Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) has been powering up its innovative Energy Services and Technology (EST) program, designed to prepare students for employment in the growing field of sustainable energy.
EST integrates instruction in the installation and design of high-efficiency and renewable plumbing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and prepares students to take state licensing exams in energy services as well as national industry certification exams. KVCC’s Energy Center, where students engage in hands-on learning, is one of the most advanced energy training facilities in the Northeast.
A grant from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has helped the college incorporate problem-based learning (PBL) into its curricula.
The ATE grant supported professional development for KVCC’ s technical, math and science faculty to learn how to develop and implement PBL strategies through workshops and consultation provided by the New England Board of Higher Education’s professional and resource development team led by Fenna Hanes. NEBHE’s PBL materials are available for free online.
KVCC, located in Fairfield, Maine, and one of only a few New England colleges with an EST program, offers its program under NEBHE’s Regional Student Program, Tuition Break, to residents of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Similar programs, also available through Tuition Break, are offered by Mount Wachusett Community College in Massachusetts and Lakes Region Community College in New Hampshire.