|Submission Date||Aug. 2, 2011|
Richland College - DCCCD
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification
Director, Institutional Effectiveness & Sustainability
Planning and Research for Institutional Effectiveness
Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
Richland's Curriculum & Education for Sustainability Team, which includes five faculty members from different academic disciplines and three administrators who teach, developed the following definition of sustainability in course curriculum:
Sustainability courses are those in which the concept of sustainability and the interconnected social, environmental, and economic dimensions that comprise it are presented to and explored by students. In terms of student learning outcomes, sustainability courses are those in which the instruction encourages students to “commit to ethical reasoning as they assume personal, civic, and social responsibilities and obligations to future generations for building sustainable local and world community” (Richland Institutional/General Education Student Learning Outcomes). Courses identified as sustainability courses should include a related outcome statement on the course syllabus although the outcome might be implied rather than explicitly stated. Courses with no sustainability outcome statement on the syllabus are not considered sustainability courses.
We evaluate whether a course is Sustainability-Related or Sustainability-Focused based on the level of instruction on sustainability and whether student learning about sustainability is formally assessed. The level of instruction--Introduced, Reinforced, or Advanced—for a course is based on three factors:
• readiness of students: whether students are expected to have little, some, or much prior knowledge and skills related to the concepts when entering the course;
• instruction and learning activities: whether the instruction and learning activities focus on basic, entry-level knowledge, skills; and competencies or build upon previous skills with increased complexity
• scope of coverage: whether the course addresses some aspects of sustainability, whether those aspects are treated separately, or whether they are applied in all of their complexity across multiple contexts.
Courses which include a formal assessment are those in which students have opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned and receive feedback in a formal way. Assessment may range from a few items on a course exam to a comprehensive research paper or group project depending on the level of instruction.
• Sustainability-related courses: Sustainability concepts are Introduced and formally assessed.
• Sustainability-focused courses: Sustainability concepts are Reinforced or Advanced and are also formally assessed.
Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:
Richland conducted a two-year process to identify its institutional/general education student learning outcomes. The process involved input from students, faculty, staff, and the community Richland serves. One of these outcomes pertains to sustainable development and ethics. Following identification of these student learning outcomes, Richland faculty mapped the college's general education curriculum to these outcomes. Curriculum mapping identifies the courses in a curriculum in which outcomes are communicated to students, the level of instruction provided, and whether students receive formal feedback on their performance on the outcome. Our general education curriculum map, created with input from faculty teaching courses in our general education curriculum, lists all of the courses in which our sustainability student learning outcome is stated on the course syllabus, the level of instruction provided, and whether the outcome is formally assessed.
Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:
The website URL where the sustainability course inventory is posted:
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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.