Coppedge, Richard Howard (2015-12). An Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Competencies for Wind Energy Technician I: A Delphi Methodology. Doctoral Dissertation.
Harvesting power for mankind is not a new concept, but the ideology of wind energy is considered an emerging field. The United States alone has grown from producing 3,000 megawatts in 2000 to 39,000 megawatts today (Liming & Hamilton,2011). With the growth in the wind energy industry new jobs are being added daily. With this growth comes a need to better understand what knowledge and skills are expected for a person to have to enter the field.
The goal of Career and Technology Education (CTE) is to prepare individuals for the world after high school. As new occupations form there is a need for CTE programs to take a deeper look at what courses are offered and how the curriculum for those courses are developed.
This Delphi study sought to identify the knowledge and skills a person should possess to successfully be employed as a wind energy technician. The theory of content-centered education was utilized to drive this study. The theory emphasizes the use of industry experts to develop curriculum to better prepare students for the industry itself.
To develop the instrument, the researcher identified six colleges in the state of
Texas which offered a wind energy technician certificate I. The curricula from the six different programs were combined to create the instrument. The instrument consisted of one hundred twenty-two knowledge and skill competencies which were divided into 11 categories. The instrument was sent to three different instructors, each of whom taught wind energy at a college in the state of Texas, for validation.
The study consisted of 17 individuals, with the title of wind energy technician, to form the panel of experts. The Delphi process relied on three rounds to form a consensus on the specific knowledge and skill competencies the panel of experts believed were important for a person to know or possess to be successfully employed as a wind energy technician. The panel of experts where given the opportunity to add to the list of knowledge and skill competencies during the first round, but no further competencies were added.
The study identified 86 knowledge and skill competencies which achieved a level of agreement to meet consensus. The consensus was based on a 75% level of agreement. There were thirty-two knowledge competencies and fifty-four skill competencies which the panel of experts achieved a sufficient level of agreement on. These competencies could potentially be utilized to begin a new Career and Technology Education program which prepares secondary students for a successful career in the wind energy industry.