Solar Energy Technology Associate in Science Degree Program

Lanier Technical College, Oakwood, Georgia

Lanier’s primary educational purpose is to provide high quality technical certificate of credit, technical diploma, and associate of applied science degree programs that meet the needs of area students, employers, and economic developers. The college felt that it was a part of the future that Lanier and America as a whole be involved in some type of alternative energy education. A key to developing the program was working with key members of the solar community and trying to bring them together to help with the process and guide us.

Program Description

This program is designed to prepare graduates to enter immediate employment in the solar energy industry. It follows a progressive pre-requisite/co-requisite sequence for the general academic and basic technical core courses that all students must complete. Then student will be able to select from one or more specializations.

Program Attributes

Admissions Requirements
• Must be 16 years of age.
• High school diploma or GED is required prior to admission.
(Official transcripts or GED scores must be submitted from all colleges and/or high schools attended for credit.)
• ASSET Testing, or submit SAT, ACT, CPE, or COMPASS test scores.
• Program Length: 4 Semesters; Campus Availability: Oakwood.

Case Study Interview

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

The college felt that it was a part of the future that America as a whole will be involved in some type of alternative energy. We were able to obtain a federal solar energy grant that allowed the college to develop a solar program which is becoming very prevalent in Georgia.

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

  • First was coming up with the curriculum that would fit our market in Georgia.
  • Secondly working with key members of the solar community and trying to bring them together to help with the process and guide us
  • We used the Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA) meetings to discuss and find folks (manufacturers and contractors) willing to help develop the program
  • Getting this through our accreditations. Lots of correspondence and instructor qualification approvals.

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.)?

  • Actually, we developed an advisory committee for the program and we researched in formation for NABCEP and for entry-level testing to enhance our program
  • Also instructors like me traveled to FSEC to train and bring home materials to use in our courses.
  • FSEC continues to provide the online updates and webinars through SITN which allows instructors to keep current of trends and technologies.
  • Periodicals like SOLAR PRO and such help as well.

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

It took approximately two years to physically start offering the first courses. A lot of this was due to re-accreditations and quarter to semester conversions. We possibly could have shortened this down to one year.

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

No, there were about six to seven key folks that worked to get the program developed and implemented.

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?

Yes, we adopted the same texts referenced and the materials provided to actually teach or existing courses

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?

Most schools have some portion of the courses either web-enhance, hybrid, or entry-level online. I would like to see some online format materials and links for students to review based on courses we instructors have received. Perhaps an online portal to all the materials (copy right protected) that students could use to help gain the maximum knowledge.

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?

Yes, with college and state approval.

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

Yes, with college and state approval.

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?


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)?


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

Yes, grant from DOE

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

Yes, with college and state approval.

Course Listings


General Education Core      Credit

Area I – Language Arts/Communications  

ENGL 1101    Composition & Rhetoric         3

Area II – Social/Behavioral Sciences           

ECON 1101    Principles of Economics – OR –          3

ECON 2105    Macroeconomics – OR –          (3)

ECON 2106    Microeconomics – OR –           (3)

HIST   1111    World History I – OR –           (3)

HIST   1112    World History II – OR –          (3)

HIST   2111    U.S. History I – OR –  (3)

HIST   2112    U.S. History II – OR – (3)

POLS  1101    American Government – OR –            (3)

PSYC  1101    Introductory Psychology – OR –         (3)

SOCI   1101    Introduction to Sociology       (3)

Area III – Natural Sciences/Mathematics   

MATH            1111    College Algebra          3

Area IV – Humanities/Fine Arts      

ENGL 2130    American Literature – OR –     3

HUMN            1101    Intro to Humanities – OR –     (3)

MUSC 1101    Music Appreciation     (3)

Program-Specific Requirements     

Choose one course      3

MATH 1112 College Trigonometry
MATH 1113 Precalculus
MATH 1127 Introduction to Statistics


Program Specific Core (43 semester hours)          

COMP 1000    Introduction to Computers     3

DFTG  1101    CAD Fundamentals    4

IDSY  1020    Print Rdg/Problem Solving     3

IDSY  1100    Basic Circuit Analysis             5

SOLR  1000    Intro to Solar Energy Industry           2

SOLR  1010    Intro Solar Energy Mfg Lab   1

SOLR  1020    Const/Bldg Codes for Solar   3

SOLR  1030    Solar Energy Wiring   3

SOLR  1040    Water System Fundamentals – OR –   2

IDSY  1130    Industrial Wiring         (4)

SOLR  1050    Entry Level PV Knowledge – OR –    4

SOLR  1060    Entry Level Solar Thermal      (4)

Elective           13

AUMF 1110 Flexible Manufacturing Syst I 5
AUMF 1210 Flexible Manufacturing Sys II 5
DFTG 1103 Multiview/Basic Dimensioning 4
DFTG 1125 Architectural Fundamentals 4
MGMT 1100 Principles of Management 3
MKTG 1130 Business Regs/Compliance 3
MKTG 2010 Small Business Management 3
MKTG 2210 Entrepreneurship 6
SOLR 2010 PV Site Assess/Design 4
SOLR 2020 PV Sys Install/Follow Up 2
SOLR 2040 PV Technical Sales I 3
SOLR 2050 PV Technical Sales II 3
SOLR 2070 Solar Therm Site Asses/Design 4
SOLR 2080 Solar Thermal Sys Inst/Maint 2


PV Installation

SOLR 2010    PV Site Assess/Design            4

SOLR 2020    PV Sys Install/Follow Up       2

SOLR 2030    PV Install Prof Preparation     1


Solar Energy Drafting

DFTG 1103    Multiview/Basic Dimensioning           4

DFTG 1125    Architectural Fundamentals    4


PV Technical Sales

SOLR 2040    PV Technical Sales I   3

SOLR 2010    PV Site Assess/Design            4

SOLR 2050    PV Technical Sales II             3

SOLR 2060    PV Tech Sales Prof Prep         1


Total Hours                65


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