New wind energy courses offered

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Mesalands Community College will soon offer two internet courses on renewable energy to dual enrollment high school students across the state.

Tucumcari High students will have the opportunity to enroll in the Introduction to Renewable energy course this fall, said Donna Garcia, director of instructional services.

Garcia said the course is designed to give the student an overview of renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, biomass and wind energy.

“The course will introduce the students to the principals of and technology behind renewable energy,” Garcia said.

A second course, Fundamentals of Wind Energy, will be offered to the students in the spring of 2010, Garcia said.

“This program is specifically designed to explain the principals of wind energy,” Garcia said.

Garcia said 13 high schools in the state have dual enrollment programs through Mesalands.

“There are several schools that have contacted Mesalands with interest in signing a dual enrollment agreement with us because of these two new programs,” Garcia said.

Garcia said there is a large variety of curriculum available through the dual enrollment program, and schools pick what courses are made available to their student bodies.

Tucumcari Assistant Superintendent Dennis Roch is in charge of the dual enrollment program for Tucumcari Public Schools.

Roch will sign an agreement on Wednesday along with David Gallatin, Mesalands’ dean of instructional services. The agreement will add the two internet courses to the curriculum offered to the dual enrollment students at Tucumcari High School.

“This will give high school students the preliminary knowledge of the opportunities in the wind industry,” Gallatin said.

“It made perfect sense for us to partners with Meslands who has blazed a trail in renewable energy research,” Roch said.

Tucumcari public schools has had a long standing agreement to offer college classes to students pursuing degrees, Roch said.

“We wanted to extend the courses offered to our students to include courses to help prepare them for career readiness,” Roch said.

Roch said there is quite a bit of resources and grants available from the from the state, which encourages community and industry to look at renewable energy.

Roch said Mesalands is drawing students from across the country and around the world to participate in their wind energy program.

“These programs gives us a chance to develop our own local homegrown renewable energy experts,” Roch said.