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Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, NC

Non-Credit Green Jobs Course Offerings:

  • Green Building (Certificate)
  • Solar Installation (Certificate)
  • Sustainable Business Consulting (Certificate)
  • Weatherization (Certificate)
  • Organic, Sustainable Agriculture (Certificate)

Credit Green Jobs Course Offerings: 

  • Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology - HVAC students have designed and built a solar thermal hot water system.
  • Architectural Technology - Students and faculty participate in the annual NC sustainable building design competition. Two and four year schools are eligible and must follow a strict set of requirements and criteria. Since 2003, the AT program has placed between 1st and 3rd place with their innovative and highly sustainable building designs.
  • Automotive Mechanics - Introduction to Alternative Fuels has been part of the Automotive Mechanics curriculum for years.
  • Business Technologies - Business students have begun to incorporate sustainability into their coursework, including performing exercises on measuring the Return on Investment of business sustainability initiatives. 
  • Chemical Technology - Students in this program have learned to produce bio-diesel. They recent received a grant to purchase a Mass Spectrometer to conduct sophisticated material analysis. This instrument was used in conducted a free water testing event in which the public dropped off water samples and students analyzed them to determine quality. In addition, any required student laboratory work is conducted with environmentally friendly chemicals.
  • Construction Management - Students learn how to incorporate green building practices into construction projects, including responsible material procurement, pollution control, advanced framing techniques, waste management, and incorporating LEED.  CFCC’s Green Building Club was started by students from the Construction Management program. 
  • Computer Engineering Technology - The CET computer network has been designed and reconfigured to utilize "virtual computers" for student learning. This allows access to various operating systems and programs stored on a server and thus reduces the energy consumption needed for classroom computers.
  • Computer Integrated Machining - By utilizing new technology, such as a water jet cutting machine, energy and operating costs are reduced for this program. Students learn about environmentally friendly and cost effective coolants, lubrication and the value of recycling the necessary materials for operating the machinery. Efficiency through critical thinking allows a reduction in material scrap costs as well.
  • Electrical/Electronics Technology - Electrical students are now required to take classes in solar photovoltaics and solar PV electrical codes.  CFCC’s Electrical Lab has become the hub for hands-on solar and wind training. 
  • Interior Design - Students incorporate sustainable design practices and materials into their projects. Their recent 1st and 2nd place winning of the ASID competition demonstrated the student's understanding of sustainability and how it can be valued for long-term gains.
  • Electronics Engineering Technology - The students and faculty have designed, developed and operated a wind and solar renewable energy laboratory. With wind studies, weather collection data, and solar considerations the EET program has a functioning "hybrid" lab to store the energy collected from the wind and sun into batteries and to feed the grid at the same time.
  • Landscape Gardening - The hands-on training students receive makes them well suited to pursue sustainable agriculture, such as organic gardening, hydroponics and aquaponics.  Coursework includes an understanding of responsible turf management, retention pond management and pesticide application.
  • Marine Technology - CFCC’s unique Marine Technology program is a vital component in the health and sustainability of the marine environment surrounding Wilmington, NC.  Through research students learn about ocean and estuary biological health, species management, water quality and responsible fishery techniques.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology - Senior students build a stirling engine, which works off the principle of a temperature differential (hot and cold air/gas) to create energy. Efficient designs to reduce energy consumption and material costs are also practiced in the MET program.
  • Nuclear Technology - Students learn about new nuclear plant designs and technologies which are more environmentally friendly and produce less waste.
  • Sustainability Technologies - Building on this foundation, CFCC introduced the Sustainability Technologies Program in Fall 2010 to address the need to formally integrate sustainability into the college at the curriculum level.  The program offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree as well as Certificates in the core areas of Sustainability, Building Technology and Alternative Energy.  The Sustainability Technologies program is unique because it combines a comprehensive understanding of sustainability with hands-on technical training.  Topics of study include energy efficiency, green building, renewable energy, building science, energy modeling, water use and waste reduction.  The program places a priority on real-world training using the latest equipment to prepare graduates for careers in the solar, wind, construction, design, environmental and consulting industries.   Training for a number of professional credentials, including LEED Green Associate, NABCEP PV Entry Level and OSHA Safety Card, is weaved into the curriculum to better prepare students for employment.

Future goals for developing green workforce training programs and/or incorporating sustainability across all curricula:

CFCC is committed to integrating sustainability throughout its Curriculum and Continuing Education programs, which mirrors the sustainability priorities of the North Carolina Community College system.  The addition of the Sustainability Technologies program has provided CFCC with a hub around which different sustainability initiatives throughout campus can be brought together to benefit more students.  For example, the Construction Management curriculum now shares safety, construction, green building and building science courses with the Sustainability Technologies curriculum.  Likewise, Sustainability Technologies students are sent into programs outside of SST to complete their elective requirements.  As students do this they weave together their once separate areas of expertise.  This approach mimics how sustainability is being incorporated into most businesses and careers. 

Campus sustainability projects underway, goals for these projects and courses utilizing campus sustainability projects as hand-on training opportunities for students: 

  • CFCC’s North Campus Bookstore has implemented a greening campaign by introducing a large selection of natural and eco-friendly products, by participating in book-recycling programs and by encouraging the use of reusable bags over plastic bags.  Sustainability Technologies students participated in a campus Earth Day event in conjunction with the bookstore to promote the greening of the bookstore.
  • CFCC’s Green Building Club hosts regular beach cleanups and provides a forum for professionals fworking in sustainable fields to meet and interact with students.  The club is a student led organization.
  • CFCC hosts yearly campus trash pick-up events.  This event is particularly promoted to CFCC’s Early College Program students. 
  • In Fall 2010 CFCC’s Humanities Department held a symposium on Global Warming featuring a panel of department faculty speakers.  Over 200 students were present. 
  • CFCC is pursuing LEED certification for its new Union Station building.  It will be the first LEED building on campus.  Construction Management students are following the progress of the building. 
  • In May 2011, four CFCC programs hosted hands-on demonstration booths at the Cape Fear Museum’s Energy Quest, an event designed to teach children about different forms of energy.  Chemical Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology, Nuclear Technology and Sustainability Technologies faculty and students participated in the event. 

What are you hoping to gain from the Greenforce Initiative?

CFCC is committed to being a part of a larger collaborative on sustainability training.  We hope to share our successes and learn from other schools about how we can improve.

CFCC website

Contact person: John Wojciechowski, AIA, LEED AP,, 910-362-7761

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