Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.97
Liaison Alex Davis
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Arizona State University
ER-14: Incentives for Developing Sustainability Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Betty Lombardo
University Sustainability Practices
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Does the institution have a program that meets the criteria outlined above?:

A brief description of the program(s):

Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability offers the “Scholarship to develop real-world learning experiences for sustainability research and problem solving” to faculty of the School of Sustainability since 2010.

Faculty can apply for a scholarship for themselves and for an undergraduate research assistant to develop a real-world learning project in sustainability as integrated part of their regular course or to design a new workshop course. With “real-world learning project” we mean that we ask faculty to identify a real-world problem in the community (not from the book or journal article) that represents some of the course material that they are teaching. Faculty are asked to develop a semester project for students so that students can apply the content, concepts, and methods from the course to this real-world issue and critically reflect on this science-practice interrelations and their experiences. It is up to faculty to also include a “community-engagement component”, which means faculty identify people in the community who are (positively/negatively) affected by the issue or who work on it as a professional and invite those non-academic experts to collaborate with the class on this project in order to complement the academic perspective with the perspective of practitioners and stakeholders.

There is a critical mass of committed SOS students and faculty who are moving real-world learning approaches and community engagement in sustainability forward, voluntarily, without incentives.

The Real-World Learning Faculty Group consists of 10 faculty members and meets two to three times per semester to share experiences, support each other in their class-based real-world learning projects, and strategize about support and resources needed and how to acquire both. The Community-based Research Forum is a voluntary group of a dozen of advanced graduate students, convened by a faculty member and the Community-University Liaison. Graduate students, who collaborate in their research with local community entities, present their research and share concepts and methods for community-based research as well as their implementation experiences.

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

First, faculty can apply for a scholarship for themselves ($1000) and for an undergraduate research assistant ($500). In addition to this financial support, faculty can, secondly, also recruit the support of the “Community-University Liaison”. Among others, this (half-time) staff position was created to assist faculty in making and maintaining contact to local community organizations relevant to their research and teaching areas (in the business, public, or not-for-profit domain), and in designing and implementing real-world projects in sustainability (e.g., project design, coaching students, co-instruction of classes). Thirdly, in addition to these incentives offered through the School of Sustainability, the President of Arizona State University rewards innovative and socially embedded teaching techniques fostering sustainability competences with the “President’s Award for Sustainability”. This award has been given to faculty from the School of Sustainability because of their real-world learning approach to teaching sustainability problem solving.

The website URL where information about the program is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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