus at (919) 542-6495.
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