The inaugural group of students in CCC's new Oregon Green Tech Certificate program have finished their first required course.
What are the sources of your home's air leaks and how do you go about weatherizing to save energy? How could you use compost to heat a 5-bedroom home? Could a local water company install a micro-hydro system that would pay for itself in approximately three years and then begin generating electricity for the grid and revenue for the water company?
These are just some of the final projects produced by the very first group of students in Clatsop Community College's new Oregon Green Tech Certificate program launched in January.
Taught by Astorian Christopher Paddon, Introduction to Sustainability is the online gateway course that students throughout the state must take to enter the Green Tech Certificate program. The program is sponsored in partnership by Clatsop Community College and nine other rural Oregon community colleges under the umbrella of TOC/OWA, The Oregon Consortium/Oregon Workforce Alliance.
TOC/OWA believes this program "will be a catalyst for positive change in rural communities keeping them livable, restoring prosperity and contributing to a brighter future." Other program courses are taught through the other community colleges.
This introductory winter quarter course was a broad overview of sustainability, depletion of non-renewable energy sources, and renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, biomass and oceanic energy. Paddon worked online with some 60 students from throughout the state, including five local students with whom he met weekly at the CCC MERTS campus. Class participation took the form of weekly online forums, allowing students to get to know each other and discuss assignments, textbooks, and ideas, as well as receive instructor feedback. As the course final, Paddon assigned projects that challenged students to "Make your ideas real".
And, they did.
Colorful and innovative designs accompanied many projects, along with required lists of costs, materials, and references backing up both research and feasibility. Paddon had high praise for his students' efforts. "I'm really pleased with the work many of these students did. Their projects are viable and I think several of them will be implemented," said Paddon.
Next up for these students is a course called Building Energy Analysis. "This course will be conducted online during the quarter," Paddon explained, "but will culminate in a lab in Corvallis, where I'll finally get to meet and work with my students face-to-face."
A brand new group of students will begin the Oregon Green Tech Certificate program in April.
For more information, contact Kristen Wilkin at Clatsop Community College, 503-338-7696. To begin the special admission process, contact Michelle Bufkin at MTC Works at 503-325-9511, extension 312.
Caren Black & Christopher Paddon