Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.76
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
PAE-21: Sustainability in Continuing Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.00 / 7.00 Irene Ng
Program Coordinator
Faculty of Extension
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer continuing education courses that are focused on or related to sustainability?:

Number of sustainability continuing education courses offered :

Total number of continuing education courses offered:

Does the institution have a sustainability-related certificate program through its continuing education or extension department?:

A brief description of the certificate program:


The Environmental Resources Management (ERM) certificate program is offered through the Faculty of Extension. ERM increases familiarity and competence in the dynamics of environmental resource management. This includes strategies and techniques of environmental planning and management, and the biological, physical, social, economic and institutional implications of resource decisions. Students also become familiar with various quantitative methods of analysis and aids to decision making. ERM courses blend theory and practical exercises to help students develop the comprehensive set of skills. It offers a thorough background in air, water, and soil processes, as well as environmental monitoring, climate change, biotechnology, instrumentation, and experimental design.

Year the certificate program was created:

The website URL where information about sustainability in continuing education courses is available :

The Faculty of Extension is the primary source of continuing education credits at the University of Alberta. Although additional continuing education courses were offered outside the Faculty of Extension, the total number of these courses was not available through the Office of the Registrar, so they were not added to the list of continuing education sustainability courses.

Extension courses were counted as sustainability courses if their online descriptions met the criteria for sustainability-focused or sustainability-related courses.

Sustainability-focused courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. To be sustainability-focused, course content must include at least 3 of the 12 sustainability criteria listed below.

Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue. Sustainability-related courses must include at least 1 of the 12 sustainability criteria listed below.

1) Sustainability as a concept: The history, politics, culture, and science of ideas of sustainability.
2) Natural limits and ecosystem maintenance: The relationship between human population and lifestyle in relation to the finite capacity of natural ecosystems (including the global system) to provide for the needs of living things. Involves monitoring natural ecosystems to establish baseline information and assess ecosystem health.
3) Business and economics: Re-shaping market conditions to address "market failures" and to provide incentives for businesses, economic, and social systems to better maintain the integrity of ecosystems and the well-being of living things.
4) Agricultural productivity: Fosters soil and water health and produces safe and healthy food.
5) Science, engineering and technology: The social, economic, and environmental effects or sustainability solutions derived from basic science, engineering, and technology.
6) Governance, social equity, and capacity: Legal or social factors or reforms that support behavioral shifts necessary to encourage or enable individuals and societies to live in ways compatible with maintaining the long-term integrity of ecosystems, and to promote social equity, and justice.
7) Sustainability discourse: The framing and discussion of environmental, economic, or social sustainability in media, politics, and everyday life.
8) Culture, religion, and ethics: How culture, religion, and ethics – from consumerism to environmental stewardship – shape human behavior in regard to environmental, economic, and social justice, equity, or integrity.
9) Planning and design: Theoretical and applied work in environmental planning and design that promotes the integrity of the environment, or social and economic equity or justice.
10) Peace, security and well-being: Addresses pathways to peace, supports nurturing personal and familial relationships, and promotes adequate access to clean water, nutrition, health care and education.
11) Sustainability science: Science that specifically attempts to build interdisciplinary perspectives from the themes and related academic disciplines listed above to promote human-environmental balance.
12) Other emerging fields and topics relevant to sustainability. Justification will be given on a form used to evaluate the courses.

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.