Energy Science, Technology and Policy (ESTeP)
With support from a grant from the National Science Foundation, we announce the establishment of a multidisciplinary, multi-campus minor - with a unique regional public-private four year college and community college partnership - in energy science, technology and policy. Preparing students to master the many facets of an industry that is constantly changing requires more than a prescribed set of skills. For students to analyze energy policy decisions, follow the dynamics of various energy markets, or understand how to use and manage emergent energy technologies, the smart grid and future infrastructure systems, they will need a multidisciplinary education supported by a diverse set of perspectives, including practical experiences and multidisciplinary approaches. The Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, through the “Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (TUES)” program, has recognized this need and awarded the team from the Long Island Alternative Energy Consortium (LIAEC) a $250,000 two year implantation grant to establish the program. The LIAEC is a public/private collaboration of academic institutions (two community colleges, two four-year technical colleges, a four-year liberal arts college, a private Masters Comprehensive Institution and one public Ph.D.-granting research university) dedicated to strengthening careers in the energy field by developing and increasing access to related academic programs and job opportunities.
The ESTeP program will both provide appropriate guidance within the format of a well-structured academic curriculum and emphasize the participation of students in appropriate internship and research courses. Hence the program not only fulfills workforce and education needs for energy curricula, but will also enhance STEM learning for all students. The program will also focus on the enhancement of participation of students from underrepresented populations and non-traditional students, including veterans and those currently in the workforce seeking new skills and knowledge.
The new minor includes features designed to enhance STEM learning across majors and demographic groups, including a dedicated advisor to assist students in course selection and aid in tracking of students and graduates, universal introductory courses with on-line content to assimilate students into the program and provide a background in scientific, technical and policy issues related to energy, an integrated internship program to provide access to opportunities with industry, laboratories and policy-making bodies, and a Program Advisory Board with participation from leading academics, SUNY administration, industrial associations and local and federal government.