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Santa Monica College|Academic Programs|Earth Science|Sustainable Technologies Program

Sustainable Technologies Program

EE3 Flyer-Spring2016-FK.pdf

The goal of this program is to provide high-quality training that will enable students to obtain desirable employment in the green collar economy. The program is ideal for those individuals that desire to:

  • work in the green jobs sector
  • support themselves while seeking a higher education degree
  • make a career change
  • obtain advancement in their current job
  • transfer into a major related to the environment (Geography, Geology, etc.)

Three certificates are available. Fee information available here​.

·        Solar Photovoltaic Installation

·        Energy Efficiency

·        Recycling & Resource Management

SMC students performing a public installation at the Dept. of Energy's Sunshot Conference.

Solar Photovoltaic Installation (PV) Certificate

The Solar Photovoltaic Installation Certificate is designed to provide students the skills necessary to place and advance in the solar energy industry.  It is also designed to provide students with a holistic perspective on the role of solar power in a changing global economy and climate.  


  1. Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the introductory scientific and environmental concepts by applying alternative energy solutions, focusing on solar photovoltaic systems.

  2. Students will be able to solve photovoltaic installation and design challenges, using their understanding of solar photovoltaic and thermal systems.

  3. Students will describe environmental, economic, and social benefits of solar photovoltaic systems as well as political and regulatory infrastructure that affect photovoltaic system installation.

  4. Students will remain current on advanced concepts in solar photovoltaic installation, troubleshooting, net metering laws, local codes, and National Electrical Code (NEC) PV requirements. Successful participants will be qualified to take the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Installer Entry Level exam. 


  • Entry level solar installer
  • Solar design positions
  • Solar sales professionals
  •  Entrepreneurial opportunities


Departmental Certificate – 12 units

State-approved, Certificate of Achievement –19 units

PV 1: Intro to Solar Energy Systems - 3 units

PV 2: Intermediate PV System Installation - 3 units

EE 1:  Intro to Energy Efficiency - 3 units

EE 2: Residential Building Science - 3 units

PV 1: Intro to Solar Energy Systems - 3 units

PV 2: Intermediate PV System Installation - 3 units

PV 3: Advanced Solar Photovoltaic Systems 4 units

EE 1:  Intro to Energy Efficiency - 3 units


One of these four (3 units each):


Geo 7/Enviro 7: Introduction to Environmental Studies

Pol Sc 22 / Env 22: Environmental Politics

Psych 40 / Env 40: Environmental Psychology

Philo 20 / Env 20: Environmental Ethics


And one of these two (3 units each):


INTARC 35: Computer-Aided Design and Drafting

GIS 20/CIS 20/GEO 20: Intro to GIS


Energy Efficiency (EE) Certificate

This certificate is designed to provide formal training in the Energy Services field. Students will learn to provide analyses and recommendations to help suggest energy efficiency upgrades including alternative energy sources, and unconventional lighting, cooling, space heating, and resource management procedures.


  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of basic safety and health concerns in building management activities;

  2. Students will perform analysis of residences and businesses starting with utility bills and focusing on reducing energy usage;

  3. Students will suggest efficiency measures and estimate energy consumption in electrical, mechanical, and heat energy units; and

  4. Students will make recommendations for alternative energy production and storage methods to reduce utility costs and provide sustainable substitutes to fossil fuel energy use and non-renewable resource use.


  • Energy efficiency auditor
  • Energy specialist
  • Energy Efficiency Rater (HERS)
  • Building Analyst   


Departmental Certificate – 13 units

EE 1:  Intro to Energy Efficiency - 3 units

EE 2: Residential Building Science - 3 units

EE 3: Commercial Building Science - 4 units

​​PV 3: Adv. Solar Photovoltaic Systems - 3 units


SMC Students conducting a waste audit at a school


As more cities and businesses develop sustainability and zero-waste policies, there is an increased need for trained staff that can properly manage organizational resources and initiate programs. The Recycling and Resource Management Certificate provides the practical skills and theoretical frameworks to help individuals, communities, and businesses reduce their waste, save money, and operate more efficiently. Whether you are interested in a new career in the green jobs sector or just want to bring an environmental competitive edge to a traditional position, such as marketing or facilities management, this program will give you the formal training.



  1. Students will identify how Zero Waste principles can be a key part of community and business sustainability plans and help contribute to reducing greenhouse gases which affect global climate change.

  2. Students will identify key government agencies and policies and how to collaborate and obtain funding for outreach. Environmental educational skills, programs, and methods will be reviewed.

  3. Students will have the tools to design and develop community plans to eliminate waste and use resources efficiently through examining resource management and recovery in communities.

  4. Students will recognize and identify sustainable practices and resource management principles to provide implementation of those principles for businesses to work towards Zero Waste.

  5. Students will assess how companies have resolved issues that arise in implementing successful waste diversion and resource recovery programs.  


  •  Recycling coordinator
  •  Sustainability coordinator
  •   Waste hauler sales rep, outreach rep
  •    Zero-waste events specialist


Departmental Certificate – 12 units

State-approved, Certificate of Achievement –18 units

RRM 1: Intro to Recycling & Resource Mgmt - 3 units

RRM 2: The Culture of Zero Waste - 3 units

RRM 3: Zero Waste for Communities - 3 units

RRM 4: Zero Waste for Businesses - 3 units

RRM 1: Intro to Recycling & Resource Mgmt - 3 units

RRM 2: The Culture of Zero Waste - 3 units

RRM 3: Zero Waste for Communities - 3 units

RRM 4: Zero Waste for Businesses - 3 units


And two of these:


Geo 7/Enviro 7: Intro to Environmental Studies - 3 units

Pol Sc 22 / Env 22: Environmental Politics - 3 units

Psych 40 / Env 40: Environmental Psychology - 3 units

Philo 20 / Env 20: Environmental Ethics - 3 units

BIO 9 - 3 units

[COUN 16 & COUN 90B] - 3 units

COUN 90C - 3 units


Graduates of the RRM program


Departmental Certificates in PV, EE and RRM require 12 to 13 units per program and can often be achieved in one semester. Students can go on to pursue Certificates of Achievement which are approved at the State level and WILL appear on your transcript. These require completion of 18 or 19 total units. Transfer students who wish to (also) qualify for an Associates degree should select either the Liberal Arts or General Science major.  Additional graduation requirements for the Associates degree from Santa Monica College are listed in the Academics section of the catalog as well as online (

Pre-requisites and Financial Assistance

These three programs have minimal pre-requisite requirements and students are often eligible for tuition and fees to be paid by third parties (Veterans, Employer Training, and Financial Aid). Transfer-oriented students should check classes against their transfer requirements, as not all career-technical credits are transferable. If possible consider taking these with your electives as these classes help you develop the skills employers will be looking for after graduation.

Qualified applicants may apply for need-based assistance through our financial aid office .


Full-Time Faculty:

Stuart Cooley - PV & EE

Part-Time Faculty:

Joel Cesare - EE
Edward Ruiz  - PV
Victoria Charles -RRM
Jon Michael Huls -RRM
Samuel Sasu -RRM
Stephanie Speights -RRM 

Program Support:
Ferris Kawar - Sustainability Project Manager





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