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Residential design students earn ‘green’ professional certification

May 01, 2012 12:00AM

Justin Honey works with a student in his Residential Design class.

School of Construction professor Justin Honey knows the power of peer pressure. And sometimes, that can be a very good thing.

Students in Honey’s Residential Design course at Pittsburg State University scored an impressive accomplishment recently when, after weeks of preparation, they all took the Certified Green Professional Designation exam offered by the National Association of Homebuilders.

Having a few top students pass the professional-level examination might have been impressive enough. But Honey’s class did even better - every single student passed the challenging test, a designation that is internationally recognized and will make them competitive with experienced professionals when it comes to applying for jobs.

“In the past, as long as graduates had a diploma, that was enough,” said Honey, who has been focused on improving the school’s residential construction program by offering opportunities for professional designations and new and improved courses. “With the job market getting tighter, employers want their people to have professional designations. It gives students a leg up in a tough job market.”

Honey’s students plowed through six weeks’ worth of coursework to prepare for the Certified Green Professional exam, which is the first green building program to be recognized by the International Code Council. Most industries would pay about $1,000 to get an employee certified. In Pitt State’s case, the cost of the exams was covered by a significant grant the School of Construction received in 2011.

Along with his colleagues, Honey is working to offer a new Home Inspection course this summer, and will be offering an opportunity for students to receive that designation, as well.

“What we’re trying to do is make our students more marketable,” he said. “We’re trying to help them make an immediate impact as soon as they get into the industry.”

©2012 Pittsburg State University