Free Environmental Technology Training at CSM

Federal Grant Funds Certification Courses through Chesapeake Consortium

            The College of Southern Maryland is one of four Maryland community colleges selected to receive federal grant funds to provide tuition-free courses in environmental technology. The Chesapeake Area Consortium for Higher Education (CACHE) Institute for Environmental Careers has approved curriculum for environmental technology courses that will qualify for a letter of recognition or certificate through CSM for qualified students through fall 2012.

            “This is an incredible opportunity for professionals to gain expertise in environmental technology or for students wanting to test the waters in this exciting and growing field,” said CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Tervala.

            Letters of recognition are awarded to students who complete three courses in a prescribed sequence focused on a specific skill set such as ecosystems restoration, environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental planning and environmental management. Certificates are awarded to students who earn from 25-35 credits in discipline areas providing skill upgrades for immediate application in employment in ecosystems restoration, environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental planning, environmental technology and environmental energy.

            “These certificates are useful to someone with complementary education or experience that wish to expand or focus their existing skills in a new direction,” said CSM Biology and Physical Sciences Professor Tom Russ. “In the past, students in these programs have included traditional undergraduates as well as working adults looking for skills or advancement.  Some students have been non-environmental majors looking to broaden the scope of their academic credentials,” said Russ.

            In addition to applying to CSM and taking placement tests, students are required to enroll in the Maryland Workforce Exchange and meet with an official at the Exchange’s One-Stop Career Center for grant eligibility screening.

            Maryland is one of 34 states to earn a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Labor worth $5.8 million to provide more than 2,000 Marylanders with skills and jobs in green industries, including energy efficiency and renewable energy.

            CSM is offering five environmental technology classes and labs during the spring 2011 semester in traditional and online options.

            To learn about student services, meet with an advisor and register for classes, CSM is offering Start Smart Orientations at all campuses beginning Jan. 3. For information, visit

            For information on the CACHE environmental careers program, visit