Cincinnati State to offer new stormwater management major

Cincinnati State is adding to its real-world, environmental based majors with a new one in stormwater management.

The new associate degree program will launch this September in the Early Fall 2010 term.

Any Cincinnatian who's faced an icky basement or bathroom after a hard rain knows the importance of this new major, which the college said is a response to the growing effort to meet federal water quality standards by minimizing the interaction between stormwater and sanitary sewer systems. Stormwater waste management also seeks to lessen erosion and water contamination from runoff during heavy rainfall.

"In Greater Cincinnati, and really throughout much of the nation, the Clean Water Act is making stormwater management a genuine priority," said Dr. Ann Gunkel, chair of Cincinnati State's Environmental Engineering Technology program.

Greater Cincinnati has worked for several years to meet a federal order to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and reduce combined sewer discharges, primarily caused by heavy rains that fill sewer lines. During particularly hard storms untreated sewage can flow directly into waterways through relief valves. Managing stormwater by capturing it before it gets into sewer systems is one of the best ways to reduce messy and potential dangerous overflows.

"Cincinnati State has worked closely with our partners in industry and local government to design a major that will serve an emerging need in the workplace," said Dr. Monica Posey, academic vice president at the college.
 
Students in the stormwater management major will take core courses within the environmental engineering technologies curriculum, in addition to specialty courses such as: Environmental mapping, watershed management, stormwater management (including the hydrologic cycle, the history of drainage control efforts, and FEMA and local flood design criteria and control methods) and stormwater management technologies.

Also starting in the Fall 2010, Cincinnati State will offer a "Smart Grid" major as part of its power systems engineering technology program.
 
The major will train student-technicians to install meters as well as maintain them and work on distribution and transmission processes. The major will be geared toward the electric utility industry, but Cincinnati State officials believe skills learned can be used across an array of industries.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Robert White, Cincinnati State Communications

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