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Santa Monica College Launches Solar Panel Installation Certificate Program

As environmental activism continues to gather interest among college students across the country, colleges are responding in kind with degree programs specializing in green-friendly pursuits. At Santa Monica College, it comes in the form of a new certification program being launched this Fall in the field of solar panel installation.

According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, the new 18-unit trade school program consists of three courses developed in part by Brian Hurd of Hands On Solar, Inc, a company dedicated to education in the field of solar technology and alternative energy. Each of the three successive courses delve further into "the essentials of photovoltaic panels and solar systems." Along with in-class lessons, each course will also have a lab component involving hands-on work -- actually getting in the trenches and installing solar panels.

This isn't the first environmental degree on the block, but it's certainly one of a different color. Many are related to theoretical science -- forestry and biology, or engineering degrees focusing on creating more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to harness alternative forms of energy. With this program, Santa Monica College makes a bid toward a new form of green-friendly leadership. Says Genevieve Bertone, sustainability coordination project manager at the college, "SMC really wants to be a leader in not just being a green college, but offering a really green curriculum."

The program is currently awaiting final approval from the education board. Following this approval, it shall begin enrolling its first round of students for this coming semester, so stay tuned.

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