Waubonsee Community College Aims to Be at Forefront of Green Technology

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 28, 2010 | Go to article overview

Waubonsee Community College Aims to Be at Forefront of Green Technology


The writing is on the wall, and it's written in green.

Entrepreneurs, government officials and higher education leaders see the nation's green revolution sparking a rebirth of ingenuity and progress in our domestic economy.

This "green collar economy" is coming into focus as economic and behavioral changes create new jobs and more individuals adopt green practices at work and home.

Colleges across Illinois -- and the nation -- are adapting operations and creating curriculum that reflects the emphasis on sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices. While much of this effort supports the vital pursuit of protecting our environment, a strong financial incentive exists when it comes to going green.

Illinois' community colleges are at the forefront of this international effort to focus on energy conservation, sustainability and green collar job development. Through the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network, our colleges share resources and build capacity to move Illinois toward greener financial pastures.

As an ICCSN member, Waubonsee recently received a $69,000 grant to fund a sustainability center and a coordinator for sustainability-focused events, training programs and materials produced over the next year.

Waubonsee's commitment to sustainability runs deep and includes both how we operate, as well as how we prepare our students for the jobs of the future. The advances in Waubonsee's curriculum are particularly exciting.

Building on our Sustainability 101 college credit course, which debuted in fall 2009, the new Sustainability 205 (SUS 205) course was launched for spring 2010. Eight faculty members co-taught an online and face-to-face seminar-style class that focused on sustainability and specifically highlighted water as a natural resource.

SUS 205 featured perspectives from biology, business, chemistry, economics, earth science, philosophy and psychology, and illustrated to students how issues relating to water impact nearly all aspects of our lives.

In addition, Waubonsee will premiere a series of occupational certificates that focus on energy technologies for the fall 2010 semester. The new curriculum -- in photovoltaic, geothermal, solar thermal and small wind -- targets students interested in learning green job skills to install renewable energy systems for the residential market. …

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