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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Greening Community Colleges: An Environmental Path to Improving Educational Outcomes.
Abstract: The emerging and expanding green economy has the potential to create not just jobs, but career opportunities across the United States as green manufacturing, green products, and green services fuel demand for workers at all skill levels. Community colleges are leading the way in defining and addressing these opportunities. They are: developing education and training programs in expanding fields from solar energy to green construction; enhancing existing green-connected programs and creating new training programs for green jobs; and developing educational pathways that lead to the Associate's and Bachelor's degrees that are essential for continued advancement in these emerging careers. In addition, many community colleges are taking steps to raise environmental awareness within the communities they serve. They are greening their own campuses and working on local environmental remediation. Some colleges are integrating their on-campus sustainability efforts into academic programs so that installing solar cells or creating a composting system for campus waste becomes an instructional tool. Often, they undertake this work through innovative partnerships that bring together environmental groups, local employers, and community-based organizations. The continuing recession and the prospect of longer-term changes in local economies provide opportunities for all community colleges to demonstrate their value by helping businesses and individuals adjust to challenging economic environments and increase their resilience and chances of prospering. At the same time, community colleges have the power to be agents for change in other spheres within their communities by developing approaches to both new and long-standing problems. These include the need for renewable energy sources and water conservation, as well as unmet social needs, such as environmental remediation to make areas more habitable to residents and more attractive to potential employers. This brief highlights the approaches of three community colleges to "greening" their operations, curricula, and communities, while simultaneously addressing local and regional employment and environmental needs. The community colleges featured in this brief are: (1) Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico; (2) Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina; and (3) Clover Park Technical College in Washington State. (Contains 3 endnotes.)