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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.81
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Texas A&M University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kelly Wellman
Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
Yes

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

This year is the first year that the Office of Sustainability has been a partner of the Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program (SLFF). Texas A&M considers service-learning as a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities for reflection designed to promote student learning and development. The SLFF is a faculty development program and fellows undertake a service-learning related project during the year. Preference is given to project ideas and/or courses that can creatively address issues related to food security or sustainability.

In its first year, the Office of Sustainability awarded two fellowships. The first service-learning project was awarded for a project regarding Monarch butterflies being added into ENTO 322 Insects in Human Society which is a core curriculum class impacting 1200 students. The student-learning project includes students working on preparing habitats, planting native species, native species seed production, managing existing habitats, providing community education and awareness, as well as surveying the Monarch Butterfly populations over time.

The second project is the "Bryan Heritage Project" which will provide students taking ARCH 206- Architecture Design II and ARCH 646 - History and Theory of Preservation with hands-on experience interacting with property owners (which equates to clients in the real world) and assess their historical resources via a combination of manual and digital documentation tools. Students taking gain practice working in teams and feel more connected to their immediate surroundings by learning more about local history. Additionally, by appreciating the importance of saving existing buildings they learn key concepts in social and environmental sustainability, durability and resilience. There are a number of towns and communities in Texas that have initiated a concerted effort over the last few decades to preserve their shared built heritage. Preserving buildings and neighborhoods goes way beyond aesthetics- rather it provides us with a unique cultural identity, supports local businesses and brings about economic revitalization. Many have posited that the ‘greenest’ building is the one already there- preserving whole structures counters an ethic where everything from bottles to buildings are disposable. The city of
Bryan has, in particular, capitalized on its built heritage to create a more vibrant downtown, promote local economy and prevent blight. By partnering with local groups that are trying hard to further this mission, the proposed project will provide much needed assistance to the residents of Bryan.


A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty participants benefit from a $2,500 fellowship award that can be used for activities such as professional development, course development, research, and implementation costs that could include curriculum materials, shared materials for community partners, and course or project-related travel. Additionally, fellows benefit from the year long development activities designed to 1) Establish a core group of campus leaders knowledgeable about and engaged in serve-learning pedagogy 2) Increase familiarity and exposure to service-learning theory and current research and 3) Develop interdisciplinary service-learning projects through conversations and collaboration with faculty from other disciplines.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.