EDUCATION given the country’s increasing demand for power, the ethical implications of our power choices, and employers’ demand for skilled workers. Employer feedback played a major role in the development of the programs. Kox said that in a 2008 survey, NWTC’s business and community partners recommended the addition of sustainability training as part of the college’s strategic direction. “Another result is that the college is working to ensure that students in all degree programs are exposed to the concept of sustainability at some point in their education,” noted Kox. “Many programs such as landscape horticulture and architectural technology have infused sustainability into all of their courses.” Input from energy-industry employers also shaped programs, with curriculums designed around what employers look for when they recruit qualified workers. For example, the associate degree in energy management, created in 2010, prepares graduates to help their employers manage and conserve energy in order to reduce cost and environmental footprint. The program produced its first graduates this past May. Government funding supported the development of other programs. A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy funded a Smart Grid training program (a national network that coordinates the flow of both energy and information – see NIST.gov), in which NWTC will have a mobile lab and courses to be shared with other New North technical colleges. Appleton-based Fox Valley Technical College recently began offering an associate degree in wind energy technology. It also offers certificate programs in areas of energy management and control for buildings, energy auditor and environmental compliance specialist. Its campus features a Sustainable Technology Center that offers courses on sustainability and green technologies for a variety of fields including construction, landscaping and horticulture, energy and agriculture. Additionally, businesses can take advantage of customized sustainability training plus specialized offerings that include energy conservation, LEED certification, renewable energy systems, design and construction, carbon footprint reduction, biodiesel fuel systems, green energy for agriculture, and more. FVTC’s philosophy is to integrate elements of sustainability throughout its curricula, noted Chris Matheny, chief academic officer at FVTC. “It is part of the practice that nurses get in their clinical training. It is part of what our electricity and electrical apprentices get in their coursework and fieldwork. Our natural resource technicians work on the latest wildlife and wildland management practices – all with the focus of both sustaining our environment but also improving the value that they can add to organizations when they leave our programs.” “I think that all students and all jobs can benefit from sustainability practices,” continued Matheny. “Doing more with less is not just about being economically prudent. We teach our students and our workforce that by putting in place sustainable business practices they can actually improve the environmental, operational and human resources of their organizations. It really touches everyone.”
Unfolding 4-year degree initiatives University of Wisconsin campuses in the New North have gotten involved in sustainability education as well. In fall 2008, the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay opened its Environmental Management and Business Institute, working with partners in the public and private sectors to increase sustainability and environmental leadership among companies and communities. “Today’s public view has evolved to where ‘good business’ is not only profitable, but is also recognized for good stewardship
Educational offerings at a glance Listed below are sustainability-related certificates and degrees offered by the schools featured in this article.
Northeast Wisconsin Technical College • Associate degrees in Energy Management, Environmental Engineering – Waste and Water Technology, and Solar Energy Technology. • Associate degree in Sustainable Food & Agriculture Systems coming in fall 2013. • Certificates in Sustainable Agriculture, Solar Electric, Solar Thermal, Energy Management, and Sustainable Design. Fox Valley Technical College • Certificates in Environmental Management Systems for Emerging Technologies, Energy & Environmental Management, Energy Management & Control for Buildings, Environmental Compliance Specialist, Renewable Energy Engineering Technology, Energy Auditor, and Photovoltaic Installation Technician. • Associate degrees in Wind Energy Technology and Energy & Environmental Engineering Technology. UW Green Bay • Certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Business. UW Oshkosh • University Studies Program (general education), coming in fall 2013. • Master degree in Sustainable Management, coming in 2013. • Bachelor degree in Sustainable Management. • Minor in Sustainability Management through the College of Business, available with any major. • Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies, with emphases in Environmental Science and Environmental Policy & Values.
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