8-13-12: GEF Institute’s Green Building Education Prepares Career Tech (CTE) Students for Green Jobs

Institute’s Green Construction Course Adopted for New Jersey’s Green Program of Study

August 13, 2012 – GEF Institute’s blended learning curriculum educates high school students on green building attributes and benefits, providing them with the educational resources necessary to understand, identify, and improve environmental inefficiencies within their own school building. By adopting this curriculum in their Green Program of Study, New Jersey is proving to be a strong leader in implementing sustainability education and green building programs in classrooms across the state.

New Jersey’s Green Program of Study for Sustainable Design, Construction, and Energy is a career and technical education (CTE) program developed by multiple statewide partners to ensure graduates have the 21st Century skills necessary to succeed in the emerging green economy. In September of 2012, six districts in New Jersey will be launching the Institute’s Green Building Course as a foundational component of the Green Program of Study, applicable to all three pathways. The program will be rolled out to additional school districts in future years.

“GEF Institute’s Green Building curriculum is a great fit with our goal of developing a strong understanding of science and sustainability as a fundamental component of career and technical education programs in design, construction and energy. Our teachers are extremely enthusiastic about using the GEF materials in their classes this year,” said Judy Savage, executive director of the NJ Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools and project director for the development of the Green Program of Study.

Victoria Waters, CEO at Green Education Foundation (GEF), is pleased that the Institute’s curriculum is playing such an important role in preparing students for success in the green economy: “Our Green Building curriculum is of outstanding quality and is well matched to the needs and expectations of CTE classrooms. We look forward to watching the growth and success of the students in New Jersey, and in other participating states, over the course of the next few years and beyond.”

The Institute’s Green Building Course is made possible thanks to generous funding from American Standard, headquartered in Piscataway, New Jersey. “American Standard is proud to support the schools in our home state of New Jersey with green building curriculum as they continue to lead the charge in sustainability education and green jobs training. As a New Jersey employer, we are delighted to raise the standard on educating our future generation of sustainable-focused professionals,” commented Jay Gould, CEO of American Standard.

GEF Institute’s Green Building curriculum is aligned with National Science Education and Teaching standards and focuses on developing important STEM skills. The curriculum is a collection of education material packaged and ready for classroom-based instruction and supplemented by the Institute’s digital learning platform. Course format varies and offers a blended learning opportunity based on sound pedagogy and layout. In addition to downloadable content and teaching material, the course includes online learning tools, such as engaging reading sections, assessments, embedded videos, and comprehensive learning activities.

Both teachers and their students enroll through www.GEFInstitute.org and are offered different access levels, respectively. For example, teachers are given special access to course supplements, such as pacing guides, presentation slides, handouts, and transparencies. The delivery function of course content is modeled on a “streaming” approach. Course participants, with the exception of teachers, will not actually receive (download) content files. Instead, they will view (or stream) content files which are kept on GEF servers. PDFs of the reading sections will be available to teachers in order to print selected chapters, lessons, handouts, etc. Course materials can be reserved today by schools nationwide and materials will be available beginning September 1st, 2012.

The capstone project for those opting for a semester or year-long course is a school-wide audit in which students make recommendations for effective changes necessary to upgrade interiors, energy and water systems, and site and landscapes to accommodate for green efficiencies. Students will be instructed to prioritize areas for enhanced efficiencies and recommend improvements based upon the greatest need/ROI. Students will research how and where to request funding (from government sources, etc.) to help offset costs of upgrades. The course and accompanying audits are aligned with U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) guidelines for what constitutes green building construction according to their LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system.

In its effort to prepare educators to teach sustainability in the classroom GEF Institute also offers online sustainability courses, including K-12 Sustainability Education Strategies. Find more information about GEF Institute’s offerings at www.GEFInstitute.org.

###

About GEF Institute

GEF Institute, a division of Green Education Foundation (GEF), was established to meet the increasing market demand for sustainability focused education and training. The Institute builds on GEF's expertise in K-12 sustainability education and STEM concepts by offering affordable online courses in sustainability to educators, students at the high school and undergraduate level, employees and professionals. In addition to individual online courses, the Institute’s robust certificate program distinguishes those with a proven comprehensive understanding of important sustainability topics. The Institute's courses are eligible for professional development or academic credit. www.gefinstitute.org 

About American Standard Brands

American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. For more information, visit www.americanstandard.com.