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Confederation College launching Green Energy Program

Microcredential program will give students foundation in green energy principles

Confederation College is doing its part to create a more sustainable future for the next generation of students.

Beginning in January, the seven-week Green Energy Microcredential program will be introduced as a part-time evening class for the very first module titled Net Zero 101.

“We have been talking about a program like this for quite some time,” said John Kantola, dean of Confederation's School of Engineering, Technology and Trades.

“We have had different technologies embedded or built on the college campus for over a decade. But as things move along [and] time passes, we just haven't had the right opportunity yet to get to where we are today. We are excited that this curriculum being developed can be launched in different capacities and [create] different learning outcomes.”

Upon completing the program, the participants will get a badge or a microcredential, which is a digital record of completion.

Robyn Gillespie, the manager of applied research and sustainability at the college, noted that students will learn different aspects of green energy.

“Specifically in our launch, [students will learn what] net zero is and how to apply that into a real-world setting [while] also understanding carbon and emissions,” Gillespie said.

“There's some carbon economy pieces [that come] into play [as well as] greenhouse gas emissions scopes. The program is built around working within the facilities at the college and helping to create solutions and understandings that can help us move forward on our goals as well at the college or within a workplace.”

Kantola mentioned that analytics has a big role in this venture, adding “We’re excited that our students are sometimes the solutions to many things. If we can utilize their expertise while they're learning here on campus, it doesn't get any better than that.”

Other postsecondary institutions have introduced a course similar to this one, but Gillespie notes that the one at Confederation College stands out for many reasons.

“We have a northern context, which other colleges in Ontario [are] not necessarily providing... We have biomass heating our mainstream building on campus, which is extremely unique in the higher education system. We also have solar, geothermal and wind power as well that we're using; [all of those things are] tied to the Black Pack software that we saw here today that students will have access to within the lab classrooms and certain courses that are being developed,” Gillespie added.

The program was launched with a $1.3-million contribution from Natural Resources Canada as well as a two-year pledge of $250,000 from the RBC Foundation through RBC Future Launch.

— TBnewswatch