Southeastern Illinois College aims to provide students with a better understanding of the ethanol and biodiesel industry through a certificate program in biofuels. Since the program’s beginning in 2011, 54 students have taken classes or earned the certificate. Many students are already working in the industry.
Christine Brockinton and Ellie Antova are two non-traditional students who are part of the 54 who have completed Biofuels Technology & Sustainability Certificate at Southeastern Illinois College and are now working in the industry.
“I impress upon my students to think outside the box and consider the opportunities there are for starting their own business in recycling while still using what they learning form their auto technology degree.”
Lincoln Land Community College created a new certificate program aimed at farmers, entrepreneurs, and food service professionals, to meet the growing demand for sustainably-grown local food. The program offers hands-on training in cooking and food preparation, as well as team-oriented environment to spur innovation.
Southwestern Illinois College Precision Machining Technology graduate and Industrial Maintenance Mechanics student Ashley Robinson of Wood River realized what she wanted to do with her education after visiting the college in 2013.
SWIC Welding Technology student Dawn Poston of Worden has been working as a welder/robot programmer at Seyer Industries in St. Peters, Missouri since February 2014. She said her education helped her move into a field that can give her a chance to make a better life for her children.
Greg Hansbraugh cites the job placement rate for students as the best indicator of the program’s success. “In addition to working on wind farms in Illinois students have secured jobs across the country, including Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, and even in Puerto Rico” said Hansbraugh.
Sustainable design within architecture and construction is the focus of Rend Lake College’s two new certificate programs: Green Facilities Management and Sustainable Design Green Building. In both programs, students receive hands-on experience during lab hours, using cutting-edge software. Two students that completed the Green Facilities Management program already found jobs within the field.
At John A. Logan College, students interested in sustainable energy have a lot more options as a result of the IGEN Career Pathways grant. The school developed two new certificate programs and updated existing classes to create a new associate degree program with added equipment for increased hands-on experience.
Since the program began, 18 students have completed the Introduction to Solar Photo-Voltaic course. Students were a mix of traditional and non-traditional students who attended courses on a full time and part time basis.