Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Emily Vollmer
Submission Date May 16, 2024

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sean McGinnis
Director, Green Engineering Program
College of Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:
The Virginia Tech Green Engineering Program has a collaboration with the GREEN Program for study abroad trips to Iceland, Nepal, and Peru that are focused on various sustainability issues (energy, water, food, etc). In past years, this program was an independent study program for students on a case-by-case basis. In academic year 2019-2020, this program was converted to an official study abroad course, ENGR 3984. The students travel with the GREEN program, but their experience has been broadened with readings, exercises, and projects done before, during, and after the trip over the course of a semester. This provides a better framework for the students to be prepared for their trip, to reflect on aspects of the trip while they are there, and to use some of the information learned on the trip to do a research project when they return. They also are given prompts to reflect on the value of the trip for their cultural awareness and disciplinary skills after they return.

The Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources and the Environment (CNRE) also has a number of VT faculty-led sustainability-focused study abroad programs to Antarctica, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ireland, New Zealand, Panama, and South India. Some, but not all of these, study abroad options are offered each year and the sustainability focus is different depending upon the location. The link to more information about the Costa Rica trip is provided as a detailed example.

Virginia Tech offers a Pathways to Sustainability minor. Set in a student-centered learning community, the Pathways to Sustainability minor begins with an introductory two-course series focused on systems thinking across natural, social, and economic contexts. This is followed by elective courses in the domains of humanities, environmental science, and art and design, in addition to an integrative capstone course. More information is available here: https://www.pathways.prov.vt.edu/minors/showcase/ps.html

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Additional links:

2022 Pathways to Sustainability Minor Checksheet: https://www.registrar.vt.edu/content/dam/registrar_vt_edu/documents/Updates/minors/2022/minor_psus_22.pdf

2019-20 Green Engineering Minor Checksheet: https://www.registrar.vt.edu/content/dam/registrar_vt_edu/documents/Updates/minors/2022/minor_gren_22.pdf

Overview of Green Engineering Program: https://eng.vt.edu/academics/undergraduate-students/minors/green-engineering.html

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.