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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, NC

Green Jobs Course Offerings:

  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) is offering a new curriculum credit course in the Electronics Engineering program, ALT 120 - Introduction to Renewable Energies, which covers solar and photovoltaic, geothermal and wind systems.
  • The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Department (AHR) incorporates green topics into many of its current offerings, including home energy conservation, upgrading and replacing home appliances and use of energy saving building materials.  Photographs of weatherization building materials are included. Additional sustainability concepts are taught in RCCC’s automotive, orticulture, construction technology and biotechnology programs. 
  • The Automotive Program offers a credit course, AUT 285 - Introduction to Alternative Fuels. This course is an overview of alternative fuels and alternative fueled vehicles. Topics include composition and use of alternative fuels, including compressed natural gas, propane, biodiesel, ethanol, electric, hydrogen, synthetic fuels, and vehicles that use alternative fuels.  The Automotive program is also building an electric conversion project vehicle as curriculum classes and laboratory assignments allow.
  • Through the college’s Continuing Education department, students may register for short term courses in Weatherization, EPA Lead Renovation, Sustainable Communities, Green Associate and LEED AP in Construction and Design.  
  • Continuing Education is also offering a new introductory energy-saving course “Bright Ideas for Going Green” which has been offered twice in the spring of 2011 and will be offered again this summer at the NC Research Campus. This introductory class is targeted to any skill and knowledge level. 
  • The Continuing Education department also partners with government agencies and corporations to provide consultation and training in reduction of energy consumption. For example, the college partnered with the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources to assist Shogren Industries in meeting the sustainability requirements of that company’s largest customer, Walmart; Shogren Industries press release and Shogren Industries―Walmart sustainability plan.

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

RCCC strives to infuse sustainability into many of its existing curriculum courses and by offering new programs pertaining to renewable energies, environmentally safe construction, green transportation, sustainable agriculture and sustainable manufacturing.

Campus sustainability projects underway and goals for these projects:

  • In April, 2010, RCCC received a grant of over $177,000 from the Department of Energy to aid in creating energy efficiencies in four of the college’s oldest buildings. A recent bond referendum provides for appropriations of $5,500,000 for campus-wide additions and renovations, one of which is upgrading of 30 year-old HVAC systems with energy-efficient chillers and replacement of five outdated air handling units.
  • The college is in process of partnering with Cabarrus and Rowan tourism authorities, to design a certificate program in Sustainable Tourism which will contribute to a balanced and healthy economy by providing education that helps travelers, travel providers and related organizations support environmental conservation and protect cultural heritage in its two county service area.

Courses utilizing campus sustainability projects as hand-on training opportunities for students:

  • The program head for AHR (air, heating and refrigeration) incorporated the construction of recycling bins for the student center into a class project, allowing students to hone their skills at sheet metal work while contributing to the college’s recycling efforts. In cooperation with the AHR program, the Student Government Association Science Club placed recycling bins at the North and South Campuses along with a variety of recycling posters in student activity centers.
  • In August, 2010, students, faculty and staff embraced a clean air, campus wide tobacco-free policy. In continued support of this initiative, the Student Government Association (SGA) offers smoking cessation classes both on-line and in person and the human resource department provides numerous non-smoking programs and individual counseling services through its EAP. 
  • RCCC has joined with the Catawba College Energy Corps, requesting $184,270 from the NC State Energy Office to fund placement of seventeen (17) interns at eleven (11) green energy related businesses. The purpose of this project is to give students an unmatched experiential learning opportunity through placement in on-the-job internships and fellowships.

What are you hoping to gain from the Greenforce Initiative?

A partnership with the Greenforce Initiative can assist Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to educate, facilitate and participate in the advancement of sustainability efforts locally, regionally and state-wide.  This will help RCCC to promote its course offerings and seminars on energy efficiency, new renewable technologies, economic development, workforce training, and job and career guidance.

RCCC sustainability website

Contact person: Ron Scozzari, Associate Academic Vice President,, 704-216-7115

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