Energy Management Associate of Applied Science degree

Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, Utah

SLCC offers cutting-edge training in Energy Management. Students will learn about alternative and renewable energy, Return on Investment, HVAC controls and equipment, an introduction to LEED and conducting energy audits. Basic Photovoltaic Systems and Advanced Photovoltaic Systems are included as technical elective options with the degree program.

This is a comprehensive program offered in a cohort format, meaning that you participate in classes with the same group of students all the way through the program. It is designed to accommodate working professionals as classes are held in the evenings or through CANVAS, the SLCC on-line Learning Management System. Students will get practical, hands-on experience integrating theory and practice and be prepared to join the renewable energy workforce.

Program Description

The Energy Management AAS degree is an 18-24 month program that prepares students to enter the renewable energy/energy analysis industry. Students learn about lighting principles and applications, HVAC systems, energy accounting and complete a 10 week internship or Capstone project for completion. Courses focus on analysis of system performance as it relates to energy usage and expense reduction. Many of our students have accepted positions at their internship company while others have gone to external entities.

Program Attributes

The Energy Management degree program is a part of the SLCC Green Academy, which has recently been named, for the second time since its inception, by Utah Business Magazine as a Sustainable Business Award winner. This award celebrates companies or organizations that are working to protect and improve the environment, helping make a more sustainable community and state.

“Courses in the Green Academy provide students with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for emerging opportunities in green technologies.” “The college has set its sights on providing education and training that equips students with the understanding and skills to perform ethos that will promote a sustainable future and with an ethos of stewardship.” Dave Jones, marketing manager at SLCC. (, Nov. 2013, Sustainable Business Awards)

Students who successfully complete the degree may transfer to Bismarck State College, through the SLCC University Center, to complete their Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Management.

Former graduates of the program work in such places as the Governor’s Office of Energy Development and The University of Utah Sustainability Office.

Case Study Interview

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

SLCC began the Green Academy in Mar. 2009 in response to industry and community workforce development needs for the growing renewable and alternative energy fields. Solar was one of the first topics to be considered. SLCC received feedback from focus groups and other program interest groups that there was a need for training of solar installation and maintenance technicians. There were 2 courses in the initial offering – Basic Photovoltaic Systems and Advanced Photovoltaic Systems. After the 3rd offering of these courses, the instructors identified the need to separate the basic electrical knowledge into a pre-requisite course so that the 2 Photovoltaic courses could focus even more time on thorough delivery of content for full comprehension of all course learning objectives. At approximately the same time, an Energy Management AAS degree program was being put together. There was some discussion at that time about including the solar courses with the degree program. It was determined the best course of action would be to get both programs up and running, with review and time to iron out any bugs in the new curriculum.

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

Thankfully, there really were no major obstacles. The Green Academy, Solar and EGMT programs are all part of the Division of Continuing Education at SLCC and leadership, from both the Associate Dean and the Dean, has been present from the beginning. There was a lengthy time needed to complete the application and review process needed, both internally and with the Utah State Board of Regents, for the Energy Management program to be fully approved as an A.A.S. Degree. During this process, additional courses were being created with new curriculum design work. In addition, we wanted to present the solar courses once or twice to ensure we had viable and rigorous enough curriculum to meet students’ needs.

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.)?

Each of the keys to success listed above played a role. The Associate Dean of the Division of Continuing Education created the Green Academy and has continued to support increasing the offerings of all forms of renewable and alternative energy training and workshops. Making the existing solar courses choices for technical electives of the degree program was part of a planned curriculum/program improvement project. It was suggested by several students who knew about the solar courses and the EGMT program coordinator and Program Advisory Committee (PAC) supported the addition.

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

Once the Energy Management degree program was approved and running, the process wasn’t very long. Paperwork was submitted through the College Curriculum committee to add the Basic Solar Photovoltaic and Advanced Solar Photovoltaic courses to the degree program as technical electives. This was approximately 4 months duration.

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

This was most definitely a team effort with SLCC. Program Coordinators for both the Solar program and EGMT program discussed the logic of adding these courses, and with support from Division leadership, it was agreed to move forward. We also received approval and support from the EGMT PAC, who felt offering solar as an option for students was an excellent addition.

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?

Funding provided by the SITN was utilized directly for the SLCC Solar Program, rather than the EGMT program. Students participating in the Solar courses as their technical electives will certainly realize the benefit of the training those material purchases will provide.

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?

None specific to the EGMT program.

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?

None developed specific to the EGMT program.

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


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?

The Division of Continuing Education operates on ‘self-funding’ rather than receiving state-support dollars.  In addition, a small amount of funding from a different Department of Energy Grant was able to be utilized to continue curriculum being revised for on-line presentation.  This was specific to the Energy Management Degree program.

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

No, as it was not truly applicable. The EGMT program did receive some of the funding from the Department of Energy Smart Grid Workforce Training grant for the purchase of equipment. It was all specific to other courses within the program.

Course Listings

Required Core courses:

ARCH 1100, Intro to Architectural Drawing, 3 Cr

EGMT 1010, Intro to Energy Management, 2 Cr.

CSIS 1019, Spreadsheet Applications, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1110, HVAC Energy Analysis, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1540, Alternative Energy Technologies, 2 Cr.

EGMT 2050, Energy Management Seminar I, 1 Cr.

PHYS 1010, Elementary Physics, 3 Cr.

EGMT 1700, Basic Electrical Theory for Renewable Energy, 3 Cr.

EGMT 1210, HVAC Energy Analysis II, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1310, Lighting Fundamentals, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1220, Commercial Air Conditioning Systems Analysis, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1320, Lighting Applications, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1410, Energy Investment Analysis, 2 Cr.

EGMT 1120, Commercial Energy Analysis, 3 Cr.

EGMT 1230, Energy Control Strategies, 3 Cr.

EGMT 1130, Building Energy Simulations, 3 Cr.

EGMT 1420, Energy Accounting, 2 Cr.

EGMT 2065, Energy Management Seminar 2, 1 Cr.

EGMT 2800, Energy Management Internship, 4 Cr.

Required Gen Ed Courses:

ENGL 1010, Introduction to Writing

ENGL 2100, Technical Writing

MATH 1010, Intermediate Algebra,

Communications selection, 3 Cr.

COMM 1010, Elements of Effective Communication  OR

COMM 1020, Principles of Public Speaking  OR

CTEL 1020, Career Speech Skills

Human Relations selection, 3 Cr.

COMM 2110, Interpersonal Communications  OR

CTEL 1010, Leadership & Team Building  OR

LE 1220, Human Relations – Career Development  OR

MKTG 1960, Professionalism in Business

Distribution area selection, 3 Cr.

Biological Science;  Fine Arts;  Humanities;  Interdisciplinary;  Physical Science;  Social Science


Required Elective Courses:

2-3 Credit Hours in Technical Elective courses

ACCT 1110, Financial Accounting

ARCH 2990, Sustainability and Green Building

COMM 1140, Environmental Communication

ECON 2250, Environmental Economics

EGMT 1600, Intro to Water Resources

EGMT 1710, Basic Photovoltaic Systems

EGMT 1720, Advanced Photovoltaic Systems

GEOG 1000, Earth’s Surface Environment

GEOG 1400, Human Geography

GEOG 1800, Geospatial Technology

GEOG 2200, Urban Environmental Issues


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