Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 52.40
Liaison Mary Fischer
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Brandeis University
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Dan Perlman
Associate Provost
Office of the Provost
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:

Sustainability is an inherently dynamic concept, because our understanding of potential harms to the well-being of both humans and nature are identified in large part through basic research in fields as diverse as climatology, toxicology, agronomy, and conservation biology. At its core though, and certainly within the context of designing a university curriculum, the call for a greater focus on sustainability requires a deeper integration of environmental science with economics and other human-centered disciplines, including history and even ethics. As such, sustainability-focused courses will be inherently integrative, including social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or will examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. Sustainability-related courses may incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue (e.g., climate change).

The goal of sustainability education is to provide students, regardless of their courses of study, the knowledge and skills to help create a healthy economy, society, and environment.

In order to determine whether or not a course has this goal in mind, it is useful to ask whether or not the given course will help students to achieve one or more of the following:

Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability.
Develop and use an ethical perspective in which they view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world.
Become aware of and explore the connections between their chosen course of study and sustainability.
Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainable solutions.
Understand the way in which sustainable thinking decision-making contributes to the process of creating solutions for current and emerging social, environmental, and economic crises.
Contribute practical solutions to real-world sustainability challenges.
Synthesize understanding of social, economic, and environmental systems and reason holistically.

Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

Courses from Spring 2011-Fall 2012 were reviewed in the Registrar Course Listing. The course descriptions were used to determine if courses met the definition of sustainability. Classes were considered unique per semester - meaning if a class had multiple sections in one semester it was only counted once. However, if the same class was offered during two different semesters, it was counted twice. The same methodology was applied to the total number of classes as was applied to the sustainability courses.

Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:

The website URL where the sustainability course inventory is posted:
Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.