Title

Going Green Online: Distance Learning Prepares Students for Success in Green-Collar Job Markets

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Community College Journal

ISSN

1067-1803

Volume

80

Issue

6

First Page

32

Last Page

35

Publication Date

June 2010

Abstract

President Barack Obama has touted the development of a new green economy as a tool to rebuild the American economy while creating new jobs. This new economy requires entrepreneurs and innovators to create new businesses and invent new technologies. It also requires technicians with specialized skills to build wind farms, operate renewable fuels plants, and retrofit homes to conserve energy. In response to these needs, U.S. community colleges have created programs to train a new crop of middle-skill green workers. Many programs aimed at training workers for green jobs serve niche job markets. As a result, some colleges have begun targeting a broader student base beyond their immediate communities. Online degrees and certificates allow community colleges in all community types to participate in retraining the workforce for green occupational skills. As part of a larger multiyear study of online occupational programs in community colleges, researchers at the University of Louisville's National Research Center for Career and Technical Education sought to understand how many green online programs existed within community colleges. From the survey sample of 321 colleges, 13 green programs were identified. This article presents and describes some of the green online programs that are already under way.