Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.09
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 E. Carr Everbach
Professor of Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

Beginning in AY 2021-2, the ENVS program began a Faculty Affiliates program for faculty outside of the ENVS department who are committed to engaging in environmental and sustainability issues in their classes and research. Faculty Affiliates meet regularly and are offered training, workshop, and idea sharing spaces for engaging in environmental issues and sharing how they are bringing these ideas into their work. More information here: https://www.swarthmore.edu/environmental-studies/envs-faculty-affiliates.

In Fall 2012, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded Swarthmore College $591,000 to support a series of Tri-College activities in Environmental Studies, including establishing GIS expertise and curriculum; curriculum development workshops; course development; coordinated project-based learning opportunities integrated into the curriculum; and coordinated Tri-College events, such as capstone research project presentations, outside speaker series, and poster sessions. In addition, Swarthmore College received a million dollar match grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Swarthmore received Mellon funding to support course development in ENVS, and courses developed included Our Food, GIS for Public Health, Visions of the End, Earth's Climate, and others. The Mellon proposal secured a matching grant funding an endowment that produces roughly $20K per year through the following:
Course replacement and course development funds to increase flexibility and sustain depth of Environmental Studies offerings. The complicated logistics of teaching loads and core curriculum often lead to faculty who want to teach in interdisciplinary programs being unable to do so due to responsibilities to their home departments. We propose to establish a pool of funds that can be used to:
• bring in a visiting instructor on a course‐by‐course basis to teach a departmental course, thus freeing a Swarthmore faculty member to teach an Environmental Studies offering
• bring in a visiting instructor to teach an Environmental Studies course to supplement our faculty or to provide instruction when certain faculty are on leave.

These funds are critical to the success of a robust Environmental Studies program. Swarthmore is committed to providing as many of these stipends and replacements as necessary to ensure a consistently substantial environmental studies program and to working with each affected home department to ensure that the key courses needed for their majors are taught and taught well.
In 2021, an ENVS Faculty Affiliates program was created to incentivize faculty outside of ENVS to develop research or courses supporting student learning of sustainability.

A brief description of the incentives that academic staff who participate in the program(s) receive:

These Mellon funds have been used to provide support for our faculty to develop a new course, learning new material and methods that may be far outside their areas of training. Thus we would also use these funds to provide a stipend, primarily for summer work, for Swarthmore faculty to develop new environmental studies courses or significant elements of courses or special projects. Faculty members are paid a $6,000 summer salary for course development.
The ENVS Faculty AFfiliates program states:
"Faculty Affiliates…
1. May list “Environmental Studies Faculty Affiliate” on their C.V.s
2. Will be listed on the Environmental Studies website and other media as affiliates
3. May apply for small ($1000) grants-in-aid to purchase books, access media, attend webinars, or defray (carbon-offset) travel to conferences and meetings
4. Will be invited to on-campus events such as sustainably-catered lunches, receptions, and discussions
5. Are eligible for summer course-development grants ($5000) to develop new courses or revise previously-taught courses."

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Information for this credit was compiled by Carr Everbach, Professor of Engineering and Environmental Studies and representatives from the Office of Sustainability.

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