Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.98
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

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 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):

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. Dickinson participants receive a $1000 stipend. In 2017 we joined as an AASHE Regional Center for Sustainability across the curriculum and began to open this workshop to colleagues at other institutions for a mere $95 to cover food and supplies. We have served as a leader in this network and offered in person workshops in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with this format.

Over 130 unique faculty members from 18 different institutions have participated in the Valley & Ridge program since 2008. Detail project outcome summaries from the last three years are all available online. Dickinson faculty have come from over 36 of our academic departments.

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, sustainability & religion, 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, national level webinars, presentations and consultations on our faculty development programs have followed.

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

Our Sustainability Education Funding (SEF) for projects and research that advances sustainability-related scholarship and creativity. These 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.

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.

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 Spring 2020, CSE has awarded more than $600,000 in 270 sub awards to 150 unique faculty members in all divisions of the college.

80 Curriculum Development Grants
21 Professional Development Grants
54 Student-Faculty Research Grants (supporting 95 students)
10 Research Assistant Grants
103 Valley & Ridge Participant Awards

Check out the long term data here:

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content 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.


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