Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.35
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date March 30, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

American University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Hannah Debelius
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
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Does the institution have an ongoing incentives program or programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The Ann Ferran Conference, an annual conference open to all faculty and staff includes workshops on integrating campus sustainability into the curriculum and creates incentive for new sustainability courses. Relevant workshops:

307: More Than a Scenic Backdrop: The AU Campus as a Teaching and Learning Resource: The AU campus is a natural treasure. It is an accredited arboretum and recognized as one of the most beautiful and well-tended college campuses in the country. This landscape is more than a scenic backdrop: It can be an exceptional resource for experiential learning. This panel brings together faculty and staff in an imaginative and interactive discussion about how AU’s Arboretum and Gardens can be, and have been, integrated creatively and effectively into classes. The campus environment lends itself well to exploring such topics as biodiversity, water management, sustainable development, and urban agriculture. Memorable moments in the University’s history also can be revisited in the arboretum: for example, President Kennedy’s 1963 commencement speech. Following the presentations, panelists and the audience brainstorm about opportunities and connections that can serve to enhance faculty and student familiarity with the campus and enrich the classroom experience.

407: Teaching Environment and Sustainability across the Curriculum: This session seeks to engage and collaborate with faculty who want to learn about incorporating issues relating to conservation, climate change, and/or sustainability into their courses. These are key challenges of our times and teaching these issues enhances students’ knowledge and capacity to make a difference. Attendees learn strategies for including environmental examples, topics, speakers, projects, assignments, current events, and site visits in any course. Participants who have never taught these topics before but who are interested in interdisciplinary teaching are encouraged to attend. The session focuses upon sharing ideas and discussion of opportunities for including environmental topics across the curriculum.

Due to the workshops at this annual conference, interest has been increasing among faculty, and there has been growth in participation in this program. Discussions about how to expand the offering are underway.

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

Faculty receive professional development training, free of charge, in this subject area. The Office of Sustainability staff is available to all faculty to provide sustainability tours, data, and other benefits as requested.

The website URL where information about the incentive program(s) is available:

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