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News Release

August 1, 2022

COC Partnering in $7.5 Million NSF Grant

College of the Canyons is one of five community colleges from across the nation partnering in a $7.5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that was awarded to Madison Area Technical College.  

Over the next five years, the consortium of participating colleges will form the CREATE National Energy Center, which will provide resources to build a skilled technical workforce, improve gender equity in the energy field, expand partnerships between education and industry, and contribute to the transformation of global energy industries. 

Funded through NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, the CREATE National Energy Center will be the only one of its kind in the country. 

“We are honored to be the only California community college that is taking part in this groundbreaking energy initiative,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “We look forward to contributing to the CREATE National Energy Center’s mission of preparing students to enter the rapidly evolving global energy workforce.”

Other colleges participating in the NSF grant with Madison Area Technical College are Central Carolina Community College, Delaware Technical Community College, and Indian River State College. 

COC’s $1.7 million allocation of the award will go towards the development of new energy curriculum, faculty professional development activities, student outreach, and dissemination of Energy Center resources to a nationwide audience.

“The CREATE National Energy Center is the result of years of hard work and dedication by the partner colleges focused on training qualified instructors, expanding educational opportunities for students, and driving innovation in the field of energy across the United States,” said Gabrielle Temple, CREATE project manager at the college.

The Center will provide professional development opportunities and serve as a venue for more than 900 national STEM educators to network in order to share energy technology innovations and address gaps in energy education.

“The world is in the midst of a once in a century transformation of our energy infrastructure,” said CREATE Director and Madison College instructor Dr. Ken Walz. “Renewable energy is the fastest growing energy source in the world and is projected to provide more than 90 percent of new electric power capacity through the next decade. This creates an enormous opportunity for students to secure well-paying, family supporting jobs that cannot be exported, are not easily done by robots and benefit society at large.”

ATE supports partnerships between two-year institutions of higher education and other academic institutions to improve the education of technicians in science and engineering.