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Sustainability in the Curriculum

The following statement was approved as part of the College's Sustainability Action Plan process.

The goal of sustainability education is to provide all students with the analytical, empirical, and theoretical, and creative tools to evaluate past, current, and future environmental issues. Incorporating sustainability into the liberal arts curriculum also establishes the relationships between diverse environmental, economic, and social factors as a lens through which world issues can be viewed and analyzed.

Sustainability-focused courses concentrate on the relationships between diverse environmental, economic, and social dimensions of issues, while sustainability-related courses incorporate discussion of these relationships into courses that otherwise focus on a single topic.

In general, sustainability-focused or sustainability-related courses provide training in one of the following:

  • Effective communication of sustainability issues, analysis, and recommendations
  • Generation of recommendations and/or solutions to sustainability problems
  • Basic-level technical skills to analyze sustainability issues
  • The complex global systems in which sustainability issues exist (e.g. laws and policies)
  • Philosophical or theoretical frameworks in which to view environmental and sustainability issues
  • Historical patterns that have produced modern sustainability issues
  • The complex social networks and dynamics of power in which sustainability issues have existed
  • Analysis of literature, non-fiction, architecture, material arts (e.g. painting), and other art forms that have some bearing on sustainability issues past and present
  • Awareness of connections between singular academic disciplines (e.g. Economics, English) and sustainability
  • Understanding of the scientific method and the laws of science and how they apply to natural systems and environmental issues