Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 79.39
Liaison Yolanda Cieters
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Seattle University
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yolanda Cieters
Associate Director
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Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

1. UCOR 3800 Science of Sustainability: Getting to the Root of Sustainability: The Science Behind Sustainable Agriculture (Dr. Brenda Bourns)

UCOR 3800 is 10-week Core Natural Sciences and Global Challenges course that examines the science behind sustainable agriculture from two perspectives: the more cerebral understanding facilitated by traditional classroom meetings and the more visceral understanding afforded by reaching out beyond the classroom to physically experience the same topics. It is intended primarily for non-science majors. It consists of 2 meetings per week, a shorter class discussion to lay the conceptual groundwork for the course (Th 10:15-12:20 Admin 308) and a timeslot (T 10:15-12:20) to accommodate the “experiential” side of the course – service learning at the Yesler Terrace Community Farm, a local non-profit farm that grows food for the Black Farmer’s Co-operative.

An important objective of this course is to deepen our understanding of environmental sustainability by reaching out beyond the classroom to involve ourselves more viscerally in some of the issues related to sustainability that affect our day to day lives. The vehicle for this will be the opportunity to volunteer on a service learning project:
• Multi-dimensional learning of ecological concepts
• Application of biological concepts to real world circumstances
• Enhanced facility in scientific literacy
• Continued development of whole person interested in social justice and civic engagement
• Practice at independent and integrated thinking
• Enhanced understanding of the complexity of working with natural systems
• Understanding of ecosystems and how they are affected by human activities
• Deeper appreciation for the “why” of sustainable living

2. BIOL 2910 Biodiversity and Environmental Health in India (Fall 2019) (C. Stenbak, L. Whitlow, M. Zanis). Includes 10-day Education abroad in India.

Bangalore and Seattle are international cities built on technology and surrounded by natural resources. Southwest India and the Pacific Northwest US are both recognized as global biodiversity hotspots, supporting wide arrays of species and exceptional ecosystems that support them. Both regions also have human communities with rich histories of ancient civilizations and current rapid urban development. Hence, these cities provide opportunities to learn more about the fundamental global challenges of urbanization.
In this course, students explore how the social and ecological aspects of these dynamic cities and surrounding regions are interrelated through the lenses of science, technology, agriculture, religion, economics, colonization, social castes, and more. Through class sessions, field and lab work, team-based research projects, community engagement activities, and personal reflections, we will experience many of these issues first-hand. Working alongside fellow students and faculty from our partner institution, St. Joseph’s College (SJC) in Bangalore, students will have the opportunity to gain greater cross-cultural competency, appreciation for diverse perspectives, and insights from our shared Jesuit mission into how to contribute to addressing global challenges.

This course is designed as a unique model for SU Education Abroad: a collaboration between SU and our sister Jesuit university, St. Joseph’s College (SJC), in which faculty from SU and SJC co-teach the course and the coursework is undertaken by SU and SJC students together. The outcome will be a rich and distinctive academic and cultural experience for all of us.

1. Learn more about biodiversity and social justice issues in Bangalore and Southwest India
2. Increase global awareness of issues with urban development in cities and surrounding regions
3. Interact with peers and faculty from another culture
4. Reflect on religious, cultural, and scientific experiences through writing and presentations
5. Participate in an international research project addressing local issues

This course will help students:
• Gain additional scientific knowledge and improve their abilities to use rigorous scientific thinking to answer questions and solve problems.
• Develop their abilities to reflect on and use relevant knowledge they have learned in other courses across a variety of disciplines.
• Learn to engage in persuasive communication in appropriate civic spheres.
• Deeply understand a major global issue or challenge (primarily through the perspective of a natural sciences discipline).
• Understand relevant cultural dimensions of the global challenges being studied and, when appropriate, develop awareness and skills in cross-cultural engagement.

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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