How Community Colleges are Cutting Costs with New Resources

Learn about how community colleges across the nation are reducing their campus costs by incorporating eco-friendly and green technologies.
To mitigate the soaring costs of a college education, schools are striving to dramatically cut back on expenses in order to provide more affordable tuition for students. Fortunately, although educational costs are on the rise, new technologies are serving to fight back the expenses! 
 
With an array of new tools and resources that can help lower a school’s energy and maintenance costs, community colleges across the country are embracing newer and revolutionary methods on their campuses. 
 
How Green Technologies are Cutting the Costs of Community College
 
One of the fundamental ways in which schools are striving to save dollars on the costs of community college operations is through the implementation of solar energy. Specifically, as evident at North Shore Community College, located in Lynn, Massachusetts, leaders are installing new solar panels on the roof of one of its prominent campus building. With this innovative installation, these solar panels will help produce 3 percent of the school’s entire energy needs. Ultimately, this energy production will equate to approximately 74,726 kW each year! With both federal and state-funded support, North Shore is optimistic that their solar panels will help to cut costs and ecological wastes for all students on campus. 
 
In addition to specifically implementing solar energy plans, many schools are striving to create a more holistic approach to going green to save money. For example, according to Green California Community College Summit, leaders are creating informative programs and seminars to teach community college students and faculty about the benefits of going green. Through interactive sessions, the summit focuses on teaching community college members the techniques for gaining funds for energy efficient programs and resources.
 
For example, one of the sessions focuses on topics such as:
  • The Savings from a Green Campus
  • Rebates and Green Incentives
  • Green Bonds for Raising and Spending Money for Green Projects
  • Campuses and Energy Production Overview
  • Green Costs and Misconceptions
Building on the Green California and North Shore initiatives, Clackamas Community College, located in Oregon City, Oregon, is also boosting its green efforts to help students and the school save money. With their unique “Sustainability Project,” Clackamas is seeking to teach school leaders and students the many economic and environmental benefits of conservation, efficiency, and long-term eco-focused planning. As Clackamas leaders assert, the many plans “associated with sustainability not only can save people money, but help them feel better about the world we’re leaving our descendants.”
 
Federal Support: Green Plans and Green Dollars
 
Not only are community colleges eager to implement new green technologies to save the program costs at their own campuses, but leaders are also motivated to experiment with new technologies due to the many federally endorsed incentives. For example, as Community College Week explains, President Obama has implemented the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will invest approximately $80 billion in renewable energy and efficiency initiatives. According to Obama and his cabinet members, this initiative will help create between 500,000 to 1.7 million new jobs, as the new green initiatives will also help support alternative energy companies during the economic downturn. 
 
Additionally, among the many benefits of a new green-focus, community colleges should specifically benefit from these new plans. As Community College Week further expounds, “Perhaps more than any other field, the nation’s community colleges are leading the way when it comes to embracing green technologies. Colleges are both promoting environmental stewardship on campus and equipping students with the technical skills they’ll need to secure a lasting job in burgeoning green technologies.” 
 
Furthermore, over 600 community colleges and universities have agreed to sign a proposition known as the “American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment,” which formally pledges colleges to reduce their campus energy consumption while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With these benefits, the environment, schools, and students should all be able to enjoy the benefits of the new eco and wallet friendly changes

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GREEN CAREERS

Are you concerned about the environment? Do you want to help stem global warming and rainforest decimation? If so, a green career may be for you. Community colleges around the country are offering programs in sustainable energy, from solar panels to wind turbines. From biodiesel to energy storage, explore your green career options here.