|Submission Date||March 14, 2012|
Society & Environment
The PSAC has defined sustainability-focused courses as those that concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or those that examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, concentrate on a single aspect of sustainability, or address a sustainability principle or issue. The goal of sustainability education is to expose students, regardless of their course of study, with the knowledge, skills and conscience to help create a healthy economy, society, and environment. In order to determine whether a given course has this as an explicit objective, it is useful to consider if the given course will help students to achieve one of more of the following outcomes:
- Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability
- Become aware of and explore the connections between their chosen course of study and sustainable practices
- Understand the way in which sustainable thinking and decision-making contribute to creating solutions for current and emerging social, environmental, and economic challenges
- Synthesize understanding of social, economic, and environmental systems and reason about them holistically
- Develop and use an ethical perspective via which they view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world
- Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainable solutions
- Contribute practical solutions to real-world sustainability challenges
A course does not have to accomplish all of these things to be designated as sustainability-related or sustainability-focused.
Similarly, sustainability research focuses on a key principle of sustainability (such as social equity or environmental stewardship); addresses a sustainability challenge (such as climate change or poverty); or furthers our understanding of the interconnectedness of societal and environmental challenges. Sustainability research leads towards solutions that support economic prosperity, social well being, and ecological health.
Worksheets were sent out to each department, along with the sustainability definitions, and the faculty were asked to identify which courses met these objectives. Once the data was gathered, PSAC committee members met with each department to ensure the data were accurate and complete.
Departments were asked to submit the following:
1) A list of sustainability-focused courses that were offered within the department over the past 3 years (list each course only once).
2) A list of sustainability-related courses offered within the department over the past 3 years (list each course only once).
3) A list of faculty, staff, or students doing sustainability research within the department and a BRIEF description (1-2 sentences) about the research.
4) The total number of courses (not sections) that the department offered over the past 2 semesters.
5) Indication of whether any program/degree (undergraduate or graduate) within the department includes an aspect of sustainability as a required learning outcome for graduation from the program.
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.