Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 43.28
Liaison Adam Maurer
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

South Seattle College
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Adam Maurer
District Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Sustainable Building Science Technology

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In 2014, the college developed the first Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree focused on sustainable building science technology in Washington state- it is unique within the Pacific NW region and nationally as well. Since classes were first offered in fall of 2014, we have had 51 students in the degree and graduated 11 students so far. In addition, the sustainable building science technology department was awarded a National Science Foundation grant, Expanding Lifelong STEM Career Pathways in Sustainable Building Science Technology. Our grant work brings together education, industry, and community partners to develop the program and expand the pipeline with targeted recruiting.

Unique aspects to the program:

Industry Need
○ Construction of commercial and multi-family buildings is quite literally exploding in the Puget Sound area. The need for skilled technicians/managers who can manage and operate these buildings for maximum comfort and efficiency has never been greater. Prior to this degree, there were few options (if any) in this field for bachelor degrees in this area.
○ Industry developed the outcomes for the degree and continue to monitor and advise through the program’s Technical Advisory Board.
○ 9 credits of internship woven throughout the program.
○ Use of community buildings as learning labs for the students.

Bachelor’s of Applied Science at a Community College
○ The field of building science/building engineering has long had a cap on it in terms of field-specific education at the associate degree level, so many incumbent workers find themselves locked out of higher positions due to a lack of a bachelor’s degree. Many of our students have expressed being in this position and are now breaking through that ceiling in new positions and promotions in the field.
○ 2+2 degree, articulating with 13 different associate-level programs and 2 master-level programs.
○ Good value - a bachelor’s program at a community college rate.
○ Providing a bachelor’s level option for those populations more community-bound.

Program Delivery
○ Appeals to a wide range of diverse students with an innovative, hybrid schedule accessible to working professionals and those in need of alternative schedules.
○ Institutionalized use of prior-learning assessment for credit.
○ Integrated delivery - projects and assignments often span multiple classes, increasing synthesis of concepts/applications and efficiency of workload.

This program is advancing knowledge in two ways. First, it is enabling the development of a curriculum that is one of the first of its kind in the country. Specifically, it is incorporating emerging scientific, policy, technical, and managerial skills required of operators of sustainable buildings in the coming years. This program also includes innovative components, for example, a course that teaches students how to benchmark building energy use and use that skill to inform building maintenance schedules and upgrades. Second, the program brings together several cutting-edge pedagogical and student services strategies to ensure that the diverse populations targeted for this program graduate. These strategies include the use of competency-based instruction as well as an early warning system to identify students at risk of attrition, coupled with intrusive advising to ensure they get the services they need.

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.