Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 32.82
Liaison Katharine Glenn
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Paul Smith's College of Arts & Sciences
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Katharine Glenn
Sustainability Coordinator
Center for Campus Sustainability
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Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Sustainability

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

The Sustainability program prepares students to work in the rapidly growing fields of conservation and sustainable development, environmental planning and management, green construction, sustainable agriculture and support of local agriculture, sustainable forestry, green business practices, conservation design, recycling and waste reduction, community green design, land use policy and regulation, and alternative energy and energy efficiency. In preparation for careers in this field, students will be provided with a program of study that integrates the natural, social, and management sciences. In addition, the program aims to help students develop tangible tools, including remote sensing and GIS, for assessing and managing sustainable enterprises, while providing an opportunity to develop creativity and curiosity through curriculum flexibility and open and restricted electives. The program is firmly rooted in the core principles of experiential learning promoted at Paul Smith’s College, ensuring that students will not only develop the theoretical underpinning necessary for a successful career in this field, but will also have hands-on experience of the realities of managing resources sustainably. Given that the field of sustainable resource use is rapidly developing, the program will also incorporate a constantly evolving curriculum to ensure that graduates receive relevant training and remain at the forefront of the industry.

At the end of the program students will be able to:

Integrate political, social, economic, technological, and ecological dimensions of conservation and resource sustainability to make appropriate land use decisions.
Analyze concepts, issues and practices related to sustainable food systems from farm to fork at individual, family, community, regional and global levels.
Analyze concepts, issues and practices related to cultural sustainability and preservation of traditional arts at individual, family, community, regional and global levels.
Develop, implement, and evaluate sustainable, entrepreneurial business strategies and projects that incorporate environmental and social consciousness into economic practice.
Facilitate opportunities for collaboration and public participation around natural resource and cultural sustainability and work to create and maintain effective collaborations under a range of social-economic conditions.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Environmental Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

The Environmental Studies (B.A.) program uses the tools of the social sciences and humanities to examine the challenging intersection of nature and culture. In the context of the global environmental crisis, Environmental Studies students will learn how different cultures view themselves in relation to the natural world and explore how those views impact Earth's systems. The Environmental Studies program allows students to explore these crucial issues from a variety of perspectives across the traditional disciplines, including politics, the arts, sciences, sociology, economics, ethics, philosophy, and environmental history.

The program employs a three-fold thematic approach to build and focus student understanding of the relationship between nature and culture and of the importance of stewardship. The three themes—Environment and Human Expression, Environment and Society, and Environment and Science —represent broad perspectives through which to examine the opportunities and issues surrounding our society's dialogue with nature.

The Environmental Studies program is built upon the College's well-established strengths in environmental and cultural stewardship and in the Liberal Arts. The design of the program is flexible enough to allow students to pursue their individual interests while they are also developing a solid foundational experience in the Liberal Arts. Upon graduation a wide range of career opportunities are open to the Paul Smith's Environmental Studies student. Careers in environmental writing, advocacy, environmental education, parks and recreation, and business are all appropriate for Environmental Studies graduates. In addition, the students may choose concentration electives that prepare them for further academic study.

At the end of the program students will be able to:

Creatively and critically interpret, in written and oral form, the influence of philosophy, literature, religion and the arts in developing environmental policies and perspectives.
Critically interpret the influence of politics, social forces, economics, and geography in developing environmental perspectives, policies and actions, highlighting the influence of social, cultural and ecological diversity.
Analyze how different societies’ patterns of relating to and valuing the natural world have shaped the ecosystems around them over time, and how societies in turn have been shaped by their material environments.
Effectively communicate and discuss how ecosystems function in conjunction with the mechanisms of human influence on nature.
Through out-of-classroom group and individual work, describe how history, art, local culture, and economic activity have influenced environmental and social outcomes in the Adirondacks and other regions.
Integrate critical thinking and research skills as a basis for informed action by using one or more applied tools for environmental study and management in independent and group research/action projects.
Employ and integrate a variety of intellectual and disciplinary concepts in their study of and engagement with complex environmental policies and perspectives.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
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Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Sustainable Communities

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:

Sustainability is a common thread that runs through many of the programs at Paul Smith’s. The Sustainable Communities Minor allows a student to demonstrate a broad knowledge of natural resources sustainability from the basics of ecological sustainability and society’s interaction with natural resources to conservation design of communities, structures, or alternative energy, and land use planning.

Understanding sustainable practices is increasingly important in many fields including facilities management, hospitality, and business.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
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Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
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The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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