Tennessee College of Applied Technology – McKenzie, McKenzie, Tennessee
The program revolves around energy efficiencies and reducing our carbon footprint, beginning with the electronic devices and low voltage cabling to enable energy reduction before installing alternative and renewable energy for the power production components.We like to use the net zero example and how we can use our electronics to control our usage. Once reduction is achieved we look to renewable energy to supply the remaining energy demands.
Green Technology is the application of one or more of Environmental Science, Green Chemistry Environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. The term is also used to describe sustainable energy generation technologies such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, bioreactors, etc. The term environmental technologies are also used to describe a class of electronic devices that can promote sustainable management of resources.
This program offers students the ability of achieving both certificate awards and also diplomas. Completion of the first trimester allows students to achieve Electrical and Electronics Equipment Assembler certificate award, and in the second trimester Electrical and Electronic Inspectors and Testers certificate award. Upon completion of the thirds trimester, students obtain Electronic Repairer Technician Apprentice diploma. Completing two more trimesters or the complete course, the student achieves the Electronics Engineering Technician Specialty in Green Technology diploma award.
Certifications offered upon completion of the course or program:
·CET (Certified Electronics Technician) through ETA (Electronics Technicians Association International)
·Copper Network Cabling and Fiber Optic Network Cabling certified through C-Tech and Leveton
·Energy Management through C-Tech
·LLE (Tennessee Limited License Electrician)
·RESI (Residential Electronic Systems Integrator) ETA
·NABCEP PV Entry Level
·ETA PV installer
·ETA Small wind installer
·Training for NABCEP solar thermal
·Training for ETA Alternative Energy Integrator
100% of graduates from this program, who began their studies in 2011-12, completed it within 18.7 months.
Job Placement Rate: 83.3%
Case Study Interview
1. What inspired you to spearhead the effort to integrate solar content into your courses, curriculum, or programs?
I didn’t want to at first. I taught strictly low voltage electronics. At first I did not see the connection to electronics and green technology. I was working with C-Tech on smart homes and ETA on residential electronic system integration and found the common link was to use electronics to reduce energy consumption but needed to add energy production to the course.
2. What major obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
Money and instructor training. SITN helped with my training and money is always a battle in a state school.
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.)?
All of the above, but mostly a strong desire from the instructor. This really is a bottoms up drive. Advisory committee helps, but the instructor has to be willing and see where it applies to his or her training area. I teach in a rural area, I had to ensure I had other exit points as well as solar because I cannot get enough hired just in solar and I am tied to placement rates. The key I found is the electrical contractors will hire from my class because they may have future solar projects but can use them as electricians in the meantime. Another solar installer has an alarm business so one of my students that got hired can do low voltage during non-peak solar times.
4. How long did the process take from initial concept presentation or proposal to implementation?
9 months researching and modifying curriculum and getting it approved before the first student. Now that Tennessee has approved the curriculum, any school in TN can pick it up in less than 3 months.
5. Was this primarily a one-person effort, or did you have one or more partners who shared a significant portion of the workload?
It was three of us. The Administrator at the time saw the need and pushed me in that direction along with pushing it through the state curriculum board. A co-worker, (an Electronics Instructor) worked with ETA (Electronic Technician Association) to help us become one of the first certified Green Academy’s.
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?
Train the trainer classes in PV and thermal. I would not have the knowledge I have now to instruct this class without those offerings.
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?
Keeping us up to date on the solar industry.
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?
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)?
My program begins with basic electronics so it fills positions as electronic technicians, solder technicians, and wire maintenance, then we train in low voltage cabling so it feeds the cabling industry as well as electrical contractors that do both high and low voltage, then we train for the electrical license so we feed the electrical contractors, then we complete with renewable energy that will feed the solar industry and beginning to work with a small wind contractor.
12. Was specific funding appropriated for solar content integration into related course, curriculum, and/or program development?
I taught at Jackson State Community College and they picked up a grant which paid for all their training material on the front side. At my school, we were like the Johnny Cash song “one piece at a time and it didn’t cost a dime”. I initially purchased a trainer for $7,500 and from there it was literally one solar panel at a time and as we accomplished live work we would acquire extra mounting hardware, rails, wire, until we had enough to build a trainer. We now have a trainer with duel metering, net metering, and stand-alone systems thanks to our industry partners.
13. If special funding was available, would you be willing to share the amount of funding on the IREC web site?
I hope they can share some with me. We really have done this on a shoe string budget. Lowe’s through Skills USA has a grant for $25,000 this year and usually has at least $10,000 each year for classroom equipment. I have put in for this grant this year. This is the only one I am aware of.
1. Electrical and Electronics Equipment Assembler (Certificate Award)
ELGT – 0025 Tennessee Technology Center Orientation/Dept. Safety – 12 hours
ELGT – 01000 Electronics Technology – 42 hours
ELGT – 0900 Tennessee Technology Foundations – 24 hours
ELGT -1110 Soldering Techniques/Tools -30 hours
ELGT – 1120 D.C. Circuits I w/bread boarding – 120 hours
ELGT – 1130 Assembler Projects – 12 hours
ELGT – 1140 A.C. Circuits I w/bread boarding – 120 hours
ELGT – 1150 Electronics Competency Review I – 12 hours
ELGT – 1160 Cables and Connectors – 24 hours
ELGT – 1170 Professional Development I- 36 hours
ELGT – 1170 Professional Development I – 36 hours
TOTAL – 432 hours
2. Electrical and Electronic Inspectors and Testers (Certificate Award)
All requirements of Electronics Assembler have been completed (432 hours)
ELGT – 1210 A.C. Circuits II – 60 hours
ELGT – 1220 Analog Electronics I- 180 hours
ELGT – 1230 Tester Projects – 12 hours
ELGT – 1240 Digital Electronics I – 36 hours
ELGT – 1250 Electronics Competency Review II – 12 hours
ELGT – 1260 Computer Concepts – 90 hours
ELGT – 1270 Electronics Troubleshooting – 42 hours
TOTAL – 864 hours
3. Electronic Repairer Technician Apprentice (Diploma Award)
All requirements of Electronics Tester have been completed (864 hours)
ELGT-1310 Professional Development -18 hours
ELGT – 1320 Digital Electronics -164 hours
ELGT – 1330 Technicians Projects -48 hours
ELGT -1340 Electronics Competency Reviews -52 hours
ELGT – 1350 Introduction to Telecommunications -50 hours
ELGT – 1360 Copper Networks -50 hours
ELGT – 1370 Fiber Optics Networks -50 hours
TOTAL -1,296 hours
4. Electronics Engineering Technician Specialty in Green Technology (Diploma Award)
All requirements of Electronics Technician Apprentice have been completed (1,296 hours)
ELGT-1400 Electrical Principles Practices I -54 hours
ELGT -1410 Electrical Principles Practices II -54 hours
ELGT -1420 Print Reading / Electrical Systems -116 hours
ELGT -1430 Electrical Systems Based On NEC Code -162 hours
ELGT -1440 RESI Competency Review -46 hours
ELGT -1510 Introduction To Green Technology -50 hours
ELGT -1520 Solar Energy -80 hours
ELGT -1530 Fuel Cells -80 hours
ELGT – 1540 Wind Technology -80 hours
ELGT – 1550 Additional Green Technologies -60 hours
ELGT -1560 Green Competency Review -64 hours
ELGT -1570 Professional Development -18 hours
TOTAL HOURS -2,160 hours