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Sustainability at GCC

Greenfield Community College


Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency

Visit the RE/EE website

The RE/EE program offers students an opportunity to learn the scientific concepts, technical aspects and current technologies in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Students pursue interests in solar installation, green building and landscape design, energy retrofits, engineering, education, policy, and non-profit work. More than 20 courses are available, ranging from one- to four-credits. Instructors are active practitioners who bring up to date skills and knowledge to the classroom, lab and field experiences. Our 28-credit RE/EE certificate was co-created with local industry partners and can be earned while attending GCC either part- or full-time. Students may also earn the Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts with RE/EE Option which will transfer to a four-year college or university. Many graduates find work in the local RE/EE industry, while some start or expand small businesses of their own. There is an emerging network of program alumni to help grow these opportunities.

Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies

Visit the PJEwebsite

Peace, Justice and Environmental Studies is an option, begun in the Fall of 2010, that allows students to explore the interconnectedness between environmental issues, social justice and the need to create safety, security and sustainability for all life. It focuses on how can we foster a culture of peace rather than a culture of violence and promotes the ideals contained in the Earth Charter. It brings together values and learned practices that will create positive social change through nonviolent means, as defined in the theories of active nonviolence. This option offers students a way to understand the social and cultural forces that work in conjunction with science and technology to create an integrated and holistic way to manifest a better world.

In 2000, The Earth Charter Commission released a document called the Earth Charter. Initially a mission of the United Nations, it was completed by a cross cultural and diverse group of people. Its principles are to promote respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice and democracy, nonviolence and peace and it now holds the same status as the Declaration of Human Rights. The LPE option at GCC becomes a way to manifest those values and principles.

Students with such a focus can pursue careers in the fields of education, social work, law, political science and public policy, environment, renewable energy, urban planning, labor studies and others. Transfer options at the University of Massachusetts, Westfield State College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Elms College, Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College and others exist for students who earn a liberal arts degree with this option.

Environmental Science/Natural Resources

GCC offers a liberal arts Associate Degree option in Environmental Science/Natural Resources (ES/NR) as well as an ES/NR certificate.  The program prepares students to continue their studies towards a bachelor degree in such fields as wildlife and fisheries conservation, forestry, plant and soil sciences, environmental biology, environmental health and environmental policy.  In the two year associates degree program students fulfill their general elective requirements as well as taking courses in environmental science, natural history, ecology, general biology, freshwater ecology, environmental economics, chemistry, environmental studies and other sciences.  The Environmental Science/Natural Resources studies strive to promote an understanding of environmental issues and solutions and inspire students to choose to continue their education and embark upon a career that will truly make the world a better place.

Learn more

Farm and Food Systems

Visit the Farm & Food Systems website

The Farm and Food Systems initiative at Greenfield Community College provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the ecological, economic, political, and social systems as they relate to food and farming. Additionally, students learn hands-on skills through internships and applied courses such as:

  • Permaculture Design
  • Beekeeping
  • Four Season Farming
  • Organic Gardening
  • Food Preservation
  • Introduction to Food Systems

Students can expect to participate in community efforts to support regional food security, local economies, and planning for resiliency. For more information, visit our website or contact Abrah Dresdale,

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