College Awards Course Credit for LEED Professional Credentials

August 16, 2013

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced LEED professional credentials have been approved for college credit at Thomas Edison State College through New Jersey’s State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) initiative.

SESP is the result of an award to the NJ State Employment and Training Commission from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to support employment growth and retention within the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.

The LEED Green Associate qualifies for three college credit hours, and the LEED AP BD+C and AP O+M each qualify for five college credit hours at Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey (when earned after June 30, 2009). The state’s New Jersey Pathways Leading Apprentices to College Education (NJ PLACE) program played the lead role in connecting the college with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED credential program and the grant funding that supported the review.

Thomas Edison State College's Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning conducted the review of the LEED professional credentials for the SESP and identified two associate and two bachelor degree pathways at the college for LEED credential-holders wishing to use these credits toward an industry-related college degree.

Thomas Edison State College’s programs can be accessed worldwide, so anyone who has earned one of the qualifying LEED professional credentials, along with several other nationally-recognized green credentials, can take advantage of this opportunity to earn college credit. Credits earned for LEED professional credentials are mapped to specific undergraduate degree programs at Thomas Edison State College. Students can enroll directly into one of the related degrees, use the credits as electives toward another program of study, or seek to transfer the credit to another college or university.

“Students are the next generation of leaders in the green building movement, and providing them with the opportunity to earn college credit while gaining valuable, technical knowledge is next step toward a marketplace transformed by cutting-edge green building practices,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “I applaud the efforts of Thomas Edison State College and NJ Place for giving these students the opportunity to put their education to use in a booming industry.”

This initiative showcases a growing trend in higher education to stack industry-recognized credentials into college degrees. With new jobs specifying the need for expertise in LEED, the LEED professional credential helps professionals stand out by increasing opportunity for employment, job stability, promotion, and now college degree attainment, while underscoring value to LEED project teams and sustainability-focused organizations.

A LEED professional credential signifies active participation in the green building movement and contribution of expertise to the design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings and neighborhoods that save energy, use fewer resources, reduce pollution, and contribute to healthier environments for their occupants and the community. To learn more about LEED professional credentials, visit usgbc.org/credentials.

To see the full list of qualifying certifications and for more information on the program, visit njplace.com/green or njsetc.net/sesp.