Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.92
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Dec. 21, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ann Janine Morey
Associate Vice Provost
Cross Disciplinary Studies and Diversity Engagement
"---" 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):
Faculty from any college can submit proposals to develop and teach the capstone course for the environment minors (see AC-3). The faculty members on a team are from two different disciplines- preferably a science faculty member is paired with another faculty member from either a social science or one of the humanities. The course, ENVT 400, is a case-based seminar with field and community experiences as part of the learning. Students are asked to produce an end-of-semester project for public presentation, and administrators and faculty are invited to evaluate the projects as part of the assessment. ENVT 400 has been offered 15 times (including Fall 2018) since the first offering in Spring 2010.

The Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) offers facilitated programs to support sustainability content and issues in the curriculum annually. For example, "Practical Tips for Teaching About Sustainability" was a 90 minute workshop offered on February 23, 2018. Another example is JmUDESIGN which encompasses an array of initiatives designed to guide participants through the instructional design and redesign process. JmUDESIGN begins with an intensive, five-day summer institute followed by optional on-demand consultations. Small group themes for 2018 included civic engagement and diversity/inclusion. Third, Flash Dialogues are faculty-driven discussions where faculty members from across our campus community come together to share significant and timely issues. Using an online submission form, one or more faculty members propose a topic related to campus life, the classroom, our community, or contexts beyond the university, and serve as discussion leaders for the 75 minute event. The "Earth Day 2017 Flashpoint-Protecting Scientific Knowledge, Protecting the Environment" bought together faculty experts in environmental science, law, policy, conservation, and renewable energy on the occasion of the 2017 Earth Day and the Scientists March on Washington April 22. Panelists considered major issues concerning the preservation and dissemination of scientific research focused on the environment as well as existing or threatened protections of the earth, water, and air in our local community and beyond (April 20, 2017).

Also, in 2018, the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability (OESS) offered mini-grants to support sustainability-related instruction, scholarship, and faculty development. This program is listed under AC-10 and is not intended to be double counted here. But for context, an example of an instructional outcome was that a professor in the Department of Biology received support to incorporate a pollinator garden and lesson plan development into a course for pre-service teachers.

As background for context, but not "credit," JMU previously offered three cohorts of faculty professional development at JMU through the Arboretum Collaborative. The faculty professional development program sought to present content and effective course redesign for teaching about sustainability through a backward design approach. Assessment of the program concluded in 2014 and subsequently a paper was published.
As a result of the Arboretum Collaborative, three cohorts of participants, from seven colleges and eighteen programs at JMU, completed sustainability-enhanced course design (or redesign). The last time an inventory was taken, twenty-two courses had been impacted, all in areas that often did not include sustainability content. The courses included undergraduate level courses in majors, undergraduate level courses for general education, and graduate level courses.

Importantly, and relevant to this credit, some faculty participants have continued to incorporate sustainability in other courses and to support other faculty. For example, "Honors: The Psychology of Sustainability and Connection to the Natural World" is an example of a very recent course offering (2016) by a faculty member who participated in the Arboretum Collaborative. See https://www.jmu.edu/international/abroad/programs/jmu-malta-honors.shtml. As a second example, the sustainability workshop listed above was taught by an Arboretum Collaborative participant.

A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:
The Office of Cross Disciplinary Studies and Diversity Engagement provides one-time development funds for faculty members from any college to create a capstone course for the environment minors. Buyout is available each semester for two faculty members from any college to find others to cover usual courses so that the selected faculty can team teach the capstone.

For the OESS funding, the faculty can receive compensation and/or project materials funds.

The benefit from the CFI programs is the professional development experience.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
CFI and OESS information compiled by the OESS.

CFI and OESS information compiled by the OESS.

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