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Cerro Coso Campus
Cerro Coso Community College Receives $700,000 National Science Foundation Grant to Grow its Solar and Wind Energy Training Programs
September 2, 2010
Future green project.
Ridgecrest, California - Cerro Coso Community College president, Jill Board, accepted a $700,000 check today for a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award that will fund the institution's four-year expansion of solar and wind energy training programs.
Cerro Coso will use the funds to address the strong need for technicians to serve California's wind and solar renewable energy industry. The money will pay for reviewing and updating Cerro Coso's existing renewable energy credit program and increasing its pool of renewable energy faculty.
The NSF grant supports Cerro Coso's Advances in Technological Education (ATE) program. The money will fund standardizing curriculum for delivery across the state and to sync with national standards, equipping Cerro Coso's teaching lab with state-of-the-art instructional equipment, developing career and degree pathways for middle school, high school and community college students, training and mentoring high school and college faculty, developing online training modules in wind and solar energy and more.
"This grant will provide Cerro Coso with the resources we need to aggressively meet our Career and Technical Education goals in renewable energy," stated Valerie Karnes, Director of Career Technical Education. "It's an incredible opportunity to meet the increased need for skilled workers in an industry that offers students interesting career options. This program is good for the students, it's good for the environment, and it's good for the economy."
As a result of the grant, Cerro Coso College will partner with the California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technological Education (CREATE), a multi-county consortium whose goal is to increase renewable energy training programs throughout central and southern California. CREATE programs at Cerro Coso and elsewhere will provide on-ground and online technical career training and build 2+2+2 degree pathways through partnership with local high schools, community colleges, universities and industry partners.
Based in the Santa Clarita Community College District, the consortium will receive a total of $3,000,000 to increase renewable energy education opportunities at Cerro Coso College and nine other community colleges in collaboration with 30 high schools, four universities, and dozens of industry partners.
Consortium education partners are located in the counties of Kern, Inyo, Tulare, Fresno, Merced, Yolo, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles. Cerro Coso joins Porterville College in the Kern Community College District, as well as College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Merced College, Oxnard College, Moorpark College, Santa Barbara City College, Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles Pierce College as participants in CREATE.
Universities in the consortium include three California State Universities-Los Angeles, Fresno and Channel Islands-and University of California, Davis.
"Cerro Coso Community College is committed to providing students with meaningful learning environments that maximize their potentials. Partnering with other educational institutions allows us to share experiences, vision, knowledge, talent, and resources that add exceptional value in developing programs that produce top performers. We are very excited about the impact this project will have on our students, communities, and environment," concluded Jill Board, Cerro Coso Community College, President.
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