Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 MIT Office of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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):

MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Through the generous support of alumni from the Classes of 1951, 1955, 1972, and 1999, MIT faculty have resources available to initiate innovative educational projects, particularly for undergraduate education. This funding is intended as seed money for new, "high risk" initiatives that encourage creative curriculum and teaching changes, improve the quality of teaching, and enrich the learning experience, including the imaginative use of technology and applications.

Typical projects have included the development of new curricula and/or instructional aids, programs to enhance teaching skills and techniques, and the incorporation of latest teaching and learning methods in such important areas as the first year, General Institute Requirements, departmental programs, experiential learning, and faculty enhancement, support, and development. Grants range from $10,000 to $50,000. Larger grants will be considered for special projects. Cost sharing is encouraged. Please refer to the following link for more information: https://shass.mit.edu/resources/education-innovation-resources.

MIT Open Learning
MIT Open Learning and the MITx Faculty Advisory Committee offer two types of grants for proposals from MIT faculty for development and operation of modules and/or experimentation with tools or content that leverage the edX platform for global and residential audiences in support of the digital learning strategies of MIT schools and departments. Priority is given to projects that 1) Experiment with research-based learning and teaching practices and describe specifically how student learning will be promoted and measured, 2) Are modular and incorporate other recommendations of the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education.3) Impact both global (MITx on edX) and MIT residential audiences.4) Have defined metrics for success and descriptions of how these will be measured. 5) Can be reused across MIT, 6) Additional Objective for MITx Modules Grant: Support the digital learning strategy of the school or department.

For more information please refer to: https://openlearning.mit.edu/mit-faculty/mitx-grant-program.

Energy Education Task Force
The Energy Education Task Force (EETF) offers incentives for faculty to develop new or substantially revised energy-focused subjects. The task force is part of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), a platform for energy-related activity at MIT, including research, education, campus energy management, and outreach programs that cover all areas of energy supply and demand, security, and environmental impact.

The EETF is composed of faculty from all five schools at MIT, as well as graduate and undergraduate student representatives. Under the direction of co-chairs Bradford Hager, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth Sciences and director of the Earth Resources Laboratory, and Rajeev Ram, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, this task force plays a critical role in shaping energy education at MIT.

Proposed energy-focused subjects must be intended as permanent additions to the MIT undergraduate curriculum. In addition, they are subject to the review, approval, and budgeting cycles of all relevant Institute committees. Proposals are reviewed monthly by the Energy Education Task Force (EETF) and Energy Minor Oversight Committee (EMOC) on a rolling basis.

Five new and returning faculty members were appointed to the MIT Energy Initiative’s Energy Education Task Force (EETF) this 2016/2017 academic year. MITEI welcomed Robert Jaffe, Jane and Otto Morningstar Professor of Physics; Steven Leeb, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Yogesh Surendranath, Paul M. Cook Career Development Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Ruben Juanes, ARCO Associate Professor in Energy Studies, of civil and environmental engineering; and Konstantin Turitsyn, associate professor of mechanical engineering. (Please refer to this link for more information: http://energy.mit.edu/news/mitei-welcomes-five-new-faculty-members-energy-education-task-force/.)
Energy Studies Minor
MITEI sponsors an Energy Studies Minor. Designed by MITEI, the minor is an undergraduate course of study that encourages students from any department within MIT to expand their knowledge of energy issues across a range of fields, from science and engineering to policy to the humanities.This minor produces multi-dimensional graduates who possess both subject-specific knowledge and integrative understanding across a range of energy issues. In addition, the minor integrates undergraduate energy education across all schools, departments, and programs at MIT. The minor consists of core subjects in energy science, economics, social science, and energy technology/engineering in context. For more information, please refer to this link: http://energy.mit.edu/minor/.

Several new electives for the Energy Studies Minor arrived in fall 2015, updating and expanding content for the undergraduate curriculum in energy science, technology, and policy. The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation provided funding for what will eventually be five new classes and new energy components for four existing classes.

These new additions are in large part a response to mounting undergraduate student demand for course-based exposure to energy applications in the private and public sectors as well as hands-on experience in energy technologies and for an energy education that addresses urgent, real-world challenges. (Please refer to: http://energy.mit.edu/news/new-electives-augment-undergraduate-energy-curriculum/).

Environmental Solutions Initiative
The MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) provides curriculum grants for faculty to develop new or adapt classes in sustainability. Eight new classes, three adapted classes, and one teaching resource have been funded in the past two years. These classes will be open to all undergraduate students and will also count as credit toward the new Environment and Sustainability (E&S) minor. In 2017, 70 electives related to sustainability were listed for credit in the E&S minor and can be found on the ESI website here: https://environmentalsolutions.mit.edu/environment-sustainability-minor/

The first call to proposal for curriculum grants was in 2016 and will continue to be recieved yearly. In 2016, five projects were funded. The class names that were funded are:
1) People and the Planet: Environmental Governance and Science
2) City on a hill: Understanding Environmental Change and Health in the City of Boston
3) Environmental Justice: Law and Policy
4) Design for Complex Environmental Issues: Building Solutions and Communicating Ideas (adapted)
5) Environment and History (adapted)
In 2017 seven classes and one teaching resource were funded. The names of these projects are:
1) Biogeochemistry of Natural and Perturbed Systems
2) History of Earth's Environment
3) Sensing for Resilience and Sustainability
4) Solving for Carbon Neutrality at MIT
5) Urban & Environmental Technology Implementation Lab
6) People and the Planet: Environmental History's and Engineering
7) Introduction to Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate (adapted)
8) EsGlobe: an interactive educational resources for environmental data (teaching resource) "

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

Energy Education Task Force
MITEI's Energy Education Task Force (EETF) provides faculty with funding to develop new or substantially revised energy-focused subjects (courses). Funding levels range from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000, depending on the extent of development required. Proposals may include costs for development and first year delivery, as well as modest support for delivery in the second and third years (Please refer to this link for additional information: http://energy.mit.edu/news/nine-undergraduate-energy-curriculum-development-projects-launch-in-summer-2015/).

Environmental Solutions Initiative
In the past two years ESI's curriculum grants have funded nearly $700,000 to faculty to develop and deliver the proposed coursework."

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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