Adults looking to shift careers midway have new options in the rising green technology and services sector, and in the more traditional role of teacher, but you don’t have to take the standard path to either vocation.

Green Tech. With sustainability and green practices becoming the norm, colleges are beginning to offer more rounded programs for professionals of all sorts.

This fall Mercer County Community College, Burlington County College, and Raritan Valley Community College are introducing programs designed to advance the preparedness for green and sustainable careers.

While all three schools are introducing new non-credit programs and courses in sustainability and green management, Mercer also is introducing a credit certificate program in solar and energy technology. The first of its kind in the area, the 31-credit program offers students a foundation in construction, energy sources, energy auditing, and solar panel installation beginning on Monday, August 31, at the West Windsor campus.

According to the school, the program is designed for students with an interest in architectural building technology, as well as those already in the field who want to update their skills. The program also is aimed at as those studying or working in heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning.

The program is designed to develop a working knowledge of renewable energy systems, building construction systems, basic circuitry and electronic components. Hands-on training will focus on metalworking skills to fabricate electronic chassis and the application of energy auditing and weatherization processes to existing structures. Students will also develop skills in solar panel installation.

Program coordinator and Mercer architecture professor Garry Perryman says the school will be partnering with PSE&G for the energy utility technology program, and that the utility company “is eager to begin utilizing MCCC grads with this type of expertise.” For more information, E-mail or call 609-570-3357.

Mercer also is adding a non-credit certificate program to its curriculum at the Center for Continuing Studies: “Green Future Management,” a 70-hour program for architecture, engineering, real estate, government, nonprofit management, and sales professionals. This program begins with its prerequisite course, “Sustainability Fundamentals,” on Tuesday, September 15.

The program offers eight courses covering energy efficient design, indoor environmental quality, water efficient design, materials selection, sales, and marketing. Each course within the program is priced uniquely, and the courses run through January. Total cost for the program: $1,735. For more information visit or call 609-570-3311.

The courses are coordinated by Robert Wisniewski, who will also teach several of them. Wisniewski is a senior sustainable design technical consultant at MaGrann Associates in Moorestown, and a LEED certified instructor. Those who complete the certificate program will be prepared to take the exam for basic LEED certification.

At BCC’s Mount Holly and Willingboro campuses, architect Jason Kliwinski of the Trenton-based Spiezle Architectural Group will lead a 14-course program called “Creating a Culture of Sustainability.” Kicking off on Tuesday, September 15, with “Climate Change and Natural Resources,” the program offers its courses once a week, on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings. Each course is a one-time course costing $75. To register, visit or call 609-877-4520, ext. 3021.

Kliwinski, Spiezle’s director of sustainable design, earned his bachelor’s from NJIT in 1994. He also is the founder and president of Design4Life, an architecture and design studio focused on sustainability that is set to open soon in Lambertville.

With Spiezle, Kliwinski was responsible for the design and construction of the first LEED certifiable public schools in New Jersey and eight major LEED registered projects since. His career, he has said, is zeroed in on “striking the balance between economics, environmental stewardship, and energy efficiency in a world where greenhouse gas reduction has become the mantra. Architects should be leading this conversation.”

To that end, Kliwinski has drafted a non-certificate curriculum at BCC, which is offering the series for the first time. Following “Climate Change and Natural Resources” are courses on the climate impact of buildings, green building design, re-design, and characteristics, developing sustainable technologies, and creating green career paths.

Raritan Valley College is also offering a new set of courses in sustainability and green careers this fall. Beginning on Tuesday, September 15, with a free one-session course, “Green Collar Jobs,” RVCC hopes to ignite interest in and provide direction for people who want to translate their skills and interests into environmental jobs.

The school’s opening salvo will provide an overview of areas that are or are expected to soon be in high demand, such as water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, innovation, and design. This workshop will present the various exam tracks also associated with green technology careers.

“Developing a Sustainable Policy,” in which students learn the key principles of sustainability and what it means to the economy, the environment, and the well being of the community, follows for one session on Thursday, September 24. The course includes examining systems that promote long-term natural methods of sustainability; a look at how local decisions have global implications; and key characteristics in current policies and practices that do not adequately reflect sustainability. Fee: $99.

Beginning on Thursday, October 1, RVCC will present a twice-weekly LEED Certification exam review course that will review the concepts needed to pass the first two tiers of certification under the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Fee: $329.

On Monday, October 12, RVCC introduces a new green career course, “New Green Project Management for the 21st Century.” This three-session course, running October 12 through 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., presents primary reasons to undertake green projects, along with current and timely topics of green initiatives as they relate to project management. Fee: $179.

A second green careers course, “Energy Auditing,” takes place on Monday and Wednesday, October 26 and 28. Energy auditing is considered a steady growth sector for residential construction, designed to give homeowners, architects, and home builders the full benefit of various energy savings measures. Course fee: $119.

A related course, “Green Building Principles,” begins on Tuesday, October 27, and continues for six sessions every Tuesday and Thursday evening. In this course students learn about products and techniques that can make a home or business more productive and more efficient over its lifespan. Students review designing and planning, needs analysis, and lessons on building vs. remodeling. Fee: $389.

On Tuesday, November 3, RVCC offers a third professional-track course, “In-Home Energy Survey Professional.” This four-session course runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays through November 12. Fee: $179.

For more information on any RVCC courses, visit

Teaching.Teaching can be a noble profession but it can also be a confusing career path. In New Jersey there are two ways to become a teacher of kindergarten, elementary school, or high school — the traditional route, in which you earn a teaching certificate before ever entering a classroom as a teacher, and the alternative route, in which you can teach while you are earning a certificate.

On Wednesday, August 19, at 5:30 p.m. Mercer County Community College will host the first of three information sessions designed to showcase the alternate route.

Held in conjunction with New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey, a statewide cooperative between New Jersey City University and the state’s community colleges, the sessions are intended to point college graduates, new or in mid-career, toward an increasingly popular path toward a teaching career.

If you have a bachelor’s degree (with a minimum 2.75 GPA) and a Certificate of Eligibility from the state Department of Education, you can attend any of Mercer’s info sessions, which also are scheduled for September 16 and October 14, both Wednesdays, at 5:30 p.m. at Mercer’s West Windsor campus. For information, call 609-570-3311 or E-mail

If you like the idea of teaching, just not with kids, Mercer is introducing “How To Become an Adjunct Professor” on Monday, October 5. This one-session course, beginning at 8 p.m., costs $30 and aims to cultivate what is considered to be the future of college level teaching.

As colleges tighten their belts and reconfigure to meet the promises and strains of technology, many nationwide are forgoing tenured full-timers in favor of part-time professors who are experts in a given field or occupation.

For more information on this or any other MCCC continuing education courses visit

For current K-12 teachers looking to move into a more supervisory role, Trenton’s Thomas Edison State College is launching a new post-master’s certificate program in educational leadership this fall.

The 12-credit course, beginning anew every other month, starts in October, but registration for the October classes must be submitted by Saturday, August 15.

The next round begins in January, with registration necessary by November 15. Cost: $79 per credit ($5,748 total).

The course aims to prepare educators for the state’s supervisor endorsement requirement.

To be eligible for the certificate, candidates must already have a master’s degree, hold a standard New Jersey instructional or educational services certificate or its out-of-State equivalent, and have completed three years of successful, full-time teaching or educational services experience.

The program consists of courses in general principles of staff supervision and curriculum development for grades preschool through 12.

Applicants must have a minimum of three years teaching or educational services experience and currently be working in a K-12 setting.

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