Sustainability News: Programs
From electric cars to renewable architecture, green technology is spreading into more industries than ever before. To prepare students for careers in the growing number of green industries, Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) began offering a new academic program in sustainable technologies on their campus in August 2010. The Sustainability Technologies program is designed to train students for jobs in environmental, construction, alternative energy, manufacturing, or related industries, where key emphasis is placed on energy production and waste reduction along with sustainable technologies.
CFCC students have been exploring renewable energy for years with a wide variety of projects that include everything from designing award-winning sustainable structures to refitting gas-powered automotive engines to run on electricity.
Current green projects under way include:
A renewable energy project at the North Campus where students are developing a power station using solar power to run lab equipment.
Students in automotive repair are converting an old BMW to run on electricity.
Students have developed a method to make their own bio-diesel from vegetable oil.
Architectural technology students have designed a series of sustainable buildings that have won state and national awards. The buildings have actually been built in the Triangle area of North Carolina.
“As businesses become increasingly more green-savvy, we need to make sure our students have access to the latest trends and technology so that they can stay competitive in the job market,” said Bob Philpott, CFCC's Dean of Technical and Vocational Education.
The sustainable technology program is available in three tracks: a two-year associate degree program, a one-year diploma and an 18-hour certificate program.
How can sustainability improve our community? Sustainable Agriculture taught in an Associate in Applied Science degree program offered at Western Piedmont Community College is a good starting place.
The program’s curriculum is designed to provide the entrepreneurial and technical skills necessary to manage a profitable, environmentally sound, community based small farm or agricultural business. Students learn the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture, focusing on crop production and farm business. Emphasis is placed on entrepreneurial and practical field training. Students complete a business plan and an agricultural internship in marketing and farming. Graduates are qualified for employment in a variety of positions associated with sustainable agriculture, including horticultural and livestock operations, wholesale and retail management, nursery operations, and environmental and agricultural education.
Chip Hope leads the program as department head and holds the Sara Lee Knit Endowed Teaching Chair. Hope joined the College faculty in 2008 as lead instructor for horticulture and sustainable agriculture, bringing with him his vision for a sustainable community.
Western Piedmont’s Richardson Campus, formerly the Broughton Hospital farm property, is a lab for the Sustainable Agriculture Program and is in the process of becoming a more sustainable farm. Recently, the college formed a Richardson Campus Visioning Committee to help map out a plan for the future development of that part of the campus.
On the three acres they call “The Farmstead,” the students built a small barn powered by a solar PV system. A passive solar greenhouse is being constructed on the south side, and they are already drying food in their solar dehydrator. Farmers are growing heirloom vegetables and medicinal herbs, and learning to save seeds for the next year’s crop. They planted an heirloom apple orchard and are grafting trees from it.
“What we want to do here through the College is help people become producers again,” Hope says. A community garden was a successful start in that direction this year. Rows were plowed and tilled and offered to College employees and students enrolled in the sustainable agriculture program. Several rows were also designated for the hungry and worked by students, with the produce going to Burke United Christian Ministries. Next growing season more area will be available and offered to more folks. “Gardening together is such a great community building activity,” Hope says.
Sustainability News: Buildings
Central Carolina Community College and Chatham County celebrated “an exciting and momentous day” Sept. 20, according to President Bud Marchant. Hundreds of county residents and officials gathered at the college’s Chatham County Campus for the ribbon cutting-open house for the college’s new 18,000-square-foot Sustainable Technologies Center and the 25,000-square-foot joint-use county-college Chatham Community Library.
Both buildings are green, using energy efficient design and materials. Wastewater is treated on site and rainwater is collected for reuse. Among the library’s green features is a glass wall that enhances the daylighting of the interior and minimizes the use of artificial lighting. Among the center’s green features is a vegetative roof, which reduces heat gain, decreases water run-off, and creates a habitat for birds and insects. Both buildings are expected to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard certification.
The LeGrand Center, is an 84,000 square-foot facility set to open in early 2012 on the campus of Cleveland Community College (CCC). It will house CCC's Continuing Education department, the Cleveland Early College High School, and a 13,000 square-foot conference center with flexible-use space. The center is named for the LeGrand family for providing the lead gift for the project and a groundbreaking ceremony took place September 14, 2010.
The LeGrand Center was a joint project between CCC and the CCC Foundation, Cleveland County Schools and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners. The building will be a minimum silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified through various engineering design attributes, natural lighting throughout the facility, and automated climate control systems to name a few. The center will be a showcase for local economic developers and business and industry. The venue will serve special events and provide instructional space for CECHS and continuing education unmatched in the region, state or country.
Johnston Community College’s (JCC) Health Sciences programs celebrated their new facilities with an open house on Monday, Oct. 25. The addition to and renovation of the existing Health Sciences building were completed this summer providing new classroom and lab space for biology, chemistry, nursing, medical assisting, imaging, early childhood and massage therapy students.
The event featured a ribbon cutting, check presentations and tours of the new facilities.
Dr. David Johnson, JCC president, thanked the community for its support of the college and growth of its facilities and programs. “We are so thrilled to be here today and have nice buildings for our students to learn wonderful things,” Johnson said.
Dan Gerlach, president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, said his nonprofit has prioritized investments in biotechnology and health care in Johnston County. He presented a $200,000 check in support of the equipment for the simulation lab and the college’s planned virtual hospital.
“We know that health care jobs are growing and the quality of allied health professionals makes a big difference to companies and individuals who want to come to North Carolina and live here,” Gerlach said.
Chuck Elliott, president and CEO of Johnston Health, also made a donation in support of the college’s health sciences programs. “The partnership between Johnston Health and the community college is real and tangible,” Elliott said. “The community college gives us our most valuable asset and that’s our staff. And without the community college, we would not be able to provide the care we give every day.”
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) classroom and laboratory building dedication was held Sept. 16, 2010 at the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, N.C.
The RCCC classroom and laboratory building at the NCRC is the home of RCCC’s associate degree program in biotechnology and planned associate degree programs in agricultural biotechnology and health information technology, plus multiple shorter-term certificate programs. Graduates of these programs will meet many of the current and future workforce needs of the NCRC.
The 62,332-square-foot facility offers students state-of the-art biology, microbiology, genetics, biotechnology, cell culture, and chemistry labs; classrooms with a full array of technology; a high-tech distance learning classroom; and the opportunity to study and learn within easy walking distance of potential future employers. RCCC has designed its programs and NCRC facility to help students transition easily from college to sustainable careers or further study at a university.
The newly constructed building also helps RCCC provide a research campus link to local businesses. Based at the NCRC are RCCC’s Small Business Center and Office of Corporate & Professional Development. Through these outreach initiatives, RCCC provides local businesses and small business owners access to potential growth opportunities at the NCRC.
At the same time, the RCCC building at the NCRC represents a new era for North Carolina community colleges, as RCCC works side-by-side with the state’s research universities and companies located on the campus. Together, the NCRC partners are building an engine for economic growth in Kannapolis and this region of the state.
Wilson Community College’s Student Center is designed using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards established by the U. S. Green Building Council. LEED certification at the gold level was achieved for the building. Gold certification is the second highest certification level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The approximately 20,000-square-foot building houses student services including the registration center, financial aid, counselors, and a testing center, as well as the business office, human resources, marketing, and planning. A most important aspect of this building is its use as a living laboratory.
Students in a variety of college programs learn about green buildings and have opportunities to help work with the new technologies utilized in the Student Center. In addition, community-based continuing education programs and visitors to the campus can see demonstrations of how these technologies can effectively be used in all homes, businesses, and industries.
The Student Center was designed by the Raleigh-based architectural firm Williard Ferm Architects. The Student Center incorporates many features that drastically reduce energy consumption. These features include using natural light for building illumination, photovoltaic cells, geothermal ground source air conditioning/heating, and a rain water harvesting system.