GUNNISON, Colo. – Solar Energy International (SEI) and Western State Colorado University are proud to announce a groundbreaking partnership through the Western Extended Studies Department that will give students the ability to receive college credit for SEI’s industry-recognized solar training program. Through a dual enrollment agreement, students will be able to enroll in SEI’s classes offered online, in-person and as hands-on labs to receive college credit from Western. Students can also enroll in SEI’s Solar Professionals Certificate Program, which is recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education and comprised of a combination of SEI class offerings.

Furthermore, this partnership opens new opportunities for AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) who have educational benefits available to them through their time of service as a way to pay for their technical training with SEI.

“SEI is excited to see this partnership become a reality,” said Breccia Cressman, SEI’s Director of Student Services. “We have worked closely with Western for years with shared values of environmentalism and innovation in clean energy technologies. Our Student Services Team often receives inquiries from potential students wanting college credit for our classes, but until now we were not able to offer this benefit. The thousands of AmeriCorps VISTAs out there with educational benefits can now continue their service to the world by starting a new career of service in the clean energy sector. Our Student Counselors are standing by and excited to talk with people about our training program and this new opportunity with Western.”

John Hausdoerffer, Dean of Western’s School of Environment & Sustainability (SES) shared that, “Western’s School of Environment & Sustainability is honored to have such a great renewable energy educational resource right here in our own backyard with SEI. They have been around for decades offering renewable energy education not only to our local communities here in Colorado, but also serving a global audience bringing hundreds of people from all over the world to Paonia, Colo., every year to receive their training. We are honored to partner with them.”

Western shares SEI’s vision of a world powered by renewable energy. Western’s SES partnered with Extended Studies to provide academic credit with the intent that students consider applying their credits to an undergraduate degree as well as explore the possibilities of connecting their SEI education into a Master in Environmental Management degree at Western. Additionally, Coldharbour Institute is helping SES ensure the success of SEI and Extended Studies in delivering this partnership. Graduates of these programs will be the leaders of the future clean energy economy who will ensure a more sustainable future for this planet and all of those that inhabit it.

For more information about SEI’s training program and the dual enrollment agreement between SEI and Western, contact Monique Turek at 970.527.7657 x.1 or [email protected]. For information about credit enrollment or the AmeriCorps funding process, please contact Extended Studies at 970.943.2885 or [email protected]. Credit enrollment begins Feb. 6, 2018.

About Western State Colorado University

Western State Colorado University delivers a full liberal arts curriculum and career preparation to 2,800 intellectually adventurous students, deep in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The university’s small size, unique setting and low cost ensure students receive personalized attention, gain hands-on experience and graduate without taking on excessive debt. For more information, visit or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Solar Energy International

Solar Energy International (SEI) was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit educational organization with the mission to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities and businesses worldwide. SEI envisions a world powered by renewable energy.


Contact:  Dana Miller, Assistant Director for Extended Studies

970.943.2889 | [email protected]