As the demand to “go green” seems to be growing in relevance in recent years, many community college students are implementing actions to promote environmental change and progress by creating clubs and organizations to improve their local environments. Adding to this, community college leaders have also created programs and courses to help educate students on the importance of nature-based learning through environmental studies.
Students at Lewis and Clark Community College have easy and convenient access to learning more about environmentally-friendly initiatives and actions, as LCCC has established a “Green Living Club” to teach students and members about the importance of living an eco-responsible lifestyle. As LCCC’s “Green Living Club” asserts, “The Green Living Club is dedicated to the education and promotion of a green, eco-friendly lifestyle on and off-campus. There are so many ways that individuals can help protect the planet.”
The club strives to inform students and local residents about significant and current environmental issues, while the club simultaneously strives to encourage people to live greener lifestyles by taking a hands-on part in improving the green-focus of LCCC’s campus.
In addition to an array of programs and courses, Suffolk Community College maintains its ecological focus by providing students and residents with a Nature Reserve. With miles of trails and preserve areas, individuals can explore the Nature Reserve to observe all of the wildlife species, trees, shrubs, and other flora fauna. Suffolk Community College initially purchased the Nature Reserve in 1974, and thereafter, the college taught classes and informational seminars on topics of environmental instruction. Students and residents can explore the Nature Reserve independently or through one of SCC’s courses or programs.
Students at DeAnza Community College can enhance their knowledge of environmental studies amidst greener academic buildings and classrooms at the DCC Kirsch Center. The Kirsch Center is an energy innovation for the campus, which was built in 2005. Considered to be the “next generation of educational innovation,” the Kirsch Center meets all LEED Silver certification requirements established by the United States Green Building Council, as the building allow students to work in “high-quality classrooms and labs, students can work in self-paced programs at special open study stations throughout the building.” The building includes solar panels, naturally lit areas, radiant heating, water conservation features, and many additional amenities and elements to enhance the energy efficiency of the building.
Adding to this, the Center is available for both students and interested public members to visit and tour, engaging all residents and individuals on the environmental lessons of the Kirsch Center and its focus. Yet for students, more specifically, the Kirsch Center provides DCC campus members with a Statewide Management Energy Program lab and classroom. According to DCC, this makes the Kirsch Center “A favorite location for policymakers, school officials, student groups, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and foreign visitors to visit and use for conferences on energy and environmental issues.” To engage in a program of environmental studies, students can choose from pathways in Environmental Stewardship, Biodiversity, Environmental Law & Pollution Prevention, and Energy Management and Climate Policy.
At Turtle Mountain Community College, students can enroll in the Associates of Science program with a concentration in Environmental Science. With courses in biology, chemistry, geology, and other focus areas, TMCC fosters a program to educate students on the core principles of science paired with an environmental focus. While the TMCC associates degree program may provide students with an array of jobs and employment opportunities, TMCC informs students that their Environmental Science courses may also align with a four-year environmental program with a corresponding and cooperating university. According to TMCC, “The curriculum areas are suggested as aids in program planning and may be modified by the student in order to meet specific requirements of the intended four-year program at a university.” Students can meet with TMCC advisors to discuss either associate-degree employment opportunities or to find out more about transfer opportunities with an Associates of Science degree as well.
From green buildings to green degrees, community colleges are paving the way for an eco-friendly tomorrow.
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