Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Paul Smith’s College Clean Energy Certificate Approved by NYS Education Dept.

Paul Smith's College campus.

PAUL SMITHS, NY – The New York State Education Department recently approved Paul Smith’s College’s certificate in Clean Energy. The new 30-credit certificate trains and educates students in the rapidly growing fields of conservation and sustainable development, green construction, green business practices, conservation design, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

In preparation for careers in these sectors, students will be provided with a program of study that integrates the natural, social, and management sciences. The certificate is firmly rooted in the core principles experiential learning promoted at Paul Smith’s College, ensuring that students will not only develop the theoretical underpinning necessary for a successful career in this field, but will also have hands-on experience of the realities of managing resources sustainably. Courses include effective college writing, introduction to nature and culture, renewable energy, and conservation design: green communities. The Clean Energy Certificate could be completed in only two full-time semesters.

The new certificate will offer an academic/degree path for students who have already completed a workforce career program, such as Power52/Apex Technical School’s solar energy technician workforce certificate currently offered in New York City and Boston. Paul Smith’s College recently announced an agreement to award six college credits to graduates of the solar technician program. Those credits could be used towards completion of the new 30-credit Clean Energy Certificate. Power52 and Apex Technical School are affiliates of The Fedcap Group.

Rural colleges, like Paul Smith’s, often face geographic isolation, first-generation student populations, and limited diversity challenges. As a way to expand access to the program to a greater number of these communities, Paul Smith’s College will also offer the program online. In particular, Paul Smith’s faculty will teach remotely at the college to students using classroom space at Apex Technical School in New York City. In addition, the college will work with regional high school seniors in advanced education tracks, Olympic athletes needing non-traditional education delivery, alumni seeking to switch or enhance career opportunities, and veterans.

“In keeping with Paul Smith’s College’s tradition of hands-on, career-focused education our new Clean Energy certificate will prepare students for careers in green construction and renewable energy—major growth areas of employment in our region and beyond,” said Dan Kelting, Interim President at Paul Smith’s College.“Our partners, Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute and Apex Technical School, have developed an in-demand training program for solar panel installation in New York City and Boston and by connecting our 30-credit certificate to their program—as well as offering it online—will provide a steady pipeline of students for Paul Smith’s College.”

Special thanks to Catherine Lalonde who oversaw the development and approval of the curriculum; faculty members, Kate Glenn and Vance Jackson who developed the certificate; and the college’s Curriculum Standards Committee, including Rebi Romeo and Eric Holmlund for a comprehensive review and approval of the certificate.


Learn more about Paul Smith’s College at »


Photo at top: Paul Smith’s College campus. Paul Smith’s College website photo.


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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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