Greening the Curriculum. Dr. Rhonda Richards Senior VP for Academic Affairs West Virginia University at Parkersburg. College students are flocking to sustainability degrees, careers. By Jillian Berman, USA TODAY
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Greening the Curriculum
Dr. Rhonda Richards
Senior VP for Academic Affairs
West Virginia University at Parkersburg
By Jillian Berman, USA TODAY
Students interested in pursuing a job in sustainability now can choose from a variety of "green" degree programs.
With an increased interest in the environment and growth in the "green collar" job sector, colleges and universities are beginning to incorporate sustainability into their programs.
From MBAs in sustainable-business practices to programs that give students the technical training necessary to operate wind turbines, students have an increasing array of options to choose from.
Workshops for faculty to update curriculum by retrofitting existing courses to include greening and sustainability concepts through artistic, cultural, historical, mathematical, philosophical, and scientific lenses to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject which is how the University of Maryland Chesapeake Project implements sustainability.
Develop projects and themes and offer activities around the themes, such as University of New Hampshire’s four specific initiatives which are designed around four foundational systems of sustainability— biodiversity, climate, food, and culture—that are pervasive across the curriculum and throughout the college community.
Offer a specific course on sustainability such as
Auburn University’s “Introduction to Sustainability”
that includes topics on:
Offer a specific cluster of courses across several disciplines that result in a certificate or concentration. For example, at Stockton College in New Jersey the new curriculum in Sustainability and Environmental Policy is a collaborative initiative of the political science and environmental science programs and is open to students in either of the two majors. The curriculum offers focused coursework for students planning careers in environmental policy, management, law, advocacy and education.
Here of examples where faculty have “greened” the
curriculum across academic disciplines at college and
universities in the forefront of campus and civic
When Should Greening the Curriculum Begin?
Here's a "green curriculum map" to illustrate what GreenHeart'sGreen Curriculum Model looks like. It shows the environmental / sustainability focus for each age/grade level, as well as the following essential integrating themes:
These general themes, when underlying the more specific age/grade learnings that build on each other, together contribute to an integrated and holistic education today that ensures a healthy future for our students and the world they will live in.
Division of Energy
Greening the Curriculum could serve as a catalyst for other infusion efforts.