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

STARS v2.2

Warren Wilson College
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Margo Flood
Sustainability Project Coordinator
Finance and Administration
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program that offers incentives for academic staff in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses? :

A brief description of the incentive program(s):

Warren Wilson supports several incentive programs for academic staff to incorporate sustainability-related content in their courses. Descriptions follow:

Building Diversity/The Change Project

BUILDING Diversity is a 5-year initiative that improves campus learning and campus climate around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as expanding faculty and staff abilities as educators. Warren Wilson regards diversity, equity and inclusion as one of the top sustainability challenges of our time. Each year, a mixed cohort of campus educators— faculty, work crew supervisors, and community engagement/service-learning practitioners—work and learn together as Diversity Fellows. Each Fellow designates and implements a Change Project to focus his or her teaching on diversity, as the College builds its capacity with deliberate attention toward inclusive excellence. Diversity Fellows design and/or revise their teaching environments to increase the diversity content, to critically engage students with diversity and to infuse pedagogical strategies that are inclusive of all communities and identities. This broadened lens considers knowledge and the student experience from the perspectives of various—and often intersecting—social identities, especially the impact of race and ethnicity, and including the influence of ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, religious identity/spiritual path, socioeconomic background and first-generation-college status.

Warren Wilson's efforts to infuse diversity and inclusion use the existing structure of the College's intentionally integrated curriculum of academics, work and community engagement/service. These three categories of campus educators create Change Projects wherever their work occurs at the College: faculty, work crew supervisors, and, community engagement/Service-Learning practitioners.

Each Fellow designs a Change Project with goals and scope he or she feels most able to accomplish, and the cohort supports personal growth and development and aims to create a safe space for experimentation and enhanced student learning.

Highlights of Diversity Fellow Teach-Ins/Programs in the past three years follow:

“U.S. Incarceration & the Legacy of MLK” Rima Vesely-Flad, Religious Studies,Peace & Justice Studies

“Discussing and Addressing Privilege” Susan Ortiz, Sociology & Anthropology

“Micro-aggressions” Becki Hornung, Social Work, Heather Wingert, Counseling Center, Obie Ford III, The WIDE Office

“What about Gender?” Angela Phillips, Gender & Women’s Studies

“Move this World and Make Community” Christey Carwile, Sociology & Anthropology

In addition, these additional incentive programs were available in 2018-2019: First-Year Seminar Development; Service Learning Fellows Program; the Davidson Fund's "Vocation, Discovery, Experience" Grants, and the McKinley Faculty Innovation Award.

First year seminars immerse students in an interdisciplinary analysis of current societal topics, with a community engagement component, such as this course from 2018:
Water: The Science and Politics of the World’s Most Vital Resource (ENS)
Water is the most common substance on earth, and the most important compound for all forms of life. It is what most distinguishes our planet from others. If one looks at the history of human settlement, there is one common factor about where we build communities--our proximity to water. Whether for transportation, drinking, irrigation, or power, water has been--and will always be--our most critical resource. In this course, we look at water from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to scientific concepts such as hydrology, we also try to understand the politics of water. Indeed, across the globe, the control of water leads to political power.

Service Learning Fellows are responsible for developing course syllabi that includes service learning as a primary component of the curriculum as in this course:
Food and Wellness (CHEM): What makes foods nutritious? How do growing conditions, cooking, and processing affect the value of a food? Preparing and eating food are activities central to the human experience, and yet many of us eat without considering how our meal choices affect the health of our bodies or our environment. In this course we approach eating from several angles, including the following: nutrition; concerns about access to healthy foods; sustainable food practices; and even how the use of cooking may have influenced human evolution. We will partner with organizations that provide local communities with regular access to healthy fresh foods, as well as guidance on how to grow and prepare them.

The Davidson Fund's "Vocation, Discovery, Experience" Grants for faculty and staff provide resources for meaningful applied student learning experiences that assist students to explore their vocational interests. Emphasis is placed on experiential learning with the strongest proposals outlining a positive community impact. The fund supports educational initiatives such as service to under-resourced communities, contributions to sustainability related to the environment, and efforts that bring together individuals or communities from different backgrounds. These activities might include service-learning courses, internships, international service, or special projects, partnerships or programs on campus or extending to the broader community.

The McKinley Faculty Innovation Award is given in support of an innovative and rigorously designed scholarly, creative, or curricular project that reflects the joy of teaching and learning within the liberal arts. Past awards have supported projects that are sustainability related.

A brief description of the incentives that academic staff who participate in the program(s) receive:

Faculty Diversity Fellows who are selected to participate in the Building Diversity Project are compensated with a $1500 yearly stipend which recognizes the additional effort dedicated to the program. In addition, as part of the program, all participating Fellows will receive as incentive the following:
• Program materials
• Access to Conference Travel & Individual Research funding
• Funding to add content-area or pedagogy materials to the library collection
and/or the Learning Center teaching resources
• Expectation and approval that this be a Fellow’s significant and sufficient
contribution to the service of the life of the College for the year

First Year Seminar
Faculty who teach the first year seminar (FYS) have received a $1,000 stipend for developing and implementing the FYS course. This has included ongoing training in the spring semester, a 2-day institute in May, a half-day training in August, two meetings during the course, ongoing record keeping and submitting of evaluation materials related to civic identity learning outcomes at the conclusion of the course.

Service Learning Fellows
Faculty who complete the Service-Learning Fellows program and then implement a new service-learning course receive $250. This refers to including service learning in the syllabi of an academic course.

Davidson Fund's "Vocation, Discovery, Experience" Grants
This fund provides annual grants for faculty and staff to provide resources for meaningful applied learning experiences. Grants have ranged from $200 to $5000. Some examples of recent funded projects follow: an internship in recycling that worked with the greater community to start composting programs; a sustainable gardening partnership with local public schools; and, a landscaping project using goats to clear space for a planting of native grasses.

McKinley Innovation Award
In spring 2019, with support from a McKinley Innovation Award of $1,500, eight First Year Seminar (FYS) Warren Wilson faculty were funded to join a project to have FYS students present their community-engaged learning at a culminating event in 2019. Faculty who participated received approximately $150 each to support the purchase of materials and supplies for their class's community-engaged efforts.

Website URL where information about the incentives for developing sustainability course content is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data was gathered from the Director of the Center for Innovation and Faculty Excellence, the VP for Applied Learning and the Building Diversity Project Coordinator. Because sustainability is a central theme for everyone at Warren Wilson, even incentive programs like the McKinley Innovation Award are directed to support sustainability projects because that is the theme of the majority of projects that are proposed.

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.