January 13, 2011

Owens Community College Unveils New Alternative Energy and Sustainable Systems Degree Program

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Area residents interested in careers in the installation and maintenance of alternative and renewable energy technology now have the opportunity to pursue their higher educational degree at Owens Community College as the academic institution’s School of Technology unveils a new alternative energy and sustainable systems technology associate degree program.

Beginning with Spring Semester 2011, the new academic program is being offered on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. The two-year associate degree program recently received formal approval by the Ohio Board of Regents.

“Green technology is becoming more and more important in our energy-driven society,” said Randy Wharton, Owens Chair of Design Technologies and Co-Interim Dean of the School of Technology. “As the demand for existing and emerging technologies within alternative and renewable energy grows, the need for highly qualified technicians is a necessity.”

Wharton added, “Owens Community College’s new alternative energy and sustainable systems degree program will provide area residents with the opportunity to receive hands-on experiential learning at the highest level utilizing many of the College’s state-of-the-art academic resources specific to solar thermal power, wind power and photovoltaic power. Green technology is and will continue to play a crucial role in our global economy and Owens is committed to supporting alternative and renewable energy growth and development through innovative academic programming.”

Owens’ associate degree in alternative energy and sustainable systems technology will require approximately 65 credit hours of coursework, which includes technology in society, introduction to alternative energy, mechanical systems, power distribution, solar thermal power, wind power, LEEDS certified building, photovoltaic power, geothermal energy systems and biofuels, among other academic curriculum.

The new program is designed to prepare students to design, install, maintain and repair state-of-the-art alternative energy systems specific to solar power, wind power, photovoltaic power and geothermal power for residential and commercial utilization. Students will develop strong knowledge in the fundamentals of energy and how energy is produced, marketed, distributed and used, as well as how photovoltaic panels and wind turbines produce electricity and their cost/feasibility on different scales, including residential and utility scale. Individuals will also gain insight into how renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal power and tidal power can be used to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Additionally, alternative energy and sustainable systems technology students will receive instruction related to energy efficient design and the fundamentals of LEED, as well as the understanding about the challenges in producing a fuel to power vehicles such as biofuels and hydrogen. Students will have the opportunity to utilize leading-edge academic resources for experiential learning, including the College’s wind turbines, solar thermal panels and photovoltaic arrays.

For additional information about Owens’ alternative energy and sustainable systems technology program, call (567) 661-7457 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7457.

Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.