SOURCE: Ecotech Institute

Ecotech Institute

August 04, 2011 08:30 ET

Ecotech Institute Launches Student Mentorship Program to Help Incoming Students With the Back-to-School Transition

The Program Gives New Students a "Buddy" to Help Them Acclimate to a New School and -- for Some -- a New Town

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - Aug 4, 2011) - Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design, today announced that it has created MORE (Mentoring Others Results in Excellence), a mentorship program to help incoming students. Now that Ecotech has students entering into their third and fourth terms, many of these more experienced students have great expertise and knowledge about Ecotech, the course material and the Denver Metro area. These qualities are great attributes to help acclimate first-term students with their surroundings.

"Many of our students are not only studying subject matter that they are unfamiliar with, but they are also taking classes in a new building and may even be living in an entirely new city or state," said Mike Seifert, president of Ecotech Institute. "Now that we have students who have walked our halls many times and are familiar with the Denver Metro area and Ecotech's course material, we want to embrace the leadership skills of these students and give them the chance to share their knowledge and serve as a resource for our new students."

The mentorship program is open to all first-term Ecotech students, but to qualify to become a mentor the students must meet several criteria including:

  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • Have completed a minimum of two terms at Ecotech.
  • Make time to meet with his or her "buddy" student at least one time each week throughout the term.
  • Willingness to develop study groups and help with tutoring.

Right now Ecotech has seven student mentors signed up for the program. One of those students, who actually brought up the idea for a mentorship program, is Michael Streight. Streight is serving his 22nd year in the Navy, but he sees his military career coming to an end since the aircraft system he works with is being phased out. With one career on its last legs, Streight says he wants a future career that has growing potential. Streight is now working full-time, while going to school four nights a week. With dozens of new students starting at Ecotech each term, Streight started thinking about the mentor program the Navy uses and wondered how Ecotech could implement a similar program. That idea helped lead to Ecotech's mentorship program today.

"It's a great program because as mentors we've been in their shoes," said Streight. "We've had their classes and had the different instructors. We can also offer our opinions on non-school subjects such as the best areas to live and ideas for things to do on the weekends."

With 25 percent of Ecotech's students relocating to Colorado to attend school, this program helps students instantly have a buddy when they move.

"We have students from as far away as Florida and Maryland coming to Ecotech so it's important those students especially feel connected, since their friends and family may be thousands of miles from their new home," said Seifert.

To help with relocation, Ecotech has also created a relocation guide that details information about Aurora and the Denver Metro area. That guide can be found at http://www.ecotechinstitute.com/ecotech-location.cfm.

Ecotech Institute, which is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, launched in Aurora, Colorado in April 2010 with seven highly practical degree programs and one certificate program that provide graduates with skills valued by today's alternative renewable energy employers.

To learn more about Ecotech Institute, visit www.ecotechinstitute.com. The next round of classes begins this fall and applications are being accepted now. Financial assistance is available.

About Ecotech Institute
Ecotech Institute is the first and only college entirely focused on preparing America's workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. Launched in April 2010 in Denver, Colorado, the college offers seven associate's degrees and a certificate program designed by experts in the industry for people seeking careers in the emerging cleantech economy. Ecotech Institute is a division of Education Corporation of America. For more information about Ecotech Institute, visit www.ecotechinstitute.com.

About Education Corporation of America
Education Corporation of America is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of nearly 19,000 students. The ECA website is www.ecacolleges.com. In addition to Ecotech Institute, ECA schools include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Interior Design, Computer Design, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Nursing and more in eighteen different cities. Virginia College campuses are located in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama; Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida; Augusta, Macon and Savannah, Georgia; Biloxi and Jackson, Mississippi; Charleston, Spartanburg, Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Richmond, Virginia; and Austin, Texas. The Virginia College website is www.vc.edu. Virginia College also offers classes worldwide via the Internet, with student services and admissions facilities in Birmingham, Alabama, and Tampa, Florida. Information about online classes at Virginia College is available at www.vconline.edu. Additionally, ECA operates Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, with locations in Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Jacksonville, Florida. The website is www.culinard.com. ECA also operates Golf Academy of America, with locations in Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California; Orlando, Florida; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The Golf Academy website is www.golfacademy.edu.

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