Rock Valley College earns Green Academy Accreditation

Staff Report

GREENCASTLE, Indiana — ETA International’s Green Academy is a collaborative effort for both schools that are approved to utilize ETA Renewable Energy certifications and industry partners who offer hands-on training internships and are looking to hire student graduates of a renewable energy program.

ETA International President Teresa Maher, CSS, said: “ETA is proud to approve Rock Valley College’s Sustainable Energy Systems course for the ETA Green Academy and Renewable Energy System Integrators certification. This ‘Green Academy’ recognition shows which schools have completed the full circle — students, training, certification and jobs.”

It is important for students to receive hands-on training and what better way to do that than by creating partnerships with local businesses? Students are able to receive the necessary hands-on training through internships and also receive ETA certification.

Rock Valley College and Freedom Field Renewable Energy have entered into a relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding. Freedom Field supports Sustainable Energy Internships (which are required for graduation), positions for student technicians and provides funding and oversight for capstone projects (which are also required for graduation). Freedom Field has a range of sustainable energy projects such as LED lighting, horizontal axis and vertical axis wind turbines, photovoltaic roof-top system, ground-mount and pole-mount photovoltaic systems, green roof instrumentation, solar thermal projects, and micro hydro. These projects help students understand project management, parts ordering, working in teams and project deliverables.

The Green Academy program will help to bridge the gap between course completion and employment,” said Maher. “A person who has just completed the Green Academy program will have a level of confidence during a job interview that comes with real world contact, training and experiences.”

The Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree at Rock Valley College has been designed to produce Renewable Energy System Integrators who possess not only a broad understanding of renewable energy systems, but also possess a working knowledge of electronics devices, circuits and systems. Students study applied mathematics, applied physics, basic chemistry, and written as well as oral communication. Students are required to take an internship and work in a team in the design and fabrication of a renewable energy capstone project.

Schools and facilities that wish to become part of ETA’s Green Academy must have at least one training program approved by ETA to teach a Level One certification in one of the ETA Renewable Energy disciplines (photovoltaic, small wind, commercial wind and electric vehicle). The school must also have an agreement with an employer to provide part or all of its students with either an internship or an externship. For a specific list of qualifications visit,

ETA International’s Renewable Energy certifications are intended to be the most comprehensive programs available today. They involve a hands-on training component that other certification providers do not require. ETA is accredited and its programs align with the ISO-17024 standards.

To learn more about ETA’s Renewable Energy Program or to apply to become a Green Academy, visit or call (800) 288-3824. Or, visit the ETA exhibit at the Northern Illinois Renewable Energy Summit and Expo Oct. 9 and 10.

Since 1978, ETA has issued more than 150,000 professional certifications that are recognized and frequently used in worker job selection, hiring processes, pay increases and advancements, and are often required as companies bid on contracts. ETA certifications are accredited through the International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC) and align with the ISO-17024 standard. ETA’s certifications are personal and travel with the individual, regardless of employment or status change and measure competencies of people, not products or vendors.

Posted Oct. 7, 2014

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