Conversation with Jared Bezet

Quality Enhancement Plan Director and Interim Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Everglades University

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Please give us some background on the university, including when it was founded and how it moved into the wind energy sector.

Everglades University was originally founded as American Flyers College in 1997. In 2000, the institution began offering bachelor’s degrees with majors in business administration, information technology, applied management, aviation management, and professional aviation. In 2003, Everglades College began to offer master’s degrees and changed its name to Everglades University. To better serve the community, Everglades University began offering the Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Construction Management in 2005 and was regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2010. Continuing its commitment to offering innovative and forward-thinking programs, Everglades University responded to the growing need for alternative energies and capable graduates educated in managing those newly developing energy sources by building on the success of its construction management program and offering the Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Alternative and Renewable Energy Management in 2011. This program contains many courses focused on a wide variety of alternative energy sources, including hydrogen, propane and natural gas, solar energy and photovoltaics, nuclear energy, hydroelectric, biomass, geothermal, and, of course, wind energy.

Tell us about the undergraduate curriculum in alternative and renewable energy management.

Everglades University’s bachelor’s degree with a major in alternative and renewable energy management focuses on the management skills and business knowledge required for the continually changing environment of the energy industry. The degree provides instruction in management skills and specific technical and occupational subjects, preparing graduates for a productive career in the alternative and renewable energy industry as managers. Emphasis is placed on alternative energy principles, regulations, and business and management operations with a broad-based knowledge of the sustainable energies industry built on a foundation of general education requirements as well as business and management applications.

What is the university’s mission to its students who are pursuing degrees related to the wind energy industry?

Everglades University’s mission is to provide quality education to adult learners of diverse backgrounds in a collaborative environment where each individual has the opportunity to achieve personal growth. The university seeks to accomplish this by combining small class sizes and innovative programs with traditional academic values. The university supports the academic endeavor and service to deliver graduate and undergraduate programs both on campus and online.

The Bachelor of Science in Alternative and Renewable Energy Management displays Everglades University’s commitment to innovative programs by providing a foundation in general education as well as a solid background in business and management courses.

What is the instructional philosophy behind Everglades University’s focus in wind?

Everglades University aims to provide educational opportunities to the career-minded individual and offer an education that will produce an employable and skilled graduate. The university’s philosophy is that learning takes place in a variety of ways, so it privileges flexibility, individualization, and previous knowledge and skills. Because of the growing market share of alternative energies, Everglades University’s Bachelor of Science in Alternative and Renewable Energy Management program provides graduates the opportunities they need to become professionals in their chosen fields and play a critical role in the future economic growth and competitiveness of our society. By including wind energy as part of the curriculum of its alternative and renewable energy management program, the university leverages its view that instruction is a dynamic process that develops both the skill and the intellect of career-minded individuals interested in working in this burgeoning field.

What kinds of opportunities can students take advantage of beyond traditional classroom instruction at Everglades University?

Students in the Alternative and Renewable Energy degree program are welcome to network with the university’s Program Advisory Committee, which comprises local industry professionals who actively work in the field.

Students are also welcome to visit Everglades University’s Sarasota campus, which features a number of energy-saving devices, including a wind turbine and a variety of solar technologies, on and around the campus thanks in part to funding from Florida Power and Light (FPL). Students are encouraged to use these resources to research the efficiency and reliability of different technologies, exposing them to careers in renewable energy.

Everglades University recently entered a partnership with Pearson Learning and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to become a USGBC education partner, by which the university will include courses that provide students opportunities for pathways to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications.

Tell us about the career opportunities available to students in the wind energy industry after graduation.

Graduates of Everglades University Bachelor of Science Degree in Alternative and Renewable Energy Management are prepared for an entry-level career in a wide range of renewable and sustainable industries including wind energy. Graduates may be interested in the role as project managers for the construction of wind energy projects from small-scale residential and commercial to large-scale industrial sites. Employment opportunities are endless for the graduate and include positions within a wide range of industries in both the private and public sectors.

What sets graduates from Everglades University apart from other wind energy professionals in the field?

Everglades University’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Alternative and Renewable Energy Management provides more than just technical training on limited tasks in the wind energy sector. The degree delivers a broad survey of a variety of sustainable and renewable alternative energy models and focuses on providing the business acumen and managerial skills that graduates will need to advance in their careers and make a difference in the world. Everglades University not only prepares graduates to get jobs, but it also encourages them to become managers and leaders in their chosen fields.

Everglades University’s commitment to a personalized education results in an innovative scheduling system designed to be more convenient for working professionals. Students take one course at a time so they can focus on fulfilling the learning objectives of each class before moving on to the next. Each class is personalized with comprehensive knowledge delivered throughout the four weeks, allowing students to complete the entire bachelor’s degree program in less than four years. All of Everglades University’s degree programs can be taken 100-percent online with no residency requirement. All Everglades University students have access to its extensive library resources and databases online at any hour of the day or night and any day of the year.

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