SEI is offering its newest online class for free. It’s a six-week course that comes complete with technical support, an online community and even a certificate of completion, said Chris Turek, SEI’s director of Online and Educational Services.
“And we actually have real human beings on the other side of this, running the courses,” Turek said.
The 42-day course runs on an open-enrollment basis, so people can sign on any time, Turek said.
“They can dive in at any point and go from there,” he said.
It’s an introduction to renewable energy and all of Solar Energy International’s online course offerings.
The appeal of the class has proven universal.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Turek said. “Our students in other courses tend to come from the technology and construction industries and see it as an opportunity to make a career advancement. But this class, we have people from 92 different countries.”
He said the students range from people with interest and no background in solar to physicists who want to understand the practical application of the science better.
“What’s nice is seeing people sharing through the discussion boards,” Turek said.
Many of the new class participants are homeowners, interested in going solar themselves, who are looking for a base understanding of the technology and structural considerations before a solar system can be installed. Others are people thinking about making a career change and looking for opportunities in the solar-energy industry.
Solar Energy International offers a full menu of courses related to solar and renewable energy. The classes are comprehensive. Most are online, and there is a fee for most of the classes.
But the organization decided to offer this introductory course free of charge because it fits with the group’s mission, Turek said.
“Our premise, our mission, number one is to educate people about renewable energy,” Turek said.
Image courtesy of SEI.