Electrical Technology Associate in Applied Science Degree

Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield, Maine

KVCC has been the leading force of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency training in Maine since 1995 when Mr. Greg Fletcher first incorporated a Solar PV course into his Electrical Technology Degree Program. Mr. Fletcher saw the need to augment the skill set of Maine electricians with solar PV and small wind technologies to allow them to compete for jobs in the renewable energy field. In addition to offering green training in their degree programs, KVCC also provides numerous professional development courses and a Renewable Energy Management advanced certificate program.

Mr. Fletcher is the department chair for KVCC’s trades and technology department and plans to augment his Electrical Technology program with a second solar PV course (advanced design and installation) as a Solar PV Installer option. Once implemented, students who complete solar PV courses will have the training requirements to be eligible to apply for the NABCEP Solar PV professional installer certification.

Program Description

The Electrical Technology (ET) program prepares students for entry level positions in the electrical field. The ET program offers both an Associate in Applied Science degree and a Certificate option. Graduates from this program are skilled in the installation and maintenance of various residential, commercial, and industrial electrical systems. All State of Maine electrical licensing educational requirements are met or exceeded in this program. Students are required to have the tools and equipment necessary to properly complete the hands-on portion of the program.

Program Attributes

KVCC is an approved NABCEP solar PV continuing education provider, therefore ET students who complete the ETL 225 Photovoltaic and Small Wind Electrical Systems course are eligible to take the NABCEP solar PV entry level exam.

Case Study Interview

1. What inspired you to spearhead the effort to integrate solar content into your courses, curriculum, or programs?

I received a grant from the Maine Science and Technology Foundation and the Department of Energy in 1995. This allowed me to start teaching solar PV in the electrical technology program and to buy some initial training equipment. The SITN has helped me with training so that my PV course is truly up-to-date.

2. What major obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

The major obstacle was the lack of funding. A grant took care of that. Another obstacle was getting our campus president to buy in to the idea of teaching PV. She eventually understood what I was trying to do and supported me 100%.

3. What were the keys to successfully achieving solar content integration (e.g., support of a person or persons; part of a planned curriculum improvement project; recommendations from industry or an advisory board; etc.)?

I’d say the keys included: finding a place to get up to date information on the subject, getting adequate funding, finding good teaching tools, and gaining the full support of the college’s administration.

4. How long did the process take from initial concept presentation or proposal to implementation?

I’d say it took one school year from the initial idea to getting a specific course on PV integrated into the program curriculum.

5. Was this primarily a one-person effort, or did you have one or more partners who shared a significant portion of the workload?

I did it myself.

6. What products or services from your Regional Training Provider (RTP) and the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) were most useful to you in achieving solar content integration at your institution?

Certainly the training opportunities through the SITN was a big help. Also, the SITN staff have been very accommodating and available to answer questions.

7. Are there other products or services that you would suggest for the RTPs and/or the SITN to offer that would be helpful in the process of implementing solar content integration?

I know there is only so much money to go around but if possible it would be great if the SITN could help with the cost of materials and equipment.

8. Would you be willing to share course proposals, curriculum improvement proposals, and/or curriculum outlines for the courses, curriculum, and programs that you used as part of the solar content integration process?

Sure

9. If yes, would you agree to have these materials available on the IREC web site (with links from the RTP web sites)?

Sure

10. Would you be willing to be listed as a contact person on the IREC web site to share your solar content integration experience with other interested parties?

Sure

11. Would you be willing and able to specify all occupations for which the training that you offer applies (e.g., this program trains students for these occupations/jobs)?

Sure

12. Was specific funding appropriated for solar content integration into related course, curriculum, and/or program development?

No, other than my initial grant for a small amount of money way back in 1995 I have not had any specific funding for integrating PV into the program curriculum.

13. If special funding was available, would you be willing to share the amount of funding on the IREC web site?

Definitely

Course Listings

Associate of Applied Science Degree
Course Requirements

First Semester

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS CONTACT HOURS
BPT125 Construction Print Reading* 3 45
ENG108 Technical Writing 3 45
ETL113 Electrical Circuits I* 3 60
ETL121 Electrical Wiring Practices I* 5 135
MAT114 Technical Math 3 45
Total 17 330

Second Semester

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS CONTACT HOURS
CPT140 Computer Aided Design I 3 45
ETL114 Electrical Circuits II* 3 60
ETL120 Rotating Machines and Transformers* 3 60
ETL124 Fundamentals of Electronics* 3 60
ETL127 Electrical Motor Control* 3 60
MAT117 College Algebra 3 45
Total 18 330

Third Semester

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS CONTACT HOURS
COM104 Introduction to Communication 3 45
ETL215 National Electrical Code* 3 45
ETL221 Industrial Control Systems* 3 60
PHY111 Elements of Physics 4 75
Humanities Elective 3 45
Total 16 270

Fourth Semester

COURSE NUMBER COURSE NAME CREDIT HOURS CONTACT HOURS
ETL122 Electrical Wiring Practices II* 5 135
ETL222 Introduction to Instrumentation* 3 45
ETL225 Photovoltaic and Small Wind Electrical Systems* 3 60
ETL216 Advanced National Electrical Code* 3 45
Social Sciences Elective 3 45
Total 17 330

Associate of Applied Science Degree Totals: 68 credit hours and 1260 contact hours
* Core Courses

 

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