A new program being offered this fall at Chattahoochee Technical College’s North Metro campus in Acworth will prepare students for a field that one instructor says needs more workers.
The new Associate of Applied Science Degree in Environmental Technology, which will be the only two-year program in the metro Atlanta area, will train students in environmental law and ethics, field sampling and testing, hydrology, wastewater management and hazardous waste cleanup, among other things.
“It’s a growing field,” said Bejie Herrin, the course instructor. “There are a lot of components. It’s a very interesting field.”
The field is growing because more and more people are becoming good stewards of the environment, Herrin said.
“People have become more aware of where they live and taking care of where they live,” she said.
The field has a 28 percent growth rate, which Herrin said is a high percentage, and that rate and the demand for employees is what made CTC officials decide to offer the program. Employment in the field is expected to grow 15-16 percent nationally in the next 10 years, and the demand is so high that there aren’t enough workers to fill open positions.
“We have to fill those spots,” Herrin said. “There are more jobs out there than can be filled.”
Representatives with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals likely will be involved with CTC’s program to help Bejie make the program what it needs to be to turn out quality employees. The GAWP director will be on the program’s advisory board, association representatives will speak to Environmental Technology students and people from the industry also will be involved. Bejie said that’s what will make this the best program.
“It will help gear our program to produce that kind of graduate,” she said. “Our goal is to turn out people who are ready to work in the field.”
Environmental Technology is a 70 semester hour program, which likely can be completed in 18 months to two years for full time students. The deadline to apply for the fall semester is July 22, and classes begin on Aug. 17. Interest in the program grows every day, and some current horticulture students may enroll in the Environmental Technology Program once they finish their current studies. There will be no enrollment cap for the program.
“If you want to come, come,” Bejie said. “I’ll make it happen. I want as many people who want to come, come. The more the better.”