First-of-a-Kind Algal-based College Certificate Program Sends Off First Graduates

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In New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO)-funded Algae Technology Educational Consortium (ATEC) graduated its first students from the algal certificate program at Santa Fe Community College.

These first ATEC graduates received their Associate Applied Science Degree in Controlled Environment Agriculture with a certificate in Algae Cultivation. This program was conceptualized and designed by ATEC members including professors, algal commercial leaders, community college instructors, and the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

The ATEC curriculum was designed with inputs from America’s leading algal companies to include education and training in specific job skills, thus allowing students’ skills to transfer immediately into professional careers. Better prepared and skilled employees decrease employer operational costs while supporting the renewable energy sector and the U.S. bioeconomy.

BETOThe ATEC curriculum, including eight new classes, is now expanding beyond the original two schools to include committed community colleges in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Texas.