Supporting community colleges in educating for and building a green economy
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Resource Center

Instructions

The Resource Center is a curated collection of information organized around 7 green economy “Sectors” and 7 “Topics.” In time, more Sectors will be added. Topics represent those areas in which educators and workforce development professionals continue to seek direction.

You can search by sector or by topic. Or across all sectors and/or all topics.

You can also perform a keyword search of all resources on the top right of this page.

Solar

The solar industry is expected to show steady growth over the coming decade largely due to rising energy prices, advances in technology through public/private partnerships and investments, and continued enactment of federal and state policies and financial incentives. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Wind

Wind power is considered a leading source of new electricity generation in the United States, with the potential of providing 20% of the nation’s energy needs by 2030. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Green Building

The green building market has expanded five fold over the last three years to a $48 billion national market—and is projected to triple in the next five years. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is considered the foundation of a vibrant and sustainable green economy, and one of the most cost effective ways to lower energy consumption, reduce operating costs, and mitigate carbon emissions. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Sustainability Education

Sustainability education refers generally to learning experiences that enable students to develop the knowledge, behaviors and skills to help create healthier ecosystems, social systems, and economies. For the purposes of the SEED Center, this includes resources to help build non-credit continuing education for the incumbent workforce and integrating sustainability curriculum into existing credit programs. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Sustainable Ag., Food & Land

The Sustainable Ag., Food & Land sector covers the areas of organic farming, horticulture, culinary art, and landscaping. This sector includes organizations and resources that integrate environmental, social and economic factors into land use, food preparation, and land specific practices in an attempt to create a more sustainable future. more >>

General Clean Tech

The General Clean Tech sector is a space for resources that encompass multiple ‘green’ sectors. Many are applicable to the broader clean economy and sustainability-related technology and will serve the general clean tech community. Resources also provide valuable information on sectors that are experiencing substantive development in the sustainability realm, like manufacturing and smart grid. more >>

Transportation and Fuels

The Transportation & Fuels sector covers the area of electric and hybrid vehicle development and maintenance, other forms of alternative and sustainable transportation, natural gas, fuel cells, battery storage, and renewable fuels sources including ethanol, biodiesel, algae, and methane. more >>

- Also see General Clean Tech for more helpful resources.

Certifications and Industry Credentials

Certainly, one of the biggest challenges facing green educators is the rapid and mostly uncoordinated emergence of green certifications and credentials. more >>
 

Curricular Materials

These resources and materials have been vetted by industry and education experts, and while not in the form of specific educator tools, will assist in creating quality curricula for your classroom. more >>

You will find more specific educator tools (e.g. syllabi, lab manuals, lesson plans, special classroom projects, equipment lists, etc.) submitted by SEED member colleges in our Curricular Materials Sharing Portal.

Employment Industry Projections

While job training providers have been quite active in past years working with local industry to define the emerging green jobs market and potential job growth areas, most still struggle to forecast accurately regional occupational demand. The U.S. Department of Labor has made recent strides toward classifying green occupations and competencies which will help communities define and track green jobs (and colleges to design appropriate education and training programs). Given the uncertain renewable energy and efficiency industry outlook, and rapidly changing technologies, access to the most up-to-date industry studies and employment projections will be critical. more >>

Innovative Practices & Partnerships

The job creation potential of the green economy has led to some unique job training and economic development partnerships and collaborations. more >>

Professional Development Resources

This section includes promising facilitated learning opportunities, including “train the trainer” programs, standing conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice for faculty and staff seeking to further their knowledge of industry trends and requirements. more >>

Policy & Funding Sources

Included you will find links and descriptions of agencies and organizations that typically fund sustainability and green job training initiatives as well as those that provide important information on national legislation and policies relevant to the clean energy sector. CHECK BACK AS MORE ARE ADDED. This section also highlights resources that provide guidance on how to supply input into program and grant design for certain agency solicitations. more >>

Skill sets, Competencies & Career Pathways

This section includes lists and assessments of skill sets and competencies tied to the green economy – across the broad industry as well as within specific sectors. It also includes some critical resources that colleges can use to align programs and facilitate student transitions. Included are green energy competency models and newly-developed career pathways that allow movement across educational and training programs. more >>

Sector: Topic:

Featured Resources

Published by the USGBC Center for Green Schools, this plan represents the perspectives of the leading minds and the strongest champions of Education for Sustainability, together with one voice committing to a series of actions that will ensure that by 2040, every student graduating from a U.S. K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future. AACC SEED Center Director Todd Cohen is a contributing author.
Fishbanks is a multiplayer web-based simulation in which participants play the role of fishers and seek to maximize their net worth as they compete against other players and deal with variations in fish stocks and their catch. Policy options available to instructors include auctions of new boats, permits, and quotas. This simulation provides the opportunity for students to learn about the challenges of managing resources sustainably in a common pool resource setting, with realistic resource dynamics.
A report by the Sustainable Endowments Institute shows strong growth of green revolving funds (GRFs) within the higher education sector. The 2012 report shows that 36 new GRFs have been created since 2010 with a median reported return on investment of 28 percent. Since 2010, GRFs have been launched in 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. (October 2012)
Autonomy and Innovation, by higher education and workforce development expert Tom Hilliard, describes Michigan’s participation in Achieving the Dream, detailing how college-level reform initiatives highlight the need and build momentum for collective, state-level action to foster collaboration, spread innovation, and make effective use of student outcome data. (November 2012)
Local watershed organizations, municipal leaders, and others are invited to sign up for these free, on-line webcast training sessions. These webcasts on can be used in the creation of curricula and archives are available in multiple categories.
The U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development has developed a rich set of resources, including sites with downloadable learning activities, a beginner’s toolkit for sustainability, standards for K-12, and more.
Climate Communities is a national coalition of cities and counties that is educating federal policymakers about the essential role of local governments in developing new approaches to create livable communities, reduce energy use and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Communities is working with local governments to ensure that federal policies provide strong incentives and resources for local clean energy and sustainability actions. These are potential partners for community based learning and innovative partnership.
This sumary of a statewide conference demonstrates how colleges can work together to develop sustainability and green oriented education while working to grow the green economy workforce. (November 2011)
These resources can enhance community partnerships and project based learning (a core pedagogy of sustainability education) by expanding understanding of sustainable communities efforts. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, EPA, and the U.S. Department of Transportation helps improve access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment in communities nationwide. Also view the Grants and Resources pages.
Planet Forward is where experts and engaged citizens come together to find solutions to our shared challenges, specifically in the areas of energy, climate and sustainability. It is a dynamic public square, curating the best ideas and innovations from scientists, business leaders, advocates, students and government leaders and is based at the Center for Innovative Media at the George Washington University. Look at their Campus Sustainability Page and Education Page (see the quality media collaborators on the bottom).
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More Resources

The Open Society Fellowship was founded in 2008 to support individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges. The fellowship funds work that will enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world. Become a fellow today!
Provides a guide for educators built off the original climate and energy literacy frameworks. Educators can find summaries of each principle, possible challenges when teaching the principle, suggested pedagogic approaches for each grade level for grades 6-16, and relevant teaching materials from the CLEAN reviewed collection. Look for connections to the Next Generation Science Standards coming soon!
The Four Keys to Sustainable Communities series of books represent the four dimensions of sustainable design—the Worldview, the Social, the Ecological, and the Economic. The series was completed in 2012 and is now available in the U.S. for the first time. This series is endorsed by UNESCO and is an official contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
Join internationally-acclaimed researcher and award-winning educator Richard Alley in an exploration of the role of energy in our environment and our future. Energy use has done great good for humans by giving those in the developed world the equivalent of 100 energy "serfs" to do our bidding, making up roughly 10% of the economy, and powering most of the economy.  However, the unintended consequences of energy use are affecting people around the world and changing the climate in ways that will make life much harder.  Numerous options exist for development of a sustainable energy system that provides a stronger economy, more jobs, and greater security that is more consistent with ethical principles.  The course explores these issues. January 6th, 2014 (8 Weeks Long)
Developed in partnership with the Campus Green Funds Collaborative, the Guide outlines best practices and lessons learned in designing, managing, promoting, and evaluating campus green funds and their respective projects. CGFs create the financial means for promoting sustainability in all areas of higher education; including academics, operations, administration, and engagement. They help to expand knowledge of sustainability by providing educational and research opportunities to students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
A non-profit organization that connects students to science and exploration to inspire and motivate them to study and pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). For teachers and informal educators, JASON provides lesson plans, assessments, and comprehensive professional development programs.
Published by the USGBC Center for Green Schools, this plan represents the perspectives of the leading minds and the strongest champions of Education for Sustainability, together with one voice committing to a series of actions that will ensure that by 2040, every student graduating from a U.S. K-12 school will be equipped to shape a more sustainable future. AACC SEED Center Director Todd Cohen is a contributing author.
Learn about smart growth issues and environmental benefits. Find information about specific topics, resources, and examples of smart growth development, including the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Through research, tools, partnerships, case studies, grants, and technical assistance, EPA is helping America's communities turn their visions of the future into reality.
Fishbanks is a multiplayer web-based simulation in which participants play the role of fishers and seek to maximize their net worth as they compete against other players and deal with variations in fish stocks and their catch. Policy options available to instructors include auctions of new boats, permits, and quotas. This simulation provides the opportunity for students to learn about the challenges of managing resources sustainably in a common pool resource setting, with realistic resource dynamics.
This resource may be of value to the field of adult education as an example of the variety of green sector programs that can be developed, their various funding mechanisms, and the types of credentials they may contain. Its most significant features include a clear and consistent framework for describing programs and a very forthright portrayal of challenges/lessons learned. It is easy to flip through the publication, going from program to program, to compare features. This framework reinforces what programs developers need to address, for example, partnerships and funding, elements of curriculum, instructor,and target participants.
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This resource made possible with the generous support from the Kresge Foundation