Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.39
Liaison Christine Pinkham
Submission Date March 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

British Columbia Institute of Technology
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

BCIT’s program development process ensures the development of high quality programming which meets the needs of our diverse stakeholders and ensures our credentials are recognized, well regarded, and of appropriate rigour. The process is guided by criteria set out by the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and BCIT’s Policy 5401 Program Development and Credentials, and the associated procedures. With this, the programs in development must align with BCIT’s Strategic Plan. New program templates have Sustainability built in to them to align with the strategies outlined in the Strategic Plan.

In the Strategic Plan, BCIT has articulated three Commitments that represent our primary areas of activity and accountability. We are intent on being a people-focused organization that delivers future-proof applied education, amplifying our impact through globally relevant connections. Key initiatives align with these commitments to create a framework for action and decision making. Interwoven in much of the Strategic Plan, and highlighted in our core values, sustainability is explicit in—and integral to—these initiatives:
• Process and system redesign: redesign processes, systems, and structures to enhance our agility and effectiveness and to embed sustainability.
• Augmented and sustainable environments: cultivate exceptional learning environments and communities through technology and sustainable campus development.
• New models of collaboration: reinvent how we work with industry and peers to drive economic, social, and environmental prosperity in British Columbia and beyond.
Together, these confirm our intention to embed sustainability in our education and applied research activities, across our campus operations and facilities, and in our interactions with stakeholders beyond BCIT.

Our sustainability strategies leverage existing strengths and activity at BCIT, in each case articulating a clear direction and outlining a roadmap for progress. All strategies derive from our definition of sustainability that integrates both ecological and social objectives. One of the strategies towards delivering future-proof applied education is renewal and development of curriculum and credentials that integrate sustainability across BCIT programs.

Some of the offerings recently introduced or in development include:
• The School of Energy and the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation jointly designed a Master’s credential in Smart Grid Systems and Technology, which combines the fields of sustainability, electrical power systems, computer science, and information and communications technology.
• The School of Construction and Environment has launched two new microcredentials to provide learners with an industry-focused, applied education that allows them to rapidly upskill or reskill, build resiliency, and stay ahead of workplace trends. Microcredentials are flexible, short-term programs that help learners quickly master new competencies and gain knowledge essential to in-demand Canadian industries:
o Essentials of Natural Resource and Environmental Protection. This microcredential was jointly developed with Vancouver Island University (VIU) to support learners in understanding the importance of natural resources to British Columbia and potential career pathways in the field. Learners will also gain familiarity with field techniques, tools, maps and data being used, and understand how climate change intersects with BC’s natural resources.
o Introductory Studies in Mass Timber Construction. Mass timber is a category of wood-based building materials that uses timber, a sustainable and renewable material, as the main raw material for structural elements that are prefabricated off-site under controlled conditions. From building envelope and services installation to construction management and 3D modeling, learners will gain expertise in mass timber construction.
• The School of Business and Media has launched a series of Corporate Training Webinars focusing on sustainability champions. These champions are in global demand as organizations need a new generation of business leaders who can consider broad, alternative and visionary solutions to environmental, social & economic problems.

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

BCIT provides a number of incentives for academic staff who are developing sustainability courses and programs:
• Academic staff who excel in implementing sustainability into the curriculum are eligible for an Employee Excellence Award in Sustainability.
• Professional Development leaves or releases from teaching to work on expanding sustainability offerings. This includes leaves for self-study review of existing programs and how they align with the Sustainability Vision and Indigenous Vision strategies.
• Sustainability-focused and sustainability-inclusive courses are offered free of charge to employees by waiving the tuition fee. If there are additional material or instructional costs incurred, employees may access these courses through Professional Development/Educational Assistance funds to pay the course fee.
• Professional Development funding can be used for tuition, registration fees for courses, seminars, workshops or conferences, and diplomas, certificates, or degrees where they are related to the employee’s current position or related career goals.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
Additional documentation to support 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.