SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE RECEIVES $900,000 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT TO EXPAND SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING PROGRAM SANFORD, Fla. (April 15, 2015) — Seminole State College of Florida will expand its Sustainable Engineering Certificate program with a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The three-year grant, known as “EMERGE – Establishing a Means for Effective Renewable/Green Energy,” will allow Seminole State to: Strengthen employability for graduates by embedding the certificate within programs in the School of Engineering, Design and Construction. Develop six new courses and provide new certifications in the areas of engineering technology, solar, construction, environmental science and automotive technology. Offer the courses and certifications to dual-enrolled students. Increase interest among non-science majors in sustainability and STEM areas. "Seminole State is working to meet the growing demand for professionals with knowledge, skills and experience in sustainable and renewable energy," said Jason Gaschel, interim associate dean of the Center for Engineering and Design. "Each year, more students are showing interest in programs that link engineering and environmental science. With the support of the National Science Foundation, we can help to increase enrollment in our program and also the employability of our students." Over the past three years, Seminole State has received $5.3 million in federal funding for STEM programs, including: A $2 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2014. A $1.5 million grant in 2013 to increase minority STEM enrollment through the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Baccalaureate Alliances grant. A $900,000 NSF grant to create dual enrollment programs for engineering, construction and design in 2012. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the United States added 625,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector in 2013. By the end of 2015, the solar industry will hire 36,000 employees, according to the nonprofit Solar Foundation – representing 86 percent employment growth since 2010. Florida ranks No. 7 in the nation for solar employment, with 4,000 jobs. Seminole State’s Sustainable Engineering Certificate Program, established in August 2013, aims to prepare students for such careers by exposing them to emerging technologies in engineering, design and construction. In the 18-credit-hour program, students explore sustainability, alternative energy and environmental policy through hands-on labs led by faculty with extensive experience.
April 22, 2015