Color Community Colleges Green

By Sean Cavanagh — February 19, 2009 1 min read
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In another sign of the growing interest of renewable energy lessons in schools, community colleges—a destination for many high school graduates—are getting into the act.

One example is Kalamazoo Valley Community College, in Michigan. The college’s officials have announced a new program to train wind-turbine technicians, according to this story. A similar program for wind-turbine workers is being created at North Iowa Area Community College. Iowa has no shortage of wind, the author of this blog item, a native Midwesterner, will attest.

I learned of those programs through an organization that works heavily with community colleges, the Association for Career and Technical Education. One of the places where renewable energy lessons are becoming more common, in addition to science classes, are technology and career-oriented (formerly known as voc-ed) courses, as I discussed in a story a few weeks ago.

The growth of green power education in community colleges is interesting for a couple reasons. First of all, it seems likely to make high school students (whether they’re on a career-tech track or not) believe that there’s a future in green industries.

It’s also relevant because in tough economic times, many students are choosing the community college option because of the colleges’ affordability, job losses in local industries, and other factors. I’ve always thought that the value and role of community colleges doesn’t receive enough attention from the media, and in the public sphere, generally.

(Photo from the AP)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.