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. 

Course Requirements (47 credits)

Number Title Credits
  EET-105 Introduction to Sustainable Energy (3)
  EET-107 Introduction to Codes and Standards (3)
  EET-135 Digital Electronics (4)
  EET-141 DC/AC Circuits and Electronics I (4)
  EET-142 DC/AC Circuits and Electronics II (4)
  EET-168 Electronic Engineering Tech Intern (1)
  EET-190 Sustainable Electrical Energy Generation (3)
  EET-240 DC/AC Circuits and Electronics III (4)
  EET-251 Microcontrollers and Interfacing (4)
  EET-277 Geothermal, Solar Heating & Lighting (3)
  EET-282 EET Capstone Project (3)
  EET-298 EET Seminar (3)
  MET-100 Introductory CAD and Print Reading (3)
  MET-162 Applied Physics (4)

Electives: (Select at least 3 credits)

Number Title Credits
  EET-168 Electronic Engineering Tech Intern (1)
  EET-219 Electr Motor, Contrls, & Vari Sp Drives (3)
  EET-239 Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) (3)
  EET-242 Sensors, Transducers, & Signal Cond (3)
  EET-245 Control Systems (3)
  EET-261 Advanced Microcontrollers (3)
  EET-275 Wireless Electronics (3)
  EET-285 Intro to Digital Signal Processing (3)
  EET-299 Special Topics in Electrical Engr Tech (1)
  EGR-101 Introduction to Engineering (2)

General Education Course Requirements: (16 credits)

Number Title Credits
  ENG-101 Composition I (3)
  ENG-110 Introduction to Technical Writing, or
  SPH-131 Fundamentals of Communication (3)
  MTH-125 Plane Trigonometry, or
  MTH-132 College Algebra & Trigonometry, or
  MTH-100 Technical Mathematics (3-5)

Science Requirement: (Select at least 4 credits)

Number Title Credits
  CHM-105 Chemistry and Society, or
  CHM-120 General Chemistry I (4)

General Education Elective: (Select at least 3 credits)

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

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.




Second 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 EET and SES Degree Programs are very similar. Consequently, obtaining a second degree is an attractive option to many graduates. Specifically, a graduate of the EET Program may desire to obtain a second degree in SES. Conversely, a graduate of the SES Program may desire to obtain a second degree in EET. 

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 SES program (8600) who desires to also receive an EET program

Number Title Credits
  EET-125 Electronics Fabrication Skills (2)
  MET-133 Graphics/SolidWorks CAD I (3)
  MET-146 Hydraulics, Pneumatics and PLCs (3)
  EET-254 Robotics and Automated Systems (3)
One EET Elective (4 credits) is also required. 

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.