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College Express Offers Clean Energy Technology
May 15, 2014

Walters State’s unique Clean Energy Technology Program will be offered this fall under the popular College Express format. With College Express, the associate’s of applied science degree can be completed in two years attending classes only one or two nights a year.
“This format is ideal for adults already working in manufacturing, facilities management, contracting and other fields,” said Cathy Woods, executive director of distance education at Walters State. 
“Classes meet one or two nights a week with courses offered in block formats. That means students are focused on just one or two classes at a time,” Woods said. 
She added that students attending traditional part-time, evening classes would normally take three or four years.
Walters State is one of the few community colleges in the country offering a Clean Energy Technology program. The program was developed in 2011 with much feedback from area businesses, industries and utility companies. Among the classes included in the cohort are smart grid technologies, solar energy and wind turbine technologies, geothermal heating, biomass technology and LEED core concepts. 
The cohort also includes all required general education courses. 
“Students who graduate with this degree will have skills particularly attractive to industries concerned about energy efficiency and the reduction of waste,” said Ken Parks, director of the program.  
“This program prepares individuals for entry-level work in the clean energy field. Training is also useful in many related fields like heating and air, construction and manufacturing,” Parks said.
Students have the option of also completing a certificate in either electrical, building or transportation while simultaneously earning the degree.
Much of the instruction is hands-on. Walters State has a 10kw solar array and a 2 kw wind turbine. Classroom labs have equipment for training specific to solar, wind, hydroelectric and biofuels. 
“For our students, the College Express cohort program is great. The registration process is easy and students can plan around the set schedule. The program requires a commitment and dedication, but the schedule also makes it possible to plan for work and family,” Parks said.  
For information on the program, contact Woods at (423) 585-2661 or Catherine.Woods@ws.edu.

CUTLINE: At far right, Ken Parks, director of Walters State’s Clean Energy Program, discusses the operation of solar panels with, from left, students John Pollock, Terrell Trueblood and Tim Redmond. Walters State will be offering Clean Energy Technology courses through College Express, a program tailored for working adults.