Bioenergy/sustainable tech certificate available
Using a U.S. Department of Agriculture Higher Education Challenge grant, universities came together in 2009 to begin creating the certificate program through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). Faculty taught the first classes in the fall of 2011.
Core courses are conversion overview, bioenergy feedstock production, and bioenergy economics and sustainability. Students can take all three core courses for nine credit hours and then select six credit hours of electives from among the courses offered about conversion, feedstocks or sustainability.
Students interested in conversion can choose from thermochemical conversion, biochemical engineering, bioseparations, or fundamentals of bioprocessing. Those interested in feedstocks choose courses in soil and water quality and crop modeling. Those interested in sustainability choose a sustainability seminar or courses in life cycle analysis, bioenergy and resource economics, community and natural resources, risk assessment, or feasibility and commercialization.
The tuition for certificate courses is a common price at all four institutions, currently $485 per credit. Students in the program select one of the partner universities as a home university.
The home university for the student is the venue to be admitted to the program, enroll in the courses, get advisor help, access technology and library support and be granted the certificate. The alliance of the four institutions allows students to capitalize on academic expertise of multiple universities.
To pursue information about the Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology graduate certificate, see details at “Programs” under AG*IDEA, at the Great Plains IDEA website,www.gpidea.org.