Supporting community colleges in educating for and building a green economy
AACC: American Association of Community Colleges
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About SEED

What is the SEED Center?

 “I want to encourage community college presidents to get involved. Through your leadership, we can make sustainability into a major driver of economic growth, creating new jobs and entirely new occupations. Your leadership, and successive efforts like SEED, will be critical to that effort”

- Arne Duncan
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

A FREE initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges and ecoAmerica, the Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center aims to advance sustainability and clean technology education programs at community colleges by sharing innovative practices to help college administrators, faculty, and staff build the green economy. More than 480 community colleges are members of SEED, and more than 30 college presidents make up SEED’s Sustainability Task Force.

Learn more about who we are.

SEED Offers:

Why Community Colleges and Sustainability:

Sustainability is rooted in our mission—and community colleges connect with tens of millions of people who will be the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Community colleges in the United States have been referred to as the engines of higher education for a long time. Over recent decades, the community college network, including nearly 1,200 colleges, has had a positive impact on the lives of tens of millions of Americans, providing a pathway to a better life regardless of socioeconomic status and without encumbering students with unmanageable debt.

Explicit in the community college mission is this commitment to sustainability—building healthy and economically viable communities by preparing students for lifelong learning opportunities.

Community Colleges are the fastest-growing sector of U.S. higher education

  • 1,200 colleges, 12 million students
  • Serve 45% of all U.S. undergrads
  • 90% of U.S. population lives within 25 miles of a community college

Because of our track record of bringing value to the lives of millions, and because of our steadfast commitment to a community-focused mission, community colleges are an essential vehicle for advancing the green economy by providing green education and promoting sustainability to a new generation of leaders. 

The clean energy and green economy presents an unprecedented opportunity to grow American prosperity. Billions of dollars stand to be generated and saved using energy and other resources more wisely, drawing on non-polluting energy and material sources that never run out, and otherwise developing our world more sustainably.

Given the community college role in building a flexible workforce, our work to prepare students for long-term career options, our direct ties to industry, and our commitment to building healthy communities, community colleges are an essential vehicle for advancing the clean technology economy and promoting sustainability to a new generation of leaders.

*Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Trade Technical College (CA)
This resource made possible with the generous support from the Kresge Foundation