Building on the success of a single course first offered this fall, St. Petersburg College is launching an Office of Sustainability to prepare students for careers that are so new they're still on the drawing board.
The two-pronged effort will also strive to minimize the college's impact on the environment.
Among the initiatives: adding instruction in "green lodging" to the college's hospitality program, emphasizing sustainability in the parks and leisure services program, and introducing water conservation to the management technology program.
Additionally, architectural design and construction technology students will learn sustainable construction practices. The college of technology and management will offer a sustainability and green management track as part of the bachelor's degree in management and organizational leadership.
And school officials will continue to develop an environmental science technology program with tracks in water, energy and sustainability.
"It is our intention to become a leader of the sustainability movement inside the classroom, throughout the college and within the community," said Jason Green, the college's new sustainability coordinator.
In August, SPC announced it would offer a new course, Sustainability Systems, Design and Development, as an online class and in a classroom at the Seminole campus. The course covers the environmental impact of corporations and other issues in sustainability — defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" — from a local, national and global perspective.
SPC recently announced an agreement with the U.S. Green Building Council to provide Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design examination training that will distinguish graduates as professionals with a thorough understanding of green building principles and practices.
Other environmental efforts aimed at minimizing the effects of global warming include construction of two LEED-certified buildings: a student services building on the St. Petersburg-Gibbs campus and a natural science and math building on the Clearwater campus.
In fall 2009, the school's College of Technology and Management will begin offering a bachelor's degree in sustainability management. The program will focus on sustainable business strategies, legal aspects of sustainability, and sustainability in built and natural environments.