Ag-based Renewable Energy Center

The purpose of the Agriculture-based Renewable Energy Center (AREC) is to build a workforce development infrastructure to advance curricula, programs, and resources in this field. The project’s vision is to increase the number of rural students who pursue and complete a two-year postsecondary degree to strengthen their rural economy while helping meet the nation’s energy demands. The targeted audience for the AREC program is rural high school and post-secondary students and technicians, and the educators who train them.

Outcomes and products resulting from the program include:

  • A Defining Agriculture-based Renewable Energy Technologies and Services Occupational Report and accompanying chart
  • Updated and research-based renewable energy curricula in modular and online formats
  • 2+2+2 pathways model program
  • Clearinghouse of ag-based renewable energy materials for students, educators, and technicians
  • A professional development workshop for secondary and post-secondary educators
  • Regional professional development instructors’ conference sessions

The project’s intended impact includes an increased number of high school and community college educators who are better prepared to teach in the ag-based renewable energy field. The ultimate impact will be an increased number of rural students enrolling in ag-based renewable energy programs and working in ag-based renewable energy jobs.

AREC partners are the Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Hawkeye Community College, Iowa State University, and the Partnership for Environmental Technology Education.

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