Burlington County College’s (BCC) Center for Sustainability and Alternative Energy, supported through a NASA grant, will offer its fourth green degree program beginning in the fall semester. The Sustainability – Policy and Management degree program, a response to the growing demand for trained green professionals, is designed to prepare students who plan to transfer to four-year colleges with sustainability-focused programs.
“The A.S. in Sustainability – Policy and Management is a comprehensive degree program that incorporates a hands-on learning approach to help students succeed both academically and professionally,” said BCC’s Vice President of Academic Programs Dr. David Spang. “In today’s job market, the types of skills required to succeed are changing. Green job opportunities in New Jersey span the areas of education, business, finance, construction, law and engineering and these professions are in need of trained green workers. BCC is here to help meet that need.”
According to the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Labor Planning & Analysis, New Jersey Key Industry Clusters, in 2009, New Jersey’s green economy employed 200,521 workers in three major areas: green energy production/renewable energy (24.5 percent of employment), energy efficiency—green building/construction/design (68 percent), and environmental remediation/waste management reduction (7.5 percent).
“Community colleges have been recognized as playing a vital role in providing students with learning opportunities in green technologies,” said Dr. Robert Brzozowski, BCC Project Director for NASA III. “BCC is taking it a step further by offering a degree in sustainability – policy and management.”
BCC’s new degree program will teach students the principles of sustainability and the interrelationships between the natural, social, and built environments and give them the tools to interpret how international, national, state, and local standards, policies, governance and regulatory frameworks are developed and applied. Students will learn to distinguish the types of mechanisms and tools organizations use to develop and assess sustainability strategic plans and track and report sustainability-related metrics. By the end of the program, students will be formulating strategic plans and policies and evaluating their effects.
“Green and the broader issue of sustainability are local, national and global issues. We are preparing students to look at every level,” said Dr. Victor Brown, Dean of BCC’s Science, Mathematics and Technology Division.
BCC is the first two-year college in the tri-county area to offer comprehensive green associates degree programs. The BCC Center for Sustainability and Alternative Energy’s curricula supports and expands BCC’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program offerings.