Rock Valley College

Sustainable Energy Systems Degree

Degree conferred: Associate in Applied Science - 66 Credits
Program contact: Division of Business, CIS, and Engineering and Technology, (815) 921-3101 

Alternative energyProgram overview

Graduates of the Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) Program have a broad understanding of energy efficiency and conservation, comprehensive energy and electrical-load audits, alternative electrical energy generation using photovoltaics, wind turbines, fuel cells, and microhydro. They also understand how active and passive solar technology (including geothermal systems) can be used to produce air conditioning via heat pumps and radiant floor heating. They comprehend solar hot water heating systems as well as well as tankless hot water heating. Graduates understand the importance of codes, standards, and permits as well as fees, financing, and payback. They also have the necessary skills to use electronic test equipment to make measurements, understand electrical schematicsand blueprints, analyze electronic circuits and understand fundamental design concepts. The graduates are ready to work in alternative energy product and service development, testing and alternative energy product certifications with an emphasis on the electrical and electronic systems. The SES program helps prepare you to take the Alternative Energy Integrator Certification examinations offered by the Electronics Technicians Association, International.

Work and employment

Successful graduates secure positions as sustainable energy system designers and consultants, sales and service professionals, or as part of an alternative energy hybrid system integration support team. Areas of employment as electronics technicians to support a wide variety of manufacturing and service needs are also included in career selections.Hands-on learningEET (SES) classes include alternative energy trainers and systems to give students a more complete grasp of concepts. Several field trips are required to look at installed systems. Internships to obtain actual working experience are required. EET classes include a hands-on laboratory component taught by instructors withindustrial experience. You will learn how to use electronic test equipment like oscilloscopes, function generators, and digital multimeters.

Transfer opportunities

Graduates have the option to pursue a baccalaureate degree from Northern Illinois University and other select universities. Students are advised to contact the institution to which they plan to transfer to ensure course transfer credit availability.  Students should also consult with an academic advisor, or the Dean or Academic Chair of the Sustainable Energy Systems program. 

General Education Course Requirements: (16 credits)

Number Title
  ENG-101 Composition I
  ENG-110 Introduction to Technical Writing
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication
  MTH-125 Plane Trigonometry
  MTH-132 College Algebra & Trigonometry
  MTH-100 Technical Mathematics

Science Requirement: (Select at least 4 credits)

Number Title
  CHM-105 Chemistry and Society
  CHM-120 General Chemistry I

General Education Elective: (Select at least 3 credits)

Any Liberal Arts area, such as ART, ECO, ENG, SOC, etc.

Second A.A.S. Degree Requirements

for completion of either the Electronic Engineering Technology (EET)
or the Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) A.A.S. Programs (15 credits):

The course requirements for the Electronic Engineering Technology and the Sustainable Energy Systems degree programs are very similar. Therefore, obtaining a second degree is an exciting option for many graduates. Specifically, a graduate of the EET program may desire to obtain a second degree in SES. 
Fundamentally, a minimum of 15 additional credits must be taken.

(This means an SES graduate must take 15 credits additionally to receive a second degree in EET.)

A graduate of the EET program (8400) who desires to also receive an SES program degree (8600) must take:

Graduates of the SES program (8600) who desire to also receive an EET program degree (8400) must take:

Number Title
  EET-105 Introduction to Sustainable Energy
  CHM-105 Chemistry and Society
  CHM-120 General Chemistry I
  BIO-106 Environmental Biology
  BIO-107 Environmental Biology Laboratory
  EET-107 Introduction to Codes and Standards
  EET-168 Electronic Engineering Tech Intern
  EET-190 Sustainable Electrical Energy Generation
  EET-277 Geothermal, Solar Heating & Lighting

(This means an EET graduate must take between 15 to 18 additional credits to receive a second degree in SES.)

Graduates of the SES program (8600) who desire to also receive an EET program degree (8400) must take:

Number Title
  EET-125 Electronics Fabrication Skills
  MET-133 Graphics/SolidWorks CAD I
  MET-146 Hydraulics, Pneumatics and PLCs
  EET-254 Robotics and Automated Systems

       EET            Elective                                                                                              (4)

(This means an SES graduate must take 15 additional credits to receive a second degree in EET.)

You are advised to contact the Division of Engineering and Technology, (815) 921-3101 for more information about obtaining a second degree in this field. 

Electronics Technicians Association (ETA)The Electronics Technician Association, International (ETA® International) has advocated the RVC Sustainable Energy Systems degree as a national model that will be tied closely with the organization’s new Hybrid Alternative Energy System Integrator certification.