Photovoltaics, Solar Heating Curriculum Developed by CNM Going Public
Students test out a solar heating panel in the Sustainable Technology Lab at the CNM Workforce Training Center.
“The course curriculum has now been formalized and packaged in a way we can share it,” said Andrea Sisneros-Wichman, program coordinator. “We are very excited about this new phase.”
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in 2012 CNM was awarded a $523,751 grant from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions to expand the college’s solar energy training efforts. The program, established as a Solar Center of Excellence at the Workforce Training Center, trained 267 participants, including people starting out in the renewable energy field and current workers in the field seeking to update their skills or obtain professional certifications.
The grant, which ends on May 31, 2013, included both curriculum development and free classes offered to qualified participants. Among the non-credit courses developed through the program were “Into to Electricity,” “PV Academy,” “Solar Heating Academy,” “PV Academy – Train the Trainer,” “Solar Heating Academy – Train the Trainer” and “PV Operations and Maintenance.” Several of the courses were designed to prepare students to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP)-entry level exam and the more advanced NABCEP installer exam.
One condition of the grant is that the curriculum of the classes be made public. It is now available to trainers in community colleges in the southwest and to members of the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) to help fulfill a critical need for high-quality and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales, and inspection. It will also help standardize non-credit education certificate programs throughout the state of New Mexico and other community colleges. The curriculum will eventually be placed at the website WORKforce Training Center.
All of these courses will continue to be offered at the Workforce Training Center. For information please visit cnm.edu/wtc or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Praise for Curriculum
The PV curriculum that the Workforce Training Center developed through the Solar Center of Excellence grant is getting great praise. Program Coordinator Andrea Sisneros-Wichman, received the following email:
The curriculum that CNM has provided has really helped my program. When I first started here at DACC (Doña Ana Community College), we did not have a set curriculum for our solar PV or Thermal programs and because of the trainings and curriculum that CNM has provided, I now have a solid foundation on which to build my program. Without the curriculum and the training that was provided I would still be struggling to give my students a proper education. The CNM curriculum is a basic starting point for any program. It allows you to expand on what they have given you and tweak things as you need so you can meet the industry requirements in your area. The most valuable part in my opinion is the PowerPoint slides I would have taken me weeks to put together all of those slides. Now I can just expand them and change them to suit my teaching methods. I am very appreciative that CNM was so willing to share their curriculum with DACC.
Doña Ana Community College