Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lindsey Lyons
Assistant Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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):

Dickinson annually offers an interdisciplinary study group to support faculty in developing new courses or revising existing courses to promote sustainability learning. Valley & Ridge, modeled on the Ponderosa and Piedmont Projects and launched in 2008, brings faculty together from all academic divisions of the college to work together on sustainability teaching projects. Members of the year-long study group participate in a 2-1/2 day workshop in May, 1/2 day retreat in August, and other activities over the year. Participants receive a $1000 stipend. Over 85 unique faculty members from 25+ different departments have participated in the Valley & Ridge program since 2008. Detail project outcome summaries from the last three years are all available online.

In collaboration with the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Dickinson hosted the 2017 Valley & Ridge Faculty Development Workshop and opened applications to undergraduate faculty from other colleges and universities to participate alongside the Dickinson faculty cohort as they became a "Center for Sustainability Across the Curriculum." Outcomes included 17 faculty from 8 colleges and universities from throughout the region and covered disciplines such as engineering, theatre and dance, economics, Italian, and chemistry.

Other incentive-based study groups of various formats have offered faculty the opportunity to gather across disciplines to study, read, share, peer educate, and work on new curricular initiatives together. Since 2012, faculty study groups, with stipends, have been conducted around the topics of water, Living in a World of Limits, developing a Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate, food studies, Asia and the Environment, and departmental restructuring to include sustainability within introductory courses.

Positive outcomes include new course development and modification of existing courses to support our sustainability across the curriculum initiative, now in 39/43 departments on campus. Additionally, regional workshops for interdisciplinary teaching about climate change were hosted in 2014 and 2015 with Dickinson's leadership.

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

Faculty incentives (grants & stipends) for activities that advance sustainability-related learning, scholarship, creativity, and professional development are provided and administered by Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education. Our Sustainability Education Fund (SEF), made possible by a grant to Dickinson College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2008 and NASA in 2010, now supported 100% by Dickinson, funds these sustainability-related curriculum development, professional development, and student-faculty research projects for faculty members.

These financial incentives facilitate a better understanding of how to meet the critical needs for present and future generations while improving and sustaining the environmental, social, and economic systems on which they depend. Faculty from any discipline, administrators, and staff are eligible for funding, and this funding has furthered our course development across the curriculum.

As of November 2017, CSE has awarded more than 71 curriculum development grants and 18 professional development grants and 83 Valley & Ridge participant stipends that incentivize faculty for developing sustainability courses.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) works to connect Dickinson faculty and staff with professional development, curriculum development, and student-faculty research opportunities in sustainability. Providing incentivized workshops, study groups, guest speakers, public lectures, and curriculum consulting for individuals and/or academic departments and offices helps spread our sustainability initiative across the campus and curriculum.

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.