|Submission Date||Jan. 19, 2023|
Virginia Wesleyan University
IN-49: Innovation C
|0.50 / 0.50||
Director of Sustainability
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
Virginia Wesleyan University's Batten Honors College mission is to prepare "academically advanced and socially engaged students to lead society's professions and institutions with innovative approaches and ethical values that steward an environment threatened by global degradation and climate change." The honors college is open to all majors, and includes required courses on sustainability and the UN SDGs. Students admitted into the Batten Honors College are awarded either a full-tuition Batten Fellowship or a nearly three-quarters tuition Batten Scholarship. Scholars also participate in a transformative global engagement opportunity, paid for by their scholarship. During these study away courses, students investigate concepts, issues, and ideas relevant to the culture and travel destination(s) in an integrated academic journey that involves interaction with representative community members, constituencies, and agencies. Since its founding in 2016, the Batten Honors College has included environmental stewardship in its mission, but in 2021 this goal became a more prominent aspect of the mission and curriculum. This is one of the only residential honors colleges in the country with a focus on developing the next generation of environmental stewards.
One of the required courses for the students is HON 110 Contemporary Environmental Issues, an interdisciplinary course that explores scientific, ethical, economic, societal, and political aspects of contemporary issues with global environmental impact. In 2022, a new required course was added, HON 210 Self and Global Citizenship. In this course students explore how individual values shape approaches to living and leading in a global society. Students examine leaders and values in context to issues of environmental stewardship, social justice, inclusivity, and leadership. Also beginning in 2022, all student capstone projects in HON 480 Senior Seminar are required to address one or more UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2022, the Ryan Environmental Research Symposium and Ryan Environmental Prize for Excellence in Research were established. The symposium will feature presentations of student research from Batten scholars that explores complex environmental challenges in a global context. The prize will include a cash award for the student and a donation to the environmental organization of their choosing. The symposium will be held for the first time in Spring 2023, and will feature capstone projects completed by senior seminar students from the 2022-23 academic year.
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission: