Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tara Scully
Director of the Sustainability Minor Program
Assistant Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

There is a strong emphasis across GW's various degree programs on immersive experiences, because of the location and culture of GW: semester-long experiential learning that includes service learning, service, and internships with community partners in D.C. and around the world are the norm. Often, as with the minor in sustainability, the course listing is identified as "Culminating Experience" or "Capstone Seminar." Following are some examples that demonstrate the breadth of activity on campus.
All undergraduate sustainability minors are required to complete three credits of experiential learning. They can fulfill this requirement by completing a sustainability-focused research, service, and/or internship project, in tandem with enrolling in the "Culminating Experience" course or "Research in Sustainability" course. This three-credit academic requirement challenges students to take sustainability from the classroom to communities, local and global.. During the semester that the student is fulfilling this requirement the students must complete several reflection essays that allow them to think critically about the real-world connections with their community partners working toward sustainability. This semester-long, immersive experience enhances the skills and knowledge of GW's sustainability minors and acts as a capstone experience. More information about the Culminating Experience can be found here: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/signature-courses
Alternative Breaks Program Over the past decade, students have created, led, and participated in service opportunities through the GW Alternative Breaks program offered by the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. GW Alternative Breaks mission is to empower students, staff and faculty to understand their role in local and global communities through service-learning trips across many issue areas. It is a student-focused, student-planned, and student-led immersive experience that takes place over winter and spring breaks. The goal is to foster personal reflection, social awareness and active citizenship among the GW community. All of the trips for GW Alternative Breaks consider social inequity and many trips have focused on specifically issues of environmental sustainability. In 2017-2018, students participated in one alternative fall, five alternative winter and five alternative spring break programs. Destinations include Baltimore, Atlanta, El Paso, Costa Rica, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico, Cherokee Nation, DC, Ecuador, New Orleans, and Philadelphia."


Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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All undergraduate sustainability minors are required to complete an experiential learning component for the minor. This three-credit academic requirement challenges students to take sustainability from the classroom to the community through community service, internships or directed research. During the semester that the student is fulfilling this requirement the students must complete several reflection essays that allow them to think critically about the real-world connections with their community partners working toward sustainability. This semester-long, immersive experience enhances the skills and knowledge of GW's sustainability minors and acts as a capstone experience. More information about the Culminating Experience can be found here: https://sustainabilitycollaborative.gwu.edu/culminating-experience

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