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Academic Instruction and Business Solutions Training

Sustainability Goal

Infuse sustainability literacy throughout the curriculum and develop programming to meet the needs of the new green workforce.

Latest Achievements

Gateway has developed an extensive roster of programs to help prepare students for careers in the new and growing green economy.

Center for Sustainable Living. The Center for Sustainable Living provides an environmentally conscious place for project-based, interdisciplinary learning.

Green career education programs

Gateway has taken a leadership position in preparing students for careers in geothermal heating, wind power, sustainable energy systems, and fresh water resources. In two cases, that training will be shared across the nation through training of trainers and national curriculum development.

Sustainable energy systems. A part of Gateway’s Electrical Engineering Technology program, this offering trains students in the design and maintenance of sustainable energy equipment and systems.

Fresh water resources. Gateway launched the state’s first Civil Engineering Technology – Fresh Water Engineering Technology associate degree program to train water-quality technicians to perform field work and office duties.

Interior design. The college’s two-year Interior Design associate degree program allows students to procure a certificate in Sustainable Design. The certificate includes a course in Sustainable Materials and Finishes and a practicum at the Center for Sustainable Living where students create a design for a space in the center and put the design in place.

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology. With newly renovated labs, Gateway's partnership with Trane Corporation is allowing Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology (HVAC) students to learn about the latest technologies being introduced to the industry. In addition to standard equipment installation and repair education, students are learning about sustainable technology being introduced to the marketplace including LED lighting and energy efficient motors for freezers, as well as heat pumps and geoexchange applications.

Other sustainability programming

Principles of Sustainability. This course prepares students to:

  • Develop sustainable literacy
  • Analyze interconnections among the physical and biological sciences and environmental systems
  • Summarize the effects of sustainability on health and well-being
  • Analyze connections among social, economic and environmental systems
  • Employ energy conservation strategies to reduce the use of fossil fuels
  • Investigate alternative energy options
  • Evaluate options to current waste disposal and recycling
  • Analyze approaches used by their communities to promote and implement sustainability

Urban farming. An Urban Farming advanced technical certificate program equips students to intensively farm small plots and bring their crops to market profitably. It combines a farming curriculum with entrepreneurial training.

Sustainable cooking. Culinary Arts students grow and harvest their own herbs for use in the classroom and in the Racine Campus Commons training kitchens.

Plans for the Future

Green certification for faculty. Training will be created to help develop to a cast of Green-Certified Specialists or Green Team trainers at Gateway. This certification training will help further incorporate green thinking and sustainability into all programs and throughout the district. The Green Specialist Certificate Series includes six workshops titled Dumpster Dive, Energy Management, Green Chemistry, H2O Conserve, Pollution Solutions, and Sustainability into Practice.

Center for Sustainable Living. An energy knowledge center will be developed to address geothermal heating and cooling, insulation, energy-efficient windows, and efficient lighting.

Other sustainability initiatives in academic and training areas will include:

  • Developing a survey to identify college faculty members who are incorporating sustainability concepts into their curricula; sponsoring workshops to help those instructor implement their plans and to help others introduce sustainability components to their courses.
  • Working with WEDD (now known as Business and Workforce Solutions-BWS) to develop additional training and certificate programs for business and industry in the community on green careers, as appropriate and as market demands emerge.