News & Events

Waubonsee Becomes Approved Provider of National Solar Energy Test

Workers construct solar panels on a sunny day at Waubonsee's Sugar Grove Campus.
It was a sunny day this past October when Waubonsee Community College’s photovoltaic array was installed on the Sugar Grove Campus. The college was recently approved as a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Entry Level Exam Provider.

While its first courses started running just this semester, Waubonsee Community College’s photovoltaic program has already achieved an important milestone — it has been approved as a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) PV Entry Level Exam Provider. 

Upon completion of Waubonsee’s three photovoltaic courses — Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems, Photovoltaic System Selection and Design, and Installing and Maintaining Photovoltaic Systems — students will be eligible to sit for the NABCEP exam. By passing the exam, students demonstrate their knowledge of the fundamental principles of photovoltaic systems and mastery of the 10 learning objectives set out by NABCEP.

“Students who can prove their skills to an employer by passing this test have a distinct advantage in the workplace,” said Dr. Paul Hummel, Waubonsee’s dean for technology, mathematics and physical sciences. “Given the relative newness of the photovoltaic industry, such proof takes on added importance.” 

Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into electricity. Funded by a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Waubonsee installed its own ground-mounted photovoltaic array on the north side of the college’s Sugar Grove Campus in October. The outdoor array, 12 indoor lab stations and mock-up of a roof-mounted array system are all used in the college’s photovoltaic curriculum, which includes three courses and two certificates. 

The basic “Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems” course will be offered this summer at the Sugar Grove Campus. The course meets from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from June 6 to July 29.