Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.86
Liaison Alyssa Erding
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2021

STARS v2.2

Macalester College
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.40 / 8.00 Christie Manning
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted one or more sustainability learning outcomes that apply to the entire student body or, at minimum, to the institution's predominant student body?:

Which of the following best describes the sustainability learning outcomes?:

A list of the institution level sustainability learning outcomes:

Total number of graduates from degree programs:

Number of graduates from degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

A brief description of how the figure above was determined:

The figure above was determined by the number of graduates that majored, minored, or had a concentration in a degree program designated as a sustainability-focused program.

A list of degree programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary department based on a holistic understanding of environmental issues occurring at the local, national, and global level. The department teaches students to use the tools and perspectives of the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences to understand the causes and consequences of environmental problems and to develop solutions to these problems.

The learning goals for our students include:

The ability to think systematically about complicated problems.
The ability to recognize and communicate with diverse kinds of specialists.
The ability to understand the premises of diverse disciplines.
The ability to appreciate the nature of scientific uncertainty and controversy.
The capacity for consensus building and appreciation of group dynamics.
The ability to appreciate the nature of our species, spirituality, aesthetics, and relationships and differences among cultures.

International Studies
Our interdisciplinary approach provides many entry-points and frameworks to study the global interconnections of politics, society, culture, economics, and ecology and the issues of difference they raise. We look at:
international law and governance
transnational economic systems
ecological globalization, and
flows of culture, people, texts, and ideas

To ground our study, we offer courses that delve into topics of global importance, including:
the environment
global health
human rights
media and cultural production
world-spanning literature
post-colonial studies, and
contending ideologies of power, leadership, and identity
Our program is designed to give students the skills to understand and engage with issues across difference and around the world. Many of our courses are globally oriented, while our regionally specific offerings reach outward and provide analytical tools that can be applied to similar issues worldwide.

By studying issues like food, poverty, housing, migration, health, and urbanization, geographers examine how people interact with one another and their environments. We study how processes shape places (and vice versa), and how places are linked together, often sharing our findings through carefully crafted reports, illustrations, and infographics. Our work is part policy and data analysis, part history, and part empirical observation, served up with sides of storytelling and graphic design.

The anthropology department emphasizes the holistic study of the human condition. Our interests range from world cultures and global challenges, to human rights and human origins. Our topical specialties include transnational migrations, violence and human rights, environmental and political movements, issues of development and sustainability, human variations, human health, and human evolution.

Geologists look deep into the ground—and thus deep into the past—searching for clues about how the world became the way it is. Our field is about way more than looking at rocks: we seek to understand how mountains form, how life evolves, how glaciers move, and how entire oceans expand and contract. As a geology major, you’ll learn about the interconnectedness of the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere; you’ll study the evolution of life on this planet over millions of years; you’ll ponder how processes deep inside the planet impact the Earth’s surface and climate; and you’ll consider how, in the age of humans and climate change, the world might evolve next.

A geology degree will teach you:
How the natural world around you has evolved, and continues to evolve, over time
How study of the past can inform our understanding of climate change today
How coveted natural resources are formed, distributed, and depleted, from the water you drink to the metals in your cell phone
How life on our planet has evolved in conjunction with earth processes

Food, Agriculture and Society
We don’t just talk about farming. Our interdisciplinary approach to agriculture sets us apart from other liberal arts colleges. You’ll take courses that examine food from the lenses of geography, economics, geology, political science, religion, history, and international studies, to name a few. You might look at the history and effectiveness of food stamps in the United States; or study how food is central to religious practices; or travel to Botswana to conduct research with your professor—and then write and publish articles together. This interdisciplinary perspective of food and agriculture is crucial to developing more sustainable and equitable food systems. Our students go on to change the face of agriculture, both in the United States and abroad.

Urban Studies
Are you interested in closing achievement gaps for minority students? Creating carbon-neutral environments? Better controlling infectious disease in densely populated areas? Or do you have a fascination with bike sharing systems? Subways? The architecture of cities? Different as they are, each of those falls under “urban studies.” It’s a multi-faceted—and fascinating—field that encompasses virtually every problem, every dynamic generated by the reality of cities.

Community and global health
Global health concerns are prominent in public discourse. The HIV/AIDS epidemic, the health impact of global warming, the threat of global pandemic disease, the American health care crisis, and obesity, malnutrition, and food supply exemplify the types of urgent public health challenges that pervade the daily news and fuel policy debates. Effective solutions rely on understanding complex phenomena that play out at the level of local communities as well as on the global stage, such as the impacts of environmental degradation, war and civil unrest, immigration patterns, cultural practices, and differential access to preventive programs and treatments. The concentration in Community and Global Health provides students with an array of analytical frameworks for understanding the complexities of population health and offers opportunities to integrate and apply these frameworks within the context of course work, civic engagement, and independent research.

Human Rights and Humanitarianism
Through the concentration—which includes classes in social sciences, humanities, and even fine arts—our students gain a nuanced understanding of the history of human rights and humanitarianism, and the institutional frameworks that govern them, as well as the theoretical and philosophical debates over the meanings of human rights and humanitarianism. Students grapple with a range of current and past global human rights problems and evaluate debates over the methods, motivations, and consequences of human rights and humanitarian action.

International Development
What changes when a country shifts from a traditional society to a modern society? Or from a focus on agriculture to a focus on industry? Development studies examines long-run transitions in social, economic, political, and cultural institutions that have accompanied industrialization in modern states, particularly focusing on states in the Global South such as Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other more newly industrialized locations.

Using a multidisciplinary approach encompassing political science, geography, environmental studies, education, economics, sociology, and anthropology, students will engage in research and applied scholarship around themes of international development; learn to critically evaluate international development theories, discourses, paradigms, and practices; and prepare for careers in the field of international development.

Documentation supporting the figure reported above (upload):
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that require an understanding of the concept of sustainability:

Website URL where information about the sustainability learning outcomes is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The Sustainability Office found department goals and learning outcomes and identified departments that align with the UN Sustainability goals

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.