Paul Smith’s College 30-Credit Clean Energy Certificate Approved by New York State Education Department

Dec 15, 2022 | News

Certificate Will Prepare Students for Well-Paying, High-Demand Jobs in Conservation and Sustainable Development, Green Construction, Green Business Practices, Conservation Design, and Renewable Energy

Certificate is Part of an Emerging Clean Energy Pathway with Partners Power52 Clean Energy Access Institute and Apex Technical School Offering Shorter Workforce Trainings Through College Degrees at Paul Smith’s

 Program Will Also be Offered Online, Generating Additional Enrollment Opportunities for Paul Smith’s College 

Recent Agreement to Award Graduates of Power52’s Solar Installation Workforce Training Program Six College Credits can be Used Towards New 30-Credit Clean Energy Certificate, Reducing Time and Cost for Graduates

PAUL SMITHS, NY – This week, the New York State Education Department 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.


At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. We are able to draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. Our community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals collectively provide experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for our alumni. We pride ourselves on research and advocacy on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at »



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