Gateway Launches New Academic Courses in Sustainability

Saturday, February 8, 2014

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Feb. 4, 2014) — "Sustainability is the new vanilla ice cream of the world of work," according to Professor David N. Cooper, who has developed a set of new academic courses in sustainability at Gateway Community College to match the college's technical program. "Thousands of jobs across Connecticut, from accountant to clerical, from construction to medical technology, to the person who actually installs your photovoltaic system, require an understanding of sustainability."

Gateway's new courses prepare students for challenging new careers in which sustainability—the coexistence of a healthy environment and a healthy economy—are no longer opposites. The Challenges of Climate Change, which piloted as a three credit experimental course last semester, will run Feb. 17 – May 14. Surveying the destructive effects of fossil fuel energy on global climate systems, this course examines the impact of clean energy options and sustainable operations, and the new opportunities for economic and job growth this will create.

A new three-credit course, Sustainable Economic Development, which runs Feb. 18 – May 15, will focus on the coexistence—instead of the classic opposition—of a healthy environment and a healthy economy. This course is ideal for those beginning to work in this field. The class time, 5:30 - 6:50 pm, accommodates an after-work schedule. 

"Understanding sustainability, climate change and the emerging green collar economy will give you a competitive edge as we transition to a clean energy economy," said Cooper. The burgeoning green collar economy is having a direct impact because of such programs as Solarize CT. Hundreds of jobs advertised online across the state are seeking employees with green technical certification or academic qualifications.

Applying the principles of sustainability to virtually every career will put you on a faster track, explains Dr. Cooper, because this has become the springboard for so much of the social and economic mission of our time.  

With Connecticut's new Climate Action Plan and the state's new Green Bank--the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)--mandated to create business and job development opportunities throughout the state, Sustainable Economic Development will explore options for framing and proposing projects that can be launched in partnership with CEFIA and other state agencies, along with municipalities, community organizations and other non-profits and private contractors.     

There are no prerequisites for the two courses. 

Sustainable Economic Development     CRN 3431    ENV* I 198-02 3 credits
Tuesday/Thursday, 5:00 – 6:50 pm   /   Feb. 18 – May 15, 2014

The Challenges of Climate Change   CRN 3430       ENV* I 198-01 3 credits
Monday/Wednesday, 3:15 – 5:05 pm /  Feb. 17 – May 14, 2014

Both classes will meet at Gateway’s Campus in room N019 and will be taught by Dr. David N. Cooper. For additional information please contact Dr. Cooper at (203) 285-2323 or


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About Gateway Community College

Gateway Community College is one of New England’s fastest growing, and the largest Connecticut’s 12 Community Colleges. GCC offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs and serves over 13,000 students each year who take classes for a degree, professional development, or personal enrichment. GCC students represent 24 towns and cities in the greater New Haven area, including: Bethany, Branford, Cheshire,  East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge. For more information, visit