The Independent Learner Energy Education Design (iLEED) project introduces a new method of career technical educational content delivery to the industry which enables energy efficiency education to be distributed to a wider geographic area.
In July of 2016, Lane Community College was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to fund an Independent Learner Energy Education Design (iLEED) project led by Energy/Water Education Programs Coordinator, Roger Ebbage.
Over the next 3 years, the $618,881 grant focuses on providing community college students with opportunities to learn about energy management through online classes, developing hands on skills with “real world” field projects and cultivating potential employment connections with Northwest public utilities mentors.
It supplies highly-qualified energy management technicians to our region’s commercial building sector, and provides access to high-wage, high-skill jobs to students in rural areas, or students who are not able to attend “traditional” classes. With this model of higher education/ industry partnership, energy management students will be served regardless of their geographic location, work-schedule, or family obligations. This opens opportunities to student demographics that are currently unavailable in current classes and absent within the energy industry.
iLEED is more than just generating online courses and or an online degree option.
The program is piloting a methodology for non-centrally located remote students to be able to accomplish technical hands on activities. These activities are guided by industry experts who can facilitate access to tools, mechanical equipment and or tactile experiences. Additionally, they provide an invaluable direct student-to-industry connection that cultivates immersion into the industry along with potential employment opportunities.
The program is motivated by:
- The high demand for energy management workforce by industry
- The need for a novel education method which will expand technical education to broader student populations,
- Lane Community College’s expertise in energy management programs and experience delivering quality programs outside the traditional campus environment.
"This is not just taking a program online, rather, we have the potential to revolutionize how career technical programs serve underserved populations. Utilizing proven online instructional methods and innovative partnerships, we expect to increase the Energy Management program’s enrollment and consequently that of Lane Community College."Energy/Water Education Programs Coordinator, Roger Ebbage.
The iLEED grant was awarded on July 1, 2016 and is funded for three years.