Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.43
Liaison Connie Norton
Submission Date May 3, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Simon Fraser University
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Candace Le Roy
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
Yes

A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:


SFU’s Working Definition of Sustainability-Focused and Sustainability-Related Courses and Sustainability Research
Current as of March 2011
Sustainability Courses

2.1 Sustainability Focused Courses
Sustainability-focused courses are primarily dedicated to learning sustainability concepts, including their economic, environmental, scientific, cultural and social dimensions. A sustainability-focused course intentionally embeds significant content and/or pedagogies that are consistent with the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge that have the potential to advance sustainable communities. Alternatively, sustainability-focused courses may examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a conceptual lens.

2.2 Sustainability Related Courses
Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue where the principle or issue being discussed is connected to the larger concept of sustainability, including its economic, environmental, scientific, cultural and social dimensions. A sustainability related course intentionally includes content and/or pedagogies that are consistent with the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge that have the potential to create sustainable communities.

2.3 Elements of a sustainability-focused or sustainability-related course
Courses designated as sustainability-focused or sustainability-related may contain one or more of the following elements:
- Integration of basic and applied knowledge from multiple disciplines, including the natural and social sciences, to analyze human-environment interactions;
- Analysis of the trade-offs or benefits involved in managing resources for the social, economic and environmental welfare of current and future generations;
- Development of strategies for the use of natural, human and fiscal resources compatible with the constraints on these resources;
- Implementation of practical solutions to socioeconomic and environmental challenges, including those that relate to energy, technology, ecosystems, social transformations, food systems, policy and governance.
- Responding to dynamic change projections on various time and geographic scales

2.4: Sustainability Education Learning Outcomes
It is useful to ask whether or not a given course will help students to achieve one or more of the following. (Note: the use of the term “sustainability” refers to the full context of sustainability, including its cultural, social, economic and environmental dimensions).
- Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability.
- Understand the need to work toward equitable distribution of opportunities, benefits and decision-making at all scales, from local to global.
- Understand the way in which sustainable thinking and decision-making contributes to the process of creating local and global solutions for current and emerging cultural, social, environmental and economic problems.
- Be aware of, and able to, explore the connections between their chosen course of study and sustainability.
- Be aware of, and able to, explore, and articulate interdisciplinary approaches to the development of sustainable communities
- Develop and use an ethical perspective in which they view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world.
- Synthesize understanding and reasoning of sustainability systems.
- Use and integrate knowledge and skills drawn from several disciplines in order to better understand relationships among individuals, organizations, societies, economies and ecosystems and the impact of , technologies and development.
- Develop technical skills and/or expertise necessary to implement solutions to sustainability issues and problems.
- Promote sustainable communities within and beyond the University's campuses.
Due to the shifting nature of sustainability issues, a curriculum that integrates sustainability also demands periodic reassessment.


Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:
Yes

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:

A definition of sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses was developed. Key words were taken from these definitions and entered into our curriculum database. Courses were identified based on key words.

A second phase will be launched at SFU in summer 2011 to do a more qualitative inventory of courses based on interviews with faculty members in all departments.


Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:
Yes

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.