|Submission Date||Jan. 31, 2014|
University of Dayton
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification
Environmental Sustainability Manager
Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
A copy of the institution's definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
The University of Dayton’s advisory committee for the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Initiative, which includes at least three faculty members who teach courses in different departments, adopted the following definition of sustainability in the curriculum to guide sustainability course identification:
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.
Sustainability-related courses incorporate sustainability as a distinct course component or module or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.
A defining characteristic of the 21st century is the need to address a host of global societal and environmental challenges that have been building over the past several decades. The success of human development has been tremendous, but the project of enabling a dignified level of existence for large parts of humanity has not yet been achieved. We do not live in a world of infinite plenty. Many ecosystems are already being degraded, resulting in not only an intrinsic loss, but a loss to humans of the services they could provide We do not live in a world with an infinite capacity to absorb waste. Continuing the practices of the 20th century, the beginning of the anthropocene age of human induced global change, is not a viable option. There are growing signs of pressure on natural and human systems that can be referred to as planetary boundaries. Addressing the overarching goal of reaching a state of sustainability for a global population that will approach 10 billion in the next few decades will require educated citizens who will think in terms of the consequences of their actions over long time scales and over large geographical distances. These same global citizens, when looking to address the challenges with which they have been presented, will also be analyzing systems across the boundaries of disciplines as they have traditionally been defined in universities.
The goal of sustainability education is to provide students, regardless of their courses of study, the knowledge and skills to help create a healthy economy, society, and environment.
In order to determine whether or not a course has this goal in mind, it is useful to ask whether or not a given course will help students to achieve one or more of the following.
• Understand and be able to effectively communicate the concept of sustainability.
• Develop and use an ethical perspective in which they view themselves as embedded in the fabric of an interconnected world.
• Become aware of and explore the connections between their chosen course of study and sustainability.
• Develop technical skills or expertise necessary to implement sustainable solutions.
• Understand the way in which sustainable thinking and decision-making contributes to the process of creating solutions for current and emerging social, environmental, and economic crises.
• Contribute practical solutions to real-world sustainability challenges.
• Synthesize understanding of social, economic, and environmental systems and reason holistically.
A course does not have to accomplish all of these things to be designated as sustainability-related or sustainability-focused.
Has the institution identified its sustainability-focused and sustainability-related course offerings?:
A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the inventory:
The Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment minor compiles a list each semester of courses that are related to sustainability.
Does the institution make its sustainability course inventory publicly available online?:
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.