Students in Professor Justin Honey’s Residential Design course scored an impressive accomplishment in the spring when they all passed the challenging Certified Green Professional Designation exam offered by the National Association of Homebuilders.

“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, Honey said. In Pitt State’s case, the cost of the exams was covered by a significant grant the School of Construction received in 2011.

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