Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 61.73
Liaison Sustainability Office
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
ER-5: Sustainability Course Identification

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Aaron Allen
Asst. Professor
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Has the institution developed a definition of sustainability in the curriculum?:
Yes

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

The Academic Subcommittee of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) team was tasked with establishing a definition of sustainability in academics (curriculum and research). The CAP was published and adopted in 2013, and team's definition is as follows (from pp. 84-85):

The UNCG Strategic Plan, UNCG Tomorrow, defines sustainability as “Academics, operations, and outreach… conducted with careful attention to the enduring interconnectedness of social equity, the environment, the economy, and aesthetics.” Ensuring that students acquire a basic understanding of the individual elements of sustainability identified in this definition only serves as the beginning of sustainability in academics at UNCG, however. The centrality of the natural environment is essential to the entire idea of sustainability; the core of the concept is how the environment shapes, and is shaped by, economic, social and aesthetic factors. Because of this characteristic, imparting a robust understanding of the natural environment to students is vital to any attempt to infuse sustainability into our academic programs.

Infusing sustainability into academics at UNCG will produce graduates who are able to:
• Communicate the basics of sustainability;
• Employ and promote sustainable practices during their time at UNCG; and
• Apply relevant sustainable practices in their career paths.

Other important aspects of this philosophy include conveying current insights and best practices (instruction) and generating new knowledge (research) that explain and enhance the links between the various elements of sustainability. Emphasizing the intentionality of these connections and broadening the scopes in which students think and act are significant outcomes for sustainability in academics. UNCG will provide training and resources to faculty to build the programs needed to achieve these goals.


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:

Two inventories have been completed.

In 2011, a survey was created by interior architecture professor and campus sustainability leader Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker for UNCG faculty to identify their courses pertaining to or utilizing concepts of sustainability. To guide respondents, the survey used UNCG's definition of sustainability: "the enduring interconnectedness of social equity, the environment, economy, and aesthetics. This interconnectedness provides a foundation from which to discover, implement, and enrich sustainable principles and practice. The intent of sustainability is to instill values that promote justice, invent innovative approaches and solutions to environmental and economic challenges, and invest civility and grace into our communities." Course descriptions, student learning outcomes, and sustainability content (by percentage) were all requested. The results were reviewed by two faculty members and the sustainability coordinator, and supplemented with an
inventory of the class descriptions in the course catalog.

In 2014, the faculty of the Environmental Studies Program voted to create a minor in sustainability. In perusing the course catalog for courses to include, the faculty selected only those they determined were focused on sustainability.


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.