Lakeshore Technical College (WI) (LTC), located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Cleveland, Wisconsin, is providing students the skills needed to be successful in emerging and specific regional energy careers. With strong statewide college system collaboration, key employer relationships, and a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Labor (DOL), LTC has developed some key degree and certificate programs that directly link to flourishing campus sustainability activities.
LTC is the first college in Wisconsin to offer wind technology courses, initiated in 2005. While the state is not necessarily a leader in wind generation, LTC has formed enough industry partnerships to continue to place students in good jobs throughout the U.S. The May 2011 class consisted of fifteen students who received jobs at Avanti Wind Systems (Milwaukee), Renew Energy Maintenance (South Dakota), and the General Electric Company (Minnesota and Indiana). The state-approved Associate Degree in Wind Energy Technology was spurred by the erection of a wind turbine in 2004 designed to not only offset the campus’ energy consumption, but also provide hands-on learning to students in the program and provide experience and skills needed to excel in the field.
With grant support from DOE, LTC headed up a statewide college and business collaboration to promote wind energy careers, strengthen industry related partnerships, improve curriculum, and increase the number of technician graduates by aligning base knowledge course outcomes so that participants may access and be successful in the LTC wind core curriculum. High school outreach and industry partner development is ongoing and the Wind Energy Technology curriculum continues to evolve through collaboration with approximately 30 regional industry partners who serve as an Advisory Committee.
Lakeshore Technical College’s energy program goes beyond wind through other regional energy-related partnerships. The Nuclear Technology program was resurrected in 2008 in response to the growing industry concern of worker retirements. LTC is the only technical college in Wisconsin that offers this program and is in the process of realigning its curriculum with national standards set by the nuclear industry through the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program (NUCP) and through partnerships with the area’s two power plants.
LTC is also about to introduce its one-year Horticulture Program, preparing students for a fast-growing industry across Wisconsin. The program will be based at LTC’s new Environmental Campus — a small farm property located across the street from the Cleveland Campus. The Environmental Campus will provide a real laboratory setting to train people on how to incorporate sustainable practices and technologies into their homes, landscapes, agriculture, and lives.
Lakeshore Technical College is implementing other sustainability efforts on campus that showcase to students and employers that they are serious about embracing a green economy. In response to an assessment that showed nearly 80 percent of LTC’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the commuter traffic to and from the campus, the college implemented an innovative car pool campaign called “Cool to Pool.” This program encourages students, faculty and staff to share rides, reduce the impact on the environment and reduce fuel and maintenance costs.
Since reimplementation in September 2010, student membership in the “It’s Cool to Pool” carpool program has grown by more than 400 percent with a total of 157 registered students; staff participation has increased 86 percent to a total of 31 staff members as of May 2011. In an effort to expand its campus as a living laboratory for students, LTC has deployed technologies like energy-efficient lights, timers, motion sensors, LED parking lot lights, solar light tubes, energy-efficient boilers and chillers, and a solar thermal system for water heaters to help conserve energy used on campus.
To learn more about these programs and Lakeshore Technical College, please visit the following links:
Lakeshore Technical College (LTC)
LTC Wind Energy Technology Associate Degree Program
LTC Nuclear Technology Associate Degree
LTC Horticulture Technician Technical Diploma
LTC Student Carpool Network
Dean, Energy Education Center
Michelle Seppala Gibbs
Next Generation Energy Coordinator