Career Education in Renewable Energy Technology
National Science Foundation/Department of Undergraduate Education (NSF/DUE 1205015) 2012-2015 Principal Investigator: Kenneth A. Walz, Ph.D.
This project provided renewable energy expertise to two-year college and high school instructors around the country, while creating model career pathways that give students broad skill sets and flexibility in tough and unpredictable labor markets. The project accomplished this goal through two major activities: 1. The project expanded the CERET Train the Trainer Renewable Energy Academies to serve a larger, more diverse number of faculty from a wider variety of schools. While focusing on the core areas of solar electricity and bioenergy, the depth of offerings was increased to include advanced topics (e.g. 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels, PV code compliance, and battery based solar systems). By the conclusion of the project, the CERET Renewable Energy Academies had trained over 300 teachers from 42 states and 3 U.S. Territories. As of 2016, these teachers collectively had used the content and pedagogy learned in the CERET academies to teach over 40,000 students about renewable energy technology. 2. The project also evolved the CERET renewable energy certificate into three independent academic credentials in solar electricity, wind, and bioenergy in response to national trends and regional needs. The new certificates offered by Madison Area Technical College were designed with tighter connections to the workforce, and served as national models for educational programming in these subject areas.