|Submission Date||July 27, 2017|
University of New Hampshire
AC-2: Learning Outcomes
|8.00 / 8.00||
Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):
Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:
Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:
Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:
Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:
Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:
A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:
UNH has overarching learning outcomes that are posted on the Provost's Academic Affairs website (see below).
The Provost's website reads: UNH has an enduring commitment to support efforts across research, education, and practice to develop the most sustainable learning community in higher education. To that end, our educational approach works to ensure the following learning objectives for all UNH students.
Every UNH student will gain knowledge of the complexities and interconnectedness of economic, environmental, and social challenges. Students will also be able to analyze and synthesize ideas and perspectives from more than one academic or intellectual discipline. This knowledge and experience will equip students to contribute to a just, prosperous, and verdant world for present and future generations.
In addition, UNH's Discovery Program exposes all undergraduate students to topics in the arts, humanities, philosophy, social sciences, physical and biological sciences, and technology. The Discovery Program provides students with a sound foundation for problem solving, scientific reasoning, research skills, communication, and the appreciation of the arts and humanities. Ten learning outcomes have been identified to represent what students will be able to do after completing the Discovery Program. Three of these outcomes, numbers Five, Six, and Nine, relate to sustainability. These three learning outcomes 1) embrace ideas from diverse traditions; 2) analyze perspectives from multiple intellectual disciplines; and 3) to exercise imagination in grappling with complex problems of both the natural and human created worlds, and understand the centrality of imagination to all human endeavors.
In addition, as part of the Discovery Program, all undergraduate students must take one course from each of the following categories:
Fine and Performing Arts
Environment, Technology and Society
Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:
A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):
Discovery in the Disciplines
Biology is a branch of science that investigates the structure and function of living organisms. Scientists investigate ideas and observations that solidify our understanding of the diversity of life from single cells to complex organisms. Biology has deep relations with agriculture, chemistry, psychology, and many other fields of study, and it is the foundation of our knowledge regarding health and diseases. Individual courses under this category deal with the basic structure and function of medicine. Courses under this category deal with the basic structure and function of organisms, the interaction of organisms with their environment, human health, biotechnology, and the concepts and mechanisms of evolution as a fundamental biological paradigm. All courses will provide some understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry as it seeks knowledge about the living world.
Environment, Technology, and Society
The exponential growth of the sciences and engineering has bred an equally dramatic growth in technological advances. From the flint arrowhead to the latest communication, device or weapon, human beings have been inventing things and transforming their lives, their societies, and their environments as they do. But they seldom foresee all the transformations and consequences their inventions bring about. This category stresses the interplay between at least two of these three realms: environment, technology and society. Topics might include, but are not limited to, the history of a particular kind of technology (such as transport, fuel, writing, or weaponry), how technological change comes about in general, the scientific and/or social bases for a given technology, its impact for good or ill on human society and the natural environment, the effects of a changing environment on the arts and literature, and/or the ethical questions these topics raise.
Fine and Performing Arts
The arts communicate through the intellect, the emotions, and the body, sometimes all at once, in ways simple and subtle, direct and subliminal, gentle and soul-shaking. Understanding and appreciating them enriches our lives and preserves our cultural heritage for the future. Through its performances, publications, and exhibits, UNH offers many artistic experiences for students and the larger community, some of which are linked to courses under this category. Such courses, which may be about painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, theater, or film, will often include learning through practical experience.
Even though we are faced daily with evidence of change in our social world and technology, we easily forget that how we live, where we live, and what we see around us are transient states of affairs. It is important to be able to look on one’s own world with an imaginative grasp of its history and the forces behind that history. Courses under this category will give students the opportunity to learn about major historical developments and how these developments have shaped contemporary life in all its complexity. Through the study of particular periods and places, students will gain both “historical perspective” and some skill at the methods of historical inquiry. Common to all courses in historical analysis is the presumption that the categories of social analysis are themselves historical and historically contingent, and that to understand the past requires entering imaginatively into languages, institutions, and worldviews quite different from those of the present day.
The humanities arose in Renaissance universities as an alternative to theology and consisted mainly of Greek and Latin literature, which dealt with any and every aspect of human life; they became central to the liberal arts. Since the nineteenth century, the humanities have also embraced modern literature, the creative arts, philosophy, and history. They focus on questions about meaning, ethics, aesthetics, and the foundations of knowledge; they are as concerned with form as with content. Courses under this category explore major works, ideas, and traditions that have shaped our understandings of the world and our sense of self at different times and places while examining the distinctive methods of humanistic inquiry.
The physical sciences seek to discover the components, structures, properties, and laws of the material world from subatomic particles to the entire universe. Through them, we appreciate both the wondrous complexity of the world and its order. The traditional domains of chemistry, physics, astronomy, cosmology, and earth sciences are the foundations of knowledge in numberless arenas of human activity, while the intersections between these domains and the biological sciences yield astonishing discoveries about living organisms. All courses will provide some understanding of the methods of scientific inquiry as it seeks knowledge about the physical universe, as well as evaluate claims about it in both technical literature and popular media.
Quantitative reasoning refers to the ability to think critically and analytically using abstract formal methods with broad application. Mathematics is the foundation for the physical sciences and, increasingly, for the biological sciences. Its principles and processes illuminate significant aspects of the social sciences as well. In its most precise forms, it enables the design of bridges and the orbiting of satellites. Mathematics discloses invisible truths about the world, makes sense of patterns of which we may or may not be aware, and introduces some order to chaos. In its purest form, it creates its own world of beauty and logic. In its more applied forms, it attempts to make sense of individual and collective human behaviors and complex systems. Many courses listed under this category will help students appreciate the principles of mathematics and gain some skill in its applications to realistic situations, while other courses will introduce kindred subjects including symbolic logic, information theory, statistics, and computer science.
The social sciences investigate human beings and their societies from the smallest bands of hunter gatherers to huge nations and global institutions. Everything from marriage and kinship to law and crime, from ceremonial gift giving to mortgage derivatives, from witchcraft to health insurance, from ancient ritual to modern communication, is a subject of a social science. As the world grows more interrelated and complex, the tools of the social sciences grow in importance. Courses under this category will explore different theories, methods, and data-gathering techniques as they apply to different social issues. They also will examine how individuals create, interact with, and are shaped by, social groups and institutions, including those associated with politics, economics, religion, family, the arts, health, and education.
Living in a world of many cultures has created both cooperation and conflict across borders, among and between nations. This category, which includes intermediate language courses and approved study abroad programs, encourages students to become cosmopolitan citizens by gaining knowledge and understanding of cultures other than those of the United States. Students will learn to recognize others' values and, ultimately, accept the many ways in which we all are human. They are thus encouraged to see their own culture with fresh eyes and know the sheer diversity of human outlooks.
UNH has a Sustainability Dual Major that any undergraduate can take as a second major. The new undergraduate Sustainability Dual Major provides an innovative pathway for emerging leaders to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be agents of change in a complex, ever-changing global environment. Students from any UNH college or major can pair the Sustainability Dual Major with the first major. From local to global, you’ll learn to analyze, evaluate, critique, and create new ideas and models around sustainability. As a cross-disciplinary field of study and practice, you’ll make connections across issues of science and ethics, policy and technology, and culture and history to better understand and take action on pressing issues of our time.
- Study grand challenges in a flexible format
- Apply your principles and passions to your academic work
- Add value to your primary major
- Work collaboratively across disciplines with students and faculty
- Develop skills needed to create sustainability solutions in any profession
- Prepare for a career in the expanding sustainability field
- Hone your leadership abilities to help create a better world
Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:
A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.