Courses & Programs

Clean Energy

Students will learn about all types of sustainable energy sources, including solar, wind, gothermal and biomass.

Kathleen Maiolatesi

Faculty, Sustainability

Science, Engineering & Math

Marieb 235

413.552.2462 (Tel)


What will you learn?

Students will be prepared for employment in the clean energy sector or transfer to a four year institution. This degree will transfer to a number of area colleges and universities in clean energy programs as well as the iCONS (Integrated Concentration in Science - clean energy track) program at UMass. 

Students will learn about all types of sustainable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. They will learn how to use specialized equipment and monitor energy usage. Hands-on experience will be provided in the internship as well as the labs to acquaint the students with the necessary equipment and technologies. 

63-66 total credits

35-36 credits General Education Requirements + 25 credits Program Requirements


General Education Requirements

35-36 CREDITS
This course is the first half of the college composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, beginning research skills, and the writing process. Students will read, analyze, and cite a range of nonfiction texts. Students will produce several formal essays totaling approximately 3000 words. Prerequisite: Appropriate scores on English placement tests or C- or higher in ENG 095.
This course is the second half of the first-year composition sequence and focuses on close reading, critical thinking, academic writing, research, and the writing process. Students will locate and evaluate both primary and secondary sources, and will gain skill in summarizing and synthesizing source material while employing MLA documentation. Texts will include a range of nonfiction (articles, essays, scholarly sources) and literary works. Students will produce at least 3000 words of formal written work, including a documented essay of at least 1250 words. Prerequisite: ENG 101 with a grade of C-or higher.
Conventional (neoclassical) economics assumes that the economy can continue to grow forever, that well-being is determined only by market goods, and that people always act selfishly. Ecological economics in contrast, starts from the understanding that the economy is a sub-system of the global environment, and subject to its bio-physical limits. In addition, human well-being is determined by many other factors besides market goods: friendship, love, status, rights, freedom, etc. and that human behavior is far more complex than simple self-interest.The primary insight of ecological economics is that the human economy is part of the global environmental system. Ecological economics situates human activity within the environment, and the study of the natural environment includes human interests and activities. Ecological economics is a systems approach with a global perspective on human resource use, economic development, and the environment. Ecological economics is concerned not only, like other economists, with efficiency and equity, but also with environmental and social sustainability.This course provides a historical overview of various schools of economic thought, presents the major principles required to fuse ecology with economics, and helps students to analyze economic policies under the lens of ecological reality. Particular attention is paid to economic growth theory and policy as it pertains to the sustainability of human society and management of natural resources. This is a transdisciplinary course, incorporating relevant principles and practices from political science, economics, psychology, philosophy, the natural sciences and physics.Prerequisite: Any ECN course with a passing grade of C- or eligibility for MTH 095, or by permission of instructor.
Introduction to the study and principles of behavior. Topics include general principles of scientific investigation; physiological bases of behavior including sensation, perception, learning, emotion, and motivation; development; individual differences; attitudes; and group dynamics. Prerequisite: Eligibility for ENG 101.
This is a survey of the emerging field of ecopsychology, an integration of ecology and psychology. By drawing upon the science of ecology to re-examine the human psyche as an integral part of nature, ecopsychology attempts to inspire lifestyles that are both ecologically sustainable and psychologically healthy. This course provides an overview of the psychological principles and practices relevant to environmental education and action, while exploring the contributions of ecological thinking and values of the natural world to psychotherapy and personal growth. Prerequisite: PSY 110
Today and throughout history, some of the greatest works of literature, culture, politics, and spirituality have been rooted in the earth (to use an earthly metaphor). This class will explore various forms of literature to seek a deeper appreciation of how the world's most engaging thinkers human and non-human have embraced the beauty of the world around us and pondered the awe-inspiring power of our environment. Prerequisite: ENG 102
Environmental history examines how humans and nature have interacted through time and with what results. The natural environment (water, land, climate, geological changes, disease, plant and animal ecology, etc.) and human factors (population, capitalism, technology, social relations, cultural attitudes, etc.) from an interrelated system. However, the environmental history of a period and place is a matter of interpretation, and this course actively explores the many facets of this new field of study. As an introduction to interpreting America's environmental past, students will explore such themes as Native American ecology, hunting, the impact of agriculture, mining, industrialization, as well as the emergence of ecology and the modern environmental movement. Prerequisite: Eligibility for English 101
This course is an introduction to the study of the different approaches to how one should treat the natural environment. Beginning with a historical overview of various indigenous technical and cultural knowledges, and then progressing to assess literature on environmental concerns, the course will proceed to interrogate such philosophical concepts as ecology, alienation, web of relations, dominant hierarchies, stewardship, survival, among others. Finally, more recent developments in contemporary philosophy such as ecofeminism, naturalist ethics, and ecological postmodernism will be explored.
A college-level course including more advanced topics in algebra, functions, graphs, and problem solving. Prerequisite: MTH 095 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or completion Module 18 in the self-paced MTH 02X sequence, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
Graphical description of data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, central limit theorem, estimation of parameters, testing hypotheses, regression and correlation, analysis of variance, and other topics in statistical inference. Prerequisite: MTH 085 or MTH 099 with a grade of C- or better; or SM12, or adequate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination.
We are faced with many critical problems in the 21st century-species extinction, diminishing energy resources, increasing population, and human civilizations' limited vision of alternatives. Whether humans can learn to manage their life styles in a sustainable manner will impact the long-term survival of all the species on this planet. Students will explore relevant environmental issues, their possible solutions, and the interconnectedness of all lives on Earth. Issues such as energy use, sustaining resource levels, preservation of biodiversity, and community sustainability will be discussed from a scientific perspective. Seminars, laboratory experiments, community-based learning and field trips are all integral components of the course.
This course provides an overview of renewable energy resources including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, tidal, wave, hydropower, and hydrogen. Students will learn basic principles of each technology and its application for both new and existing buildings, and for transportation. Students will investigate the potential of each technology to help solve current and future energy demands the society faces. Topics covered will include governmental regulations, analysis of renewable energy systems, calculation of savings, and financing options available.

Program Requirements

25 CREDITS
This course provides the students with the opportunity to understand and explore energy efficiency/conservation strategies. In lab, students will learn to demonstrate the appropriate usage of energy monitoring and measuring equipment commonly used by energy specialists and energy auditors. In the field, energy consuming facilities, both residential and commercial, will be analyzed by students for energy efficiency. Students will learn to calculate energy savings and environmental impacts in order to assess the optimum energy consumption strategies.
This course provides a comprehensive training in the application of wind power technology. Students will gain an understanding of wind power as a sustainable form of energy and learn the fundamental science behind harnessing wind and converting it to electrical energy. We will look at the process for siting, developing, constructing, operating and maintaining wind energy projects of different scales, from residential and small commercial to municipal and utility scale.
This course provides a comprehensive training in the application of geothermal technology. Students will gain an understanding of geothermal energy as a sustainable form of energy and learn the fundamental science behind harnessing the earth's heat and converting it to useful energy. We will look at the process for siting, developing, constructing, operating and maintaining geothermal energy projects of different scales, from residential and small commercial to municipal and utility scale.
This course is designed for people with no electrical background who plan to work in the clean energy or construction industries in positions which require electrical knowledge. Students will gain an understanding of how electricity works in residential, commercial and industrial settings. Topics covered will include generation and distribution of electricity, circuits, transformers, and the National Electrical Code.
This supervised field-training program will further the hands-on skills students have acquired in SUS 104: Introduction to Solar Energy and SUS 105: Introduction to Wind Energy. They will work with an appropriate energy-resource specific industry partner and gain field experience in the performance of tasks appropriate for each of the renewable energy technology certificate programs. Students will be expected to work 225 hours with the industry partner. Prerequisites: SUS 104 or SUS 105 or SUS 113 and SUS 114
The 21st century has been labeled the green century, and promises expanded opportunities for careers oriented toward sustainability. This course explores the diverse array of expanding green career opportunities and the impact of sustainability on existing occupations and industries. Students identify local career opportunities while engaging community members and organizations. Students develop important work-finding skills such as resume creation, interviewing and networking.
This course provides a comprehensive training in the application of solar thermal technology. Students will gain an understanding of the solar energy resource and its adaptive application in a variety of strategies including passive solar and active solar thermal. In addition, students will practice designing systems on site for a given location and explore the potential of a solar-based economy. The laboratory will train students to conduct solar energy site assessments, install solar thermal systems and promote the use of solar energy in residential, commercial and municipal facilities.
This course provides a comprehensive training in the application of solar technology. Students will gain an understanding of the solar energy resource and its adaptive application in the use of photovoltaics. In addition, students will practice designing systems on site for a given location and explore the potential of a solar-based economy. The laboratory will train students to conduct solar energy site assessments, install solar photovoltaic systems and promote the use of solar energy in residential, commercial and municipal facilities.
Recent emphasis on making buildings greener has led to considerable confusion. Just what is meant by the term? This class will explore that multi-level problem and take a hands-on approach to implementing tested strategies for designing and building structures that are highly energy efficient, environmentally friendly, healthy, and durable. The course will cover the connections between occupant health and the choice of structural and finish materials, the careful control of air exchange and thermal transfer, the use of renewable energy sources, and industry standards for system efficiencies.

3-4 CREDITS OF ELECTIVES


Choose from the following recommended electives: COM 150, ENV 137, ENV 230, ESC 120, MGT 235, MGT 236 , MKT 240, SUS 108, ESL 153: ESL for Renewable Energy Technology, if needed.