If you’d like to contribute to a scholarship fund, click the Donate Now button and be sure to indicate “Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund,” “Veterans and Active Duty Military Program“, “General Scholarship Fund“, or “Walt Ratterman Scholarship Fund,” in the program selection box or special instructions area on the donation payment page.

If you are from a developing country and would like take SEI workshops in order to bring renewable energy technologies to your community, you may qualify for the Walt Ratterman Scholarship.

If you are from a developing country and would like take SEI workshops in order to bring renewable energy technologies to your community, you may qualify for the Walt Ratterman Scholarship. SEI is deeply saddened by the loss of Walt Ratterman, who perished in the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Walt was an instructor, alumni, supporter and friend of SEI.  He was also an incredibly dedicated one-of-a-kind individual who touched thousands of people’s lives around the world.  Walt was in Haiti working on solar projects for health clinics with the organization that he cofounded, SunEnergy Power International (SunEPI).  SunEPI works around the world to improve people’s quality of life with renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas.

Some of Walt’s work can be seen in Adrian Belic’s award winning film “Beyond the Call” which documents Knightsbridge International, a humanitarian and medical aid organization to which Walt belonged that worked in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

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Walt and his Knightsbridge buddies were described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Mother Theresa, and there is no better way to describe Walt.  Fear was not a word in his vocabulary, and he had a heart of gold.  And that is probably an understatement on both accounts.  Whether it was crossing the border into Burma in the middle of the night with solar equipment to train Burmese medical technicians, or wearing a burqa in Afghanistan under the Taliban to see what it was like to be a woman in that country, Walt’s quest for knowledge and his desire to help those in need was extraordinary.  If there were people in need, and Walt could help, it didn’t matter their geographic, political or religious affiliation, he would be there.  To Walt, humanitarian aid knew no boundaries.
Walt brought solar training and humanitarian aid to Rwanda, Uganda, Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Palestine, the Philippines, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the list goes on.  And the list of NGO’s he worked with is almost as long as the countries he worked in.  The Solar Electric Light Fund, Green Empowerment, the Border Green Energy Team, Solar Energy International, Engineers without Borders, Light Up the World, and many others all benefited from Walt’s incredible knowledge and dedication.

SEI feels privileged to have known and worked with Walt over the years.  Although he is now gone from this Earth, his spirit lives on, in the many thousands of lives around the world that he has touched, and the remarkable work that people he has inspired will keep on doing.

He was truly a solar hero.

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If you are a female interested in solar training, SEI has established the Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund to support women’s solar training. Heather was a SEI alumna and solar champion who passed away Feb. 8, 2012, after complications from brain surgery. This scholarship supports female SEI students pursuing hands-on training at our Paonia PV Lab in the charming town nestled in the Rocky Mountains Heather held close to her heart.  It also supports female SEI students with partial tuition scholarships for the womens only PVOL101W Online course or the womens only PV201LW Solar Electric Lab Week (Grid Direct). The Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund is the focus of the SEI Women’s Program.
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Solar Energy International’s solar training Women’s Program provides in-person, technical workshops in a supportive learning atmosphere to bring more women into the renewable energy field.  SEI’s training is helpful and rewarding to women pursuing a career and/or working in renewable energy, please click here for details on our Women’s Solar Electric Design & Installation (Grid Direct) Online course.

In 2012, SEI established the Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund to support women’s solar training. Heather was a SEI alumna and solar champion who passed away Feb. 8, 2012, after complications from brain surgery. This scholarship supports female SEI students pursuing hands-on training at our Paonia PV Lab in the charming town nestled in the Rocky Mountains Heather held close to her heart.  It also supports female SEI students with partial tuition scholarships for the womens only PVOL101 Online course.  The Heather Andrews Scholarship Fund is the focus of the SEI Women’s Program. Please consider a donation.

The SEI Veterans and Active Duty Military Program assists Veterans with discounted tuition for our Certificate Program training.  This is a truly inspirational scholarship and outreach program for veterans and active duty military personnel.   SEI has experienced a dramatic increase in recent years of veterans who wish to attend SEI training and are looking for funding opportunities to take full advantage of all that SEI has to offer.
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In 2013, SEI established the Johnny Weiss Scholarship Fund in honor of our Co-Founder, Johnny Weiss. In 2013, Johnny transitioned his role to an advising consultant and we wanted to honor him for his vision in co-founding SEI in 1991. Because of Johnny’s vision, SEI has trained over 22,000 people and has had a significant impact on the renewable energy industry. This scholarship is for a person who demonstrates Johnny’s commitment to making the world a better place through service. A preference is given to Native Americans or people from the developing world. This scholarship is for a full tuition course.
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**SEI also has a General Scholarship Fund from which we award tuition assistance to those in financial need, from any country, and who are often underemployed or unemployed and in search of a new and meaningful career.**

Apply Now

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship (General, Johnny Weiss, Walt Ratterman/International, Heather Andrews/Women), please follow the link to the right to fill out the application.  Please read about the scholarship fund prior to filling out application, and be sure to thoroughly and accurately read and respond to all questions on the application. If you are interested in our Veterans Program and additional scholarships for Veterans, please use the Solar Professionals Certificate Program application to apply once you have read about the program and ascertained if it applies to you!

Work-Trade Program

For over 20 years, SEI’s Work-Trade Program has enabled people from around the world to hone their renewable energy technology skills and improve their capabilities while helping to strengthen and grow SEI. In fact, the majority of our current staff were once work-traders!

Program Overview:

CURRENT WORK-TRADE POSITIONS:

  • Summer Helper position
    This person will work at SEI’s PV lab facility in Paonia, Colorado. More than one person will be hired, as coverage is needed from April through mid-October. The job entails assisting Paonia office manager Chris Smith. Duties can be extremely varied. They include taking care of the drink station for lab students, running errands, data entry, assisting with potluck set-up, weeding and trash pick-up, creating and laminating signs, making name tags, making Records of Completion for students, helping with bicycle rental, etc.
    While working for SEI in Paonia you will be in close proximity to SEI’s PV systems, and to SEI’s lab students, instructors and staff. Be warned that this job does NOT involve working with the PV systems, but you will have a chance to talk PV and see PV systems close up.
    Having your own vehicle and your own computer is a plus. The ability to speak Spanish also a plus.

SEI offers its Work-Traders a credit equivalent to $15/ hour for each hour worked. You can trade up to 100% of the tuition of each class. We strive to have all of our work-traders complete their work portion before taking any workshops, so most work-traders work in the spring or early summer and then complete their workshops after that.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible to become an SEI work-trader you must:

  1. Possess the skills for a position we seek to be filled. Remember, this is not an internship; it is a work-trade agreement in which we match our needs to your existing skills. Even so – you’ll probably end up learning a lot just by working with us! Please review our Work-Trade Policies Document below for more information.
  2. You must download an application and email it to our Work Trade Coordinator, Breccia Wilson (contact info listed below)
  3. Provide the contact information for (2) references – past employers, supervisors, professors, etc. (no family members please).
  4. Be available for a phone or in-person interview.
  5. Desired applicants are highly self-motivated, consistently willing to take initiative, require very little supervision, and are comfortable working hard in non-traditional, fun, social, and serious work environments.

Work-Trade Policies (download PDF)

Work-Trade Application Form (download and fill out Word doc)

Application Deadlines:

Applications are being accepted on on-going basis (when position openings are actively posted). Once a position has been filled we will remove it from the website. Please sign up for SEI’s e newsletter for the most up to date information on updates to our work-trade program and all of our great offerings, alumni, and renewable energy news.

Please email breccia@solarenergy.org with any questions!

“It’s so good to have a high quality and reputable organization like SEI to get your education. It’s by the book and by the code, and that’s the only way to go. Learning from SEI gives me credibility.

-SEI Alumnus