|Submission Date||Dec. 6, 2019|
Colorado State University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses
|2.00 / 2.00||
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:
A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):
Sustainability Education Improvement (SEI) Grants, sponsored by the President's Sustainability Commission and School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES), allow faculty from any academic program on campus to submit a proposal to either take a buyout or attend professional development to create a new course with a sustainability focus or integrate sustainability into an existing course. SEI Grants are awarded annually and courses developed through the grant are SoGES endorsed courses and/or contribute to the interdisciplinary Global Environmental Sustainability Minor.
A recent success story from 2019 is the creation of a new course titled Circular Economy for Sustainability in Textiles and Clothing. The three faculty members who received the grant - Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan, Sonali Diddi, and Sandra Chisholm not only submitted the proposal for the course but also collaborated with the Eco Leaders on campus to host a series of student engagement workshops called Swap Not Shop. The engagement workshops were offered on three different dates at locations around campus and introduced students to the concept of circular economies with a documentary and clothing swap event. The workshops were so successful the faculty members have now submitted a formal proposal to create a permanent mending and swap shop operated by students as a living lab in the next housing project on campus. This has been a wonderful example of classroom learning extending to co-curricular and living lab opportunities.
Below is an excerpt from their SEI grant proposal:
The textiles and clothing industry is the second most polluting industry, next to the oil industry; however, research has shown that most consumers have limited knowledge about the sustainability impacts of clothing related products they wear/use daily. The fast fashion business model focusing on stylish, cheap, and yet low quality clothing has helped create the “disposable fashion” culture among many young consumers, which further causes overconsumption and increased post-consumer textile waste in landfill. Taking a circular economy perspective, the proposed course aims to educate young adult consumers on the environmental and social impacts of textiles and clothing products. Knowledge of circular economy will provide a holistic perspective of the clothing lifecycle from design, production, consumption, and post-consumption. Students will be able to able to apply systems thinking and interdisciplinary perspectives in their decision making process both in their personal and professional lives. It will also prepare them to be more sustainability-centric consumers in their clothing purchases and consumption.
Backgrounds of Proposers:
The three proposers of the new course development will co-teach and bring individual expertise to address sustainability at various points across the supply chain system of the textiles and clothing industry. Specifically, each of the proposers will help address different topics based on their expertise:
(1) Sandra Chisholm, advisor/instructor, has expertise in fibers and textiles innovations in the textiles and clothing industry that contribute to the sustainability of raw materials.
(2) Sonali Diddi, assistant professor, focuses her teaching on the global textiles and clothing trade, supply chains and alternative business models promoting circular economy and conducts research in sustainable clothing consumption and production practices.
(3) Ruoh-Nan (Terry) Yan, associate professor, teaches and conducts research in the areas of consumer behavior and retailing.
A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:
SEI Grants are administered by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) with funding support from the President's Sustainability Commission. They include either a faculty buyout for one course, or funds to cover all expenses associated with attending AASHE's annual conference or similar professional development opportunity, as well as a pre and post workshop with the Head of Curriculum Development at SoGES. Faculty from all eight colleges are invited to apply.
In addition to the individual faculty grants awarded each year, the sponsors also host a workshop on campus to engage faculty on integrating sustainability curriculum.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.