The Utah State Board of Regents met last Friday, approving an Associate of Applied Science degree under The Green Academy for energy management. The Green Academy, launched in March 2009, is a new, cutting-edge series of courses designed to train and teach students about energy efficiency and sustainability, with an eye towards future environmental benefit.
“No other universities have a program like this. We wanted to be the first to play a part in this new and emerging field,” said, Program coordinator, Judy Fisher.
A total of 67 credits are required for graduation, with 26 specialty classes offered in this new program. Some of the more popular “green” classes include a solar photovoltaic course, where students learn about solar energy and installation, and a course on installing natural gas engines for converting and installing natural gas systems in vehicles. Others with more of a business focus include a “green retrofitting” class for contractors looking to use more eco-friendly and efficient materials, as well as an energy accounting class that teaches how to take advantage of tax incentives and rebates for green investment.
There is also a sustainability certificate program, which consists of 24 credit hours of course work that teaches students’ various skills to obtain jobs in the rapidly growing green community. A few course topics include conservation biology, green building and design, natural disaster planning, and renewable energy.
According to Fisher, SLCC has seen attendance rise, with the program quickly becoming full within the first two weeks of the semester beginning. The next session starts March 22, and Fisher recommends that anyone who is interested in the ten weeks of training attend an open house on Feb. 3, to be held at Miller Campus Building, MFEC Room 223.
Last year, The Green Academy hosted several community workshops, including a green job roundtable for women. Fisher expects to hold more in the upcoming months, including workshops on living a more eco-friendly student life, environmentally friendly household products, and how to efficiently remodel a home.
To become a part of the SLCC green movement, go to www.slcc.edu/continuinged, or call (801)957-5200.