Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.34
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

James Madison University
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Christie-Joy Hartman
Executive Director
"---" 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):

One program is ENVT 400: Capstone Seminar in Environmental Problem Solving. The purpose of the capstone seminar is to provide an interdisciplinary, environmental problem-solving experience for students completing the Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and Environmental Management minors who have completed at least 15 credit hours towards completion of their minor. The course is to be taught by two full-time faculty members who represent different disciplinary perspectives on environmental issues and ideally are housed in two different academic departments. Rotating instructor pairs design the course around a particular environmental topic or case study about which the teaching team has expertise that provides students the opportunity to experience hands-on interdisciplinary work, culminating in an end-of-semester summary experience open to interested faculty members and interested members of the public. Departments supporting faculty in this endeavor receive part-time funding to replace the faculty member for a semester, and the faculty members will receive a development stipend if the course is a new course design.

The Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) provides comprehensive professional development opportunities for JMU faculty at all levels and stages of their careers. CFI initiatives support innovations in teaching, scholarship, career planning, and organizational development. The Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) offers professional development related to sustainability. For example, "Preparing Faculty to Be Inclusive Teachers" was offered in Spring 2021. In the special online COVID version of the regular institute, participants had the opportunity to develop their skills for intentionally designing and implementing instructional strategies to support inclusive learning environments for a diverse student body. The concepts, tools, research, insights, and materials helped participants integrate inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and leadership practices. The opportunity of this institute was to suggest how to welcome and leverage differences for the benefit of all learners, including the lead learner. Participants experienced and considered a range of learning activities, ranging from exploring personal identity to unpacking privilege to creating accessible activities and materials for class. By the end of the institute, participants gained foundational knowledge to continue to cultivate a community committed to inclusive practices. As another example, "Managing Eco-Anxiety in the Classroom," an online roundtable, was offered twice in November 2021. This roundtable provided space for participants to share how they understand and work with eco-anxiety realities in their classrooms, regardless of disciplinary perspective. For example, how can faculty and staff encourage awareness of and engagement with the world’s crises without leading students to overwhelm? What assignments, pedagogies, or strategies can be used to validate experiences of eco-anxiety while motivating deliberation and possibility? And how might faculty and staff help students navigate real crises to envision and advocate for more hopeful, equitable, and sustainable futures? This roundtable conversation offered ideas, strategies, and community for thinking about teaching in an eco-anxious world.

In 2021, the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World offered mini-grants to support incorporating sustainability in courses and outreach. One example of a funded project was, "Recreating the GEOG 200 Global Dimension Course Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a Foundation."

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

Departments supporting faculty teaching ENVT 400 receive funding to replace the faculty member for a semester, and the faculty member teaching receives a development stipend if the course is a new course design.

For the ISNW mini-grant funding, the faculty received compensation.

The benefit from the CFI programs is the professional development experience at no cost to the faculty member.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

CFI information from JMU CFI newsletter communication on October 15, 2021. ENVT information from November 29, 2021 listserv announcement from Rob Alexander, Minors Coordinator.

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