Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.39
Liaison Brian Liechti
Submission Date March 4, 2020

STARS v2.2

Warren Wilson College
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Margo Flood
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one ​sustainability-focused​ major, degree, or certificate program for undergraduate students?:

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Environmental Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

Warren Wilson’s Environmental Studies Department was established in the early 1980's by members of the Biology Department who began leading the campus community in conservation efforts and offering new courses related to energy and conservation. With the understanding that the solutions to modern environmental problems require the collaboration of many disciplines, the department has grown to include faculty members from across the College’s academic community. This collaboration provides students with an environmentally focused, interdisciplinary major that investigates environmental issues from a natural science, social science and humanities perspective.

The mission of the Environmental Studies Department, an interdisciplinary learning community, is to prepare leaders who are able to critically assess, develop and promote sustainable futures for life on Earth. The Environmental Studies major, through academic courses, abundant natural resources on and near campus, and related work crews, balances theory, first-hand knowledge and field experiences. Internships are also strongly encouraged as a way to acquire experience and to apply academically acquired knowledge. This program aims to graduate students with a strong foundation in the natural sciences and an understanding of the social, political, economic and ethical implications of environmental problems and solutions. This allows them to critically analyze environmental issues they encounter in their professional and personal lives and to make educated, responsible decisions. Examples of what our graduates do with their degrees can be found in the attachment to this form, "Fulbright Award."

Students may be awarded either a Bachelors of Arts or a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in one of the following: Environmental Education; Environmental Policy and Justice; Ecological Forestry; Sustainable Agriculture; and, Water and Earth Resources. In addition, students may major in Conservation Biology as a stand-alone major or Conservation and Society as an Environmental Studies concentration. Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree, graduates of the Environmental Studies program at Warren Wilson are prepared for both advanced studies and many sustainability-related jobs.

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Global Studies

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

For a major in Global Studies, introductory courses provide an overview of world geography, specific introductions to world regions and the perspectives of different disciplines. Upper level courses combine comparative breadth across different regions and disciplines and depth gained from a focus on one region.

The major requires students to study language, engage in experiential education through travel and undertake a senior capstone project. Students refine their interest further by choosing a concentration in one of the following:

•Culture, Power, and Place: Explore globalization’s impact on customs and institutions, as well as how such developments relate to contested notions of identity, place and nation
•Environment & Society: Examine the intersection of politics, the economy and the environment within the context of globalization
•Peace & Social Justice: Consider the roles of peace, war and justice in the era of globalization
•The Local & The Global: Investigate contemporary Appalachia in comparative, interdisciplinary and global frameworks

Global Studies prepares students to become responsible citizens of the world by challenging them to understand contemporary global issues. Students graduate with an appreciation of the historical and geographical contexts of global inequalities after immersing themselves in research that integrates the humanities, the social sciences and environmental studies.

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Interdisciplinary Business

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

Warren Wilson's interdisciplinary Business Program integrates sustainability and social responsibility throughout a traditional business curriculum that is grounded in the liberal arts. Students are prepared to become business leaders, engage in sustainable social entrepreneurship and create a positive net impact in their communities by understanding the business case for sustainability and the integrated bottom line.

Students study the theories and practice of management, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, sustainability, accounting, economics, data science, finance, marketing, and leadership, culminating in a consulting project to solve a real business problem for their applied learning capstone.

Through the College’s Work and Community Engagement programs, students develop effective personal and community leadership skills while developing their civic identity as business leaders. Students can choose to focus on either Sustainability or Social Entrepreneurship.

Website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):
Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors or concentrations for undergraduate students?:

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration:
Ecological Forestry

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration:

Warren Wilson's Ecological Forestry Program is nestled in the College's 600-acre managed forest - its living laboratory for research and learning. While the topic of Ecological Forestry has a range of definitions, most are based on a few key themes: understanding what forests are made of and how the many micro-ecosystems interrelate; managing responsible consumption (and cultivation) of important forest products such as wood, raw materials for medicine, and more; and understanding the intrinsic experiential value of these lush landscapes.

In addition to taking core courses within Environmental Studies, Ecological Forestry majors complete a four-course sequence: Forest Biology; Silviculture; Forest Management; and, Geographic Information Systems. For their Senior Capstone, students work in a small team with fellow students writing forest management plans for private landowners, municipalities or land conservation organizations.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):
Sustainable Agriculture

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (2nd program):

Warren Wilson’s Sustainable Agriculture Program is in-depth, interdisciplinary and hands on. Not only does this program uniquely prepare graduates for a host of agricultural/food systems work, veterinary medicine, and advocacy — it enables them to sow the seeds of a better world.

Students study the principles and practices of four approaches to sustainable agriculture: certified organic, biodynamic, biointensive and permaculture. The College’s entire campus serves as a living laboratory. Students learn and experiment with the College’s own food systems, from the College Farm and Garden to Gladfelter Cafeteria and the vegetarian Cowpie Cafe and finally, to the Composting Facility. Students develop capstone projects involving original research with faculty mentors on a topic of their choosing. Past projects have included such topics as soil carbon dynamics and mycoremediation, and nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
Environmental Policy and Justice

A brief description of the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):

In addition to core Environmental Studies courses, Environmental Policy and Justice students engage in the advanced study of environmental law, environmental economics and public health or planning. They participate in electives which range from natural resource conservation, peace and justice studies and the arts.

Internships may include an overseas post with the United Nations Environment Programme; the City of Asheville Sustainability Department; the US EPA; or with a number of environmental nonprofits addressing clean energy, endangered species, water quality and much more.

Students in this concentration may elect to work on the Environmental and Social Justice Crew, which is supervised by the faculty member who heads the concentration. The crew organizes a range of on- and off-campus environmental advocacy programming for Warren Wilson students.

Website URL for the undergraduate minor or concentration (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors and concentrations:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data was gathered from faculty, Academic Affairs, the College's Catalog and its website.

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