Arkansas’s First Solar Energy Degree Program Begins this Spring at UA Hope-Texarkana

Earlier this year, the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) received approval from the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees to install a one-megawatt solar array and solar learning lab on the Hope campus to integrate into a new Certificate of Proficiency in Solar Energy Technology.
Arkansas’s First Solar Energy Degree Program Begins this Spring at UA Hope-Texarkana

The solar energy student lab is under construction now, and the certificate program begins this spring at the UA Hope campus. There are no other programs like this in Arkansas, and the closest program is in Austin, Texas.

The nine-credit-hour Certificate of Proficiency in Solar Energy Technology curriculum is adopted from Solar Energy International (SEI), the global leader in providing classroom curriculum and lab training in solar energy. By using the SEI curriculum, UAHT will become an approved training provider for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). NABCEP is the most respected, well-established, and widely recognized certification organization for professionals in the field of renewable energy. This certificate provides the necessary training to install, construct, maintain, and operate solar electric systems. The certificate is designed as part of the path to completing the Associate of Applied Science in Power Technologies degree at UAHT.

Courses for the solar energy technology certificate include:

  • Photovoltaics (PV) Systems
  • Solar Electric Design 
  • Installation Lab

UAHT has led the state in power generation education for more than ten years, beginning in 2009 with a partnership with SWEPCO on the Turk Power Plant. The college created the first Power Plant Technology program in the state, offering multiple pathways in Power Plant Operations and Maintenance. In 2018, UAHT modified its curriculum to change the focus from entirely coal fire to all forms of power, including renewable energies. “UAHT is truly invested in being a leader in renewable energy education and in providing opportunities for growth in jobs, economic development, and in promoting our state,” said Laura Clark, Vice Chancellor for Academics. “Renewable energy such as solar is expected to grow exponentially in the next several years, and we are excited to offer this program for the future workforce needs of Arkansans.”


PHOTO: Pictured left to right: Jennifer Teresa, Dean of Technical and Industrial Programs; Laura Clark, Vice Chancellor for Academics; and Don Hollanger, Solar Technology Instructor at the construction site of the solar energy technology lab on the UA Hope campus.

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