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CCCC wins national Green Genome Award

Click to enlarge CCCC wins national Green Genome Award

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The American Association of Community Colleges' Sustainability Education and Economic Development ... (more)

Click to enlarge CCCC wins national Green Genome Award

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Hilary Heckler, manager of Central Carolina Community College's Student Farm at its Chatham County ... (more)

Click to enlarge CCCC wins national Green Genome Award

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The American Association of Community Colleges' Sustainability Education and Economic Development ... (more)

10.02.2012College & CommunityCollege General

SANFORD - Leadership in sustainability has won Central Carolina Community College an inaugural Green Genome Award from the American Association of Community Colleges' Sustainability Education and Economic Development (SEED) Center.

Only five community colleges nationwide were selected to receive this new award. In the award announcement on the SEED web site the five were described as "exemplary community colleges ... that have taken a strategic leadership role in sustainability and green economic and workforce development."

Todd Cohen, SEED director, notified CCCC of its award, saying, "The selection panel was very impressed with your ...comprehensive implementation of sustainability and clean economy programs at your college.... We are proud to have you as part of our inaugural awards cohort!"

The awards will be presented Oct. 3 at the association's regional community college summit in Racine, Wis. Each awardee will receive $8,000 and a set of state-of-the-art Bahco brand Snap-on tools and horticultural equipment, valued at $6,500, from Snap-on, Inc. The cash award may be used to support the college's enhancement, expansion, or creation of a practice or program related to green workforce development and sustainability.

The awards are based on the Green Genome Framework, a SEED Center guide to help community colleges expand their local green economies by more effectively preparing highly-skilled and sustainability-literate students and aligning these efforts with other institutional and community green initiatives.

The Framework targets four areas: Community Engagement, Goveance, Program Design and Delivery, and Strategic Partnerships. CCCC received its Green Genome Award in the Program Delivery and Design category.

Sustainability recognizes the importance of maintaining a long-term healthy environment that will continue to be the foundation for a high quality of life and economic well-being for all people. It has been a central tenet for Central Carolina Community College since the 1990s and an institutional value in the college's Long Range Plan for the past five years, said CCCC President Dr. Bud Marchant.

"CCCC is known as Green Central because sustainability is an integral part of our institutional culture," he said. "The college's institutional values of innovation, excellence and empowerment prepare our students to improve their lives, their communities and local economies. Those values include providing high quality training, both hands-on and academic, in all our sustainability programs."

Marchant added, "They also include commitment to and implementation of a green culture at our campuses and centers in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties, as well as working with businesses, industries and government to expand sustainability into our communities to improve the quality of life for everyone."

Educational programs

The college has nine degree programs with 81 sustainability-related and 35 sustainability-focused classes in which green concepts and clean technology are embedded into the curriculum.

It has a history of being on the cutting-edge of developing green programs, such as the first associate degree in sustainable agriculture at a community college in the United States, an alternative fuels degree program, and its newest green degree, Culinary Arts.

It also offers green building and renewable energy, weatherization, ecotourism, Natural Chef, photovoltaic and solar thermal, and Sustainable Technologies. Its Summer Educators Institute provides a variety of green education programs, while its youth cooking camps get them excited about preparing and eating locally grown, nutritious foods.

Physical Facilities

The college's commitment to green, environmentally sustainable and resource-efficient construction is seen in its Sustainable Technology Center and Siler City Center as well as the Chatham Community Library at the Chatham Main Campus - all built to the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) high Gold standard.


CCCC has earned a Silver ranking from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). It has also signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In creating a culture of sustainability, the college has also established a Sustainability Committee to be pro-active in improving energy efficiency, recycling, and other green efforts.

"CCCC's holistic approach to incorporating green principles into its programs, facilities, and culture has enabled us to be leaders in this critically important area of sustainability," said Dr. Karen Allen, the college's provost for its Chatham County operations. "We are thrilled at this recognition from SEED and will use it to advance our efforts to enrich and improve our students' education and experiences at the college and the quality of life in the communities we serve."

The other recipients of the Green Genome Award are: Butte College, Butte, Calif.; Delta College, University Center, Mich.; Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, Fla.; and West Virginia University, Parkersburg, W.Va.

At the award summit, the SEED Center will release a Green Genome Report, unveiling a new national framework to help community colleges expand their local green economies. To see the report, visit For more information about CCCC's green programs, visit /