Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 38.98
Liaison Ann Drevno
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Saint Mary's College of California
AC-1: Academic Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.24 / 14.00 Steve Woolpert
School of Liberal Arts
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Figures required to calculate the percentage of courses with sustainability content::
Undergraduate Graduate
Total number of courses offered by the institution 677 479
Number of sustainability courses offered 5
+ Date Revised: Sept. 23, 2014
Number of courses offered that include sustainability 48 58

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer at least one sustainability course and/or course that includes sustainability (at any level):

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that offer courses (at any level):

Number of years covered by the data:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):
An inventory of the institution's course offerings with sustainability content (and course descriptions):

An inventory of sustainability courses offered in 2012-13 that includes, at minimum, the title, department (or equivalent), and level of each course (i.e. undergraduate or graduate), as well as a brief description if the sustainability focus of the course is not apparent from its title.
GRAND TOTAL: 109 COURSES OUT OF 1156 = 9.43%
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: 51 out of 677, excluding multiple sections in the same term (duplicates), Internships, Independent studies, Labs and partial-credit courses. (7.5%)
18 departments out of 50 offer sustainability courses (36%)
Course descriptions and total number of courses by department:
Biology (7)
34 Protecting Biodiversity
55 Oceanography. An introductory course that examines the ocean world and its inhabitants. Topics include: physical and chemical properties of sea water; tides and currents; geological principles; coastal and open ocean habitats; life in planktonic and benthic communities; coral reef, hydrothermal vent and mangrove ecosystems.
113 Aquatic and Marine Biology. Examines aquatic and marine life in terms of physiological, evolutionary, systematic and ecological principles. Topics covered include: marine procaryotes, unicellular eucaryotes and the multicellular eucaryotes (i.e., the invertebrates, vertebrates and marine plants). The organization of and interrelationships among marine organisms and their environments are considered from an ecosystem perspective. Shallow and deep benthic, intertidal, estuarine, coastal water, coral reef and open ocean systems are examined in detail.
125 General Ecology. An examination of the classical and emerging concepts of ecology from a primarily but not exclusively descriptive perspective. Topics include: comparative study of marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems; global warming; population ecology; the decomposition cycle; nutrient cycling; concepts related to niche theory, fitness, competitive exclusion, natural selection, and evolution.
142 Californa Flora and Communties. Survey of selected plant communities of California. Includes a dual emphasis on field recognition of important plant families and genera of these communities and an understanding of the relationship of the component species to their environment.
146 Plant Ecophysiology. The functional aspects of plant life and the relation of plants to their physical, chemical, and biological environment. Emphasis on the vascular plants.
152 Conservation Science. Conservation biology is a field of biological science that draws upon the principles of ecology, genetics and evolution in an effort to understand the patterns and processes underlying the biological diversity of our planet. The course examines the current status of our scientific understanding of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity resulting from human activities, and strategies to conserve and restore the integrity of the earth’s biological systems.
Business Administration (2)
10 Global Perspectives in Business and Society. An introduction to business and society from a global perspective, including the political, socio-cultural, economic, and ecological dimensions of globalization. Topics include an introduction to global political and economic institutions (e.g., the IMF, World Bank, and United Nations), neo-liberalism, pro-globalization and anti-globalization movements, development in newly emerging economies (e.g., issues involving cultural, ecology, labor, currency and global capital flows), ecological issues (e.g., pollution, global warming, and shortages of water, food, and energy), Non-Governmental Organizations, cross-cultural worldviews of what constitutes a moral economy, and how business can serve social justice or perhaps undermine it.
181 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. The study and application of ethical decision-making, leadership, and social responsibility in business, grounded in personal and company core values. Topics include the moral dimensions of political and economic context of business; utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue ethics; creating ethical company cultures; the role of the firm in society and theories of corporate social responsibility, including sustainability (economic, social, ecological); cross-cultural dimensions of multinational business; and social responsibility focused regulation (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley)
Chemistry (1)
119 Environmental Chemistry. A study of the theory and practice of water, air, and soil chemistry with emphasis on the problem areas within our environment.
Communication (1)
161 Communication and Social Justice [Application]. This course engages the power of communication as a transformative act. In the pursuit of social justice, communication can be a tool, a weapon and a witness on behalf of community service, social change and political struggle. The role of communication in relation to social justice is not just studied abstractly, but passionately practiced and embodied through real-world projects and first-hand experiences. This course involves a service-learning component.
Economics (2)
150 Environmental and Natural Resources Economics. All economic activity involves an exchange with the natural environment. Natural resources are used in production and consumption and then returned to the environment in some form of waste. The class focuses on how a market economy actually handles these exchanges and develops criteria for judging the economy’s performance in this regard. Important questions include the following: Are we exhausting our natural resources? Will we run out of cheap energy? What is the appropriate balance between economic standard of living and environmental quality? Can we rely on market forces to achieve the appropriate balance or do we need government intervention?
192 Economic Development. A broad overview of the leading topics in development economics, with an emphasis on the application of economic theory to problems of economic development in Latin America, Africa and Asia and the practical policy issues and debates. Topics include the definition and measurement of economic development, macroeconomic theories of growth and structural change, poverty and inequality, population, human capital, agriculture and rural development, migration, environment, trade, debt, liberalization and structural adjustment, foreign investment and foreign aid.
Environmental and Earth Science (7)
40 Geology and the Earth (Physical Geology). The earth’s structure, composition and physical features create the geological environment for mankind. The physical environment such as climate also has an effect on the geological environment, and both of these in turn can affect the living environment of societies on the earth through the processes of earthquakes, landslides and floods. The major environmental problems facing mankind today, including water resources, energy and mineral resources, and geologic hazards, are studied.
50 Earth and Life Through Time (Historical Geology). Principles of interpretation of earth history. Study of plate tectonics and sea-floor spreading as related to the development of continents, ocean basins and mountain belts. Origin, evolution and diversification of life through time. Lab and field trips to Bay Area.
75 Wetlands. This course examines the composition, structure, and function of various wetland ecosystems; the critical roles they play in the biosphere, their valuation and the various biological, economic or political threats to their existence. Lab and Field trips.
60 Urban Environmental Issues. A general education science course that serves the ESS program as a lower division chemistry course. This course focuses on the environmental issues of redevelopment of Superfund sites. The course has been taught as a learning community linking it with another sociology course. This Learning Community has a significant community outreach component studying the redevelopment of Alameda Point, formerly NAS Alameda. The chemistry curriculum is presented in context evaluating the environmental risks and the technologies applied to clean up the site. Lab and field trips.
92 Introduction to Environmental Science. The entry level course reviewing the field. Physical, chemical, biological, geological and cultural dimensions of environmental problems are examined in this course. It surveys the historical roots of these problems, then considers components such as population pressure, air and water pollution, global change, desertification, deforestation et al. An introduction to ecological principles is provided. Lab and field trips.
140 Environmental Geology/ Natural Disasters. The interaction between geologic processes and human society. Topics include rock, mineral water, and energy resources, volcanic hazards, earthquakes, landslides, floods, erosion, coastal processes, plate tectonics, geologic time, pollution problems and environmental management. field trip(s).
195 Geologic Field Methods. Introduction to geological field methods and instruments, use of aerial photographs and topographic maps in geologic mapping, preparation of geologic maps of local areas
Global and Regional Studies (2)
GRS 1 Introduction to Global and Regional Studies. This course introduces students to the principal concepts and theories scholars and practitioners employ to analyze and understand global phenomena including an examination of historical, economic, cultural, and political events, institutions, structures, and processes. In addition, the course introduces students to major world regions and examines the connections between regional and global outcomes. Theories of globalization and key global issues are addressed including human rights, global inequality, poverty, population and migration, terrorism, global trade, and environmental issues.
GRS 100 Cultural Geography and Global Societies. This course exposes students to the breadth and excitement of the field of geography. Cultural geography studies the ways people shape and give meaning to their environment and allows us to look at the fascinating variety of human activity in the world — the human landscape. Geographic knowledge is vital to understanding national and international issues that dominate daily news reports. This course examines the relevance of geographic methods and concepts to social science topics such as: agricultural patterns and practices, architecture, ethnic traditions and conflicts, gender, health, migration, population, political economy, poverty, religion, resource utilization, social change and urban planning.
History (4)
130 US Environmental History.
142 History of California. A chronological survey of California history from its pre-contact beginnings to the present, with an emphasis on ethnic diversity, national and transnational interactions, environmental problems, social movements, competing visions of the "California dream", and contestations over the allocation of economic, social, and political power.
155 Latin American Environmental History
160 Asian Environmental History
Liberal and Civic Studies (2)
121 Culture and Civic Responsibility. This course introduces students to program themes, including diversity (issues of race, class and gender), the environment, democracy, the arts and service learning. Lectures and discussions are complimented by a cultural workshop, a visit to Glide Memorial Church and atten¬dance at art events. Students are required to devote time each week to a service-learning project, write essays, intellectual integrations and a self-assessment. Class sessions are supplemented by a biweekly activity lab.
122 Environmental Responsibility in a Global Community.
Philosophy (1)
130-131 Ethics. An investigation of the difference between good and evil and between virtue and vice; of the relationship of virtue to choice, to knowledge, to power, to pleasure, to happiness; of the relationship of the human person to God, to nature, to society; of the relationship of responsibility to freedom and necessity.
Politics (4)
POL 109 Food Politics considers how something as seemingly innocuous as choosing certain foods can be a political act with global consequences.
115 Theories of Justice. The course examines different theories of justice based on concepts such as “fairness”, “equal treatment”, and “getting one’s due”. These alternative theories are then applied to contemporary controversies concerning racial, sexual, and environmental justice and to current debates about such issues as immigration, euthanasia, abortion, and capital punishment
135 Environmental Politics
136 Environmental Law
Sociology (2)
4 Social Problems. An overview of the causes, characteristics, and responses to social problems in the United States. Topics such as crime, the environment, racism, and family instability are studied through the sociological framework.
135 Special Topics Environment and Society
January Term (16)
JAN-024-01 Toward a Sustainable Future
JAN-026-01 (56656) Bay Area Wild
JAN-043-01 (56674) Wild Mushrooms of the Bay Area
JAN-064-01 (56698) Art + Environment
JAN-071-01 (56792) Travel: Cambodia
JAN-104-01 (56706) What Is Social Justice?
JAN-111-01 (56724) Community Development
JAN-140-01 (56755) Current & Alternative Energy
JAN-145-01 (56761) Green Religion
JAN-159-01 (56775) Finding the Human Place in Nature

Each of the following courses included immersion in service to the poor in response to natural disasters and/or resource scarcities:
JAN-170-01 (56793) Travel: Haiti
JAN-172-01 (56795) Travel: Indonesia
JAN-173-01 (56796) Travel: South Africa
JAN-175-01 (56798) Travel: Rwanda
JAN-177-01 (56800) Travel: India
JAN-180-01 (56803) Travel: Cuba

Graduate Courses: 58 out of 479 graduate courses excluding multiple sections in the same term and location (duplicates), Internships, Independent studies, Labs and partial-credit courses. (12%)
Course descriptions and total number of courses by department:
MBA (3 cohort starts at each of 3 different locations) 45 courses.
GMAN 315 - Ethical and Social Aspects of Business. This course examines the relationship between business and its social setting. Topics include non-market environments of business, issues of ethics and social responsibility in market systems, relation between social trends and politics, comparative market systems, regulation and externalities, and corporate governance issues.
GMAN 352 - Social Entrepreneurship From a Global Perspective. This course will provide concepts, analytical perspectives, skills and experiences to provide innovative and entrepreneurial solutions at the intersection of non-profit organizations, public services and businesses, to tackle social problems and environmental challenges we face both in our local communities and at a global level. The focus will be on existing and emerging business models in social ventures, approaches to growth and partnership options between and among the business, non-profit and social sectors.
GMAN 511 - Ethical and Social Issues in Business. This course examines the relationship between business and its social setting. Topics include ethical principles and argument, corporate social responsibility, business ethics, ethics in international business, and the impact of external factors on law, politics, and regulation.
GMAN 711 - Ethical and Social issues in Global Management and Interfaith Leadership. You will apply ethical concepts to understand managerial dilemmas in global management such as corruption, environmental degradation, social irresponsibility, child labor, and negative externalities. Topics include ethical principles and argument, corporate social responsibility, business ethics, ethics in international business, and the response in law, politics, and regulation of externalities in global contexts.
GMAN 777 - Global Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility. You will be introduced to the theories, concepts and practices of corporate governance, responsible investment, corporate social responsibility, and other related ideas and practices in a global context. Topics include the market for corporate control (or lack of it), corporate governance structures, corporate sustainability, and the principles of responsible investment.
Leadership and Organizational Studies: LDSH 104: The External Environment of Leadership. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the economic, political and social context for leadership. By focusing on changing demographics and socio/ political movements at the national and global level, students will identify the contextual influences on decision making, including power relationships, public policy and regulation, economic forecasts, and social trends. Students will explore the impact of technology and innovation, globalization and entrepreneurship on leadership practices. Historical cases of leadership successes and failures will be studied with particular attention to the external environment of the time.
LDSH 106: Leading in a Diverse World. This course will assist students in developing a framework to appreciate the impact of culture on leadership behavior and processes, and in developing behavioral and cognitive skills that can be applied in diverse cultural contexts, both domestically and internationally. By selecting a specific country for study of its social history and culture, students will gain an understanding of the cultural nuances to leadership style, team development, organizational and interpersonal communication. They will be able to apply this learning to the practice of leadership in human resource development within multi-cultural organizational environments.
M.A. in Leadership: (3 cohorts) 6 courses
Module VII: Building Cross-Cultural Capacity. The purpose of this course is to 1) deepen our awareness of the complexity of cross-cultural issues and develop skills to engage other people successfully across these differences; and 2) develop capacity to value and approach differences requires a willingness to move across a line, or boundary, which defines that difference.
Module VIII: Policy, Leadership and Systemic Change. In this course we view policy and the policy making process as a vehicle for systemic change through leadership. The policy cycle—the process, product and evaluation -- is examined through several lenses, including but not limited to: systems theory, values, participatory democracy, action research, and adaptive leadership. Existing social policies provide the case studies for the course.
M.A. in Leadership, Social Justice Concentration (2 cohorts): 4 courses
Module II: Foundations of Social Justice. Learners in this course provide the first text by answering—What is your personal lived experience of social justice and/or injustice? What is social justice to you? From this starting point, the class explores perspectives on “What is social justice?” from historical and contemporary resources and provides a context for this discussion in the Catholic Lasallian traditions.
Module IX: Global Perspectives on Human Rights, Equity & Justice. This module provides an opportunity for the program to adapt to changing global issues and the interests and expertise of students and faculty. While the topical focus may change, the overall purposes will be to provide a context and history of the topic, to explore a theoretical framework that helps us understand the justice issues at hand, and to create opportunities for action. Potential topics include economic inequity, human trafficking, perils and opportunities of international development, and healthcare.
KSOE: Multiple Subject Credential Program (3 cohorts) 3 courses
MSTE 349 - Curriculum and Instruction: Science

The website URL where the inventory of course offerings with sustainability content is publicly available:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the course inventory:

The College's online course schedules for the 2012-13 were reviewed to identify the courses. Course descriptions, where appropriate, were copied from the pertinent department's websites.

How did the institution count courses with multiple offerings or sections in the inventory?:
Each course was counted as a single course regardless of the number of offerings or sections

A brief description of how courses with multiple offerings or sections were counted (if different from the options outlined above):

Which of the following course types were included in the inventory?:
Yes or No
Internships No
Practicums Yes
Independent study No
Special topics Yes
Thesis/dissertation No
Clinical No
Physical education No
Performance arts No

Does the institution designate sustainability courses in its catalog of course offerings?:

Does the institution designate sustainability courses on student transcripts?:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.