SEI launches Electronic Outreach Program |

SEI launches Electronic Outreach Program

Special to the Post Independent

Carbondale-based Solar Energy International (www.solarenergy. org), a leading nonprofit institution for renewable energy education, has announced the launch of the SEI Electronic Outreach Program.

This combination of online courses and communication systems enables SEI to immediately expand its curriculum to a global online audience, while promoting a wider awareness of the hands-on renewable energy work that SEI is known for around the world.

The first of SEI’s online workshops begins on Jan. 13, with “Photovoltaic Design.” This six-week course adapts SEI’s popular classroom workshop on solar photovoltaics, taught continuously for more than a decade, into a series of online segments offering students a detailed look into solar photovoltaic technology, site analysis, efficient appliances, system sizing and component selection.

The second online workshop launching with the Electronic Outreach Program is “Solar Home Design,” starting on Jan. 27. This new six-week course offers a comprehensive look into the design of solar homes, including passive solar design, natural housebuilding, site design, insulation, solar hot water and energy efficiency.

The cost of each course is $500, which includes a teacher-lead online curriculum, plus a host of learning materials on paper and CD-ROM. Registration and payment options are available at

Unlike many online classes, SEI’s web-based workshops are taught by experienced instructors who are available to students throughout the duration of the workshop. Online course participants will also have access to class bulletin boards, Web site links, articles and case studies, and are encouraged to instant message each other to foster a group learning environment.

“We’re extremely excited about the launch of our Electronic Outreach Program,” said SEI’s executive director, Johnny Weiss. “It’s been a dream of ours to offer more of our renewable energy curriculum online. This program is just the first of many steps we’re planning towards expanding our electronic efforts to promote renewable energy and sustainable development.”

In conjunction with its online workshops, SEI has also announced the completion of an online communication system that will allow the organization to keep its members better informed of SEI news, events and information. The organization has already used the system to announce an online membership drive, and will begin distribution of an electronic newsletter in early January.

“We’ve received great feedback about the new system so far,” said Weiss. “We’re glad that these outreach efforts will help keep our members up-to-date on the latest projects and workshops we and our alumni are developing.”

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