Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
PAE-21: Sustainability in Continuing Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.00 / 7.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
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Does the institution offer continuing education courses that are focused on or related to sustainability?:

Number of sustainability continuing education courses offered :

Total number of continuing education courses offered:

Does the institution have a sustainability-related certificate program through its continuing education or extension department?:

A brief description of the certificate program:

1. Continuing and Professional Education for Water Utility Owners, Managers, and Operators is a workshop series funded by the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water. A monthly broadcast related to waterworks operations is available at 15 sites around the state of Virginia for no cost to participants. This program provides a means for operators to obtain free training in order to keep their licensure current and meet DPOR continuing education standards. Topics vary by month, but are always a timely topic in the area of safe drinking water. Certificates are provided at each workshop for participants who successfully pass a short quiz related to the presentation. Please see http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cpewater/ for more details. Workshop topics for 2010-2011 include:
a. Introduction to Reactor Theory and Why CT is Trickier Than it Seems
b. Monitoring Pathogens in Drinking Water: Current Challenges
c. Translating Toxicity into Regulatory Limits

2. Sustainable Water Infrastructure Asset Management is an online non-credit program available for open enrollment at any time. Please see http://www.cpe.vt.edu/swim/ for more details. Certificates are awarded for each of the three parts in the program. Currently being developed, it will be a 3-course offering that includes:
a. The Fundamentals of Asset Management
b. Infrastructure Sustainability and Resiliency
c. Strengthening the Asset Reinvestment Decision

3. Water Treatment Plant Operators Short Courses and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Short Courses are annual programs to develop more qualified water operators. Participants learn about water or wastewater treatment and other relevant subject matter. Certificates are awarded based upon successful course completion. Please see http://www.cpe.vt.edu/wwplant/ for more details.

4. Establishing a Successful and Sustainable Waterworks: Revenues, Rates, and Funding is a grant-funded program through the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water. This course helps waterworks personnel understand and implement a business plan that allows for an analysis of needs, budget development, and capital improvements. Please see http://www.cpe.vt.edu/essw/ for more details.

5. Hands-On Training at a Full Scale Water Plant supplements information presented at the annual Water Treatment Plant Operators Short Courses by providing an opportunity for participants to fully understand treatment systems, operate their systems optimally, and provide safe drinking water. Please see http://www.cpe.vt.edu/handson/ for more details.

6. COTA EMS Institute: Virginia Tech established the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement (COTA) in 1994 to foster workforce best practices and innovation across professions and sectors—private, university, government, and nonprofit. COTA offers the EMS Institute, an environmental & sustainability management system that is based on ISO 14001 Environmental Standard. The system is a set of management processes and procedures that allow an organization to analyze, control and reduce the environmental impact of its activities, products and services and operate with greater efficiency and control. The EMS “unites sustainability initiatives with environmental solutions.” Virginia Tech is an EMS Local Resource Center endorsed by US EPA to assist public and private entities in using EMS to implement green initiatives and sustainable practices. Please see http://www.cota.vt.edu/ems/fta/ for more details.

7. Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners (VCE-MGs): VCE Master Gardeners are volunteers with the Extension dedicated to working with the community to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management educational programs. To become a VCE Master Gardener, individuals must attend at least 50 hours of classroom instruction and then contribute a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service conducting VCE horticulture-based, education programs. These initial 100 hours must be completed in one year. At the end of the year, they have earned the title of VCE Master Gardener. VCE-MGs who desire to remain active after completing their initial training and volunteer commitments are required to contribute at least 20 hours of volunteer service each year. Additionally, in order keep knowledge up-to-date, VCE-MGs must participate in at least 8 hours of re-certification training. Please see http://www.hort.vt.edu/mastergardener/ for more information.

Additional information regarding Continuing Education courses and programs is available at http://www.cpe.vt.edu/

Year the certificate program was created:

The website URL where information about sustainability in continuing education courses is available :

Due to limitations in entering the year the certificate programs were created, the following is a complete list of program creation dates:

1. The Continuing and Professional Education for Water Utility Owners, Managers, and Operators broadcast series has been in existence for roughly 10 years.

2. Sustainable Water Infrastructure Asset Management was launched in 2011.

3. Water Treatment Plant Operators Short Courses and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators Short Courses have been in existence for over 30 years.

4. Establishing a Successful and Sustainable Waterworks was created in 2006.

5. Hands-On Training at a Full Scale Water Plant was created in 2010.

6. COTA EMS Institute was created in 2002.

7. The VCE Master Gardener program was created in 1979.

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.