Apply for Sustainability Classification for Your Courses

Do you teach a course with a sustainability component? We would love to know about it! An interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff from across campus has worked over the 2016-2017 academic year to develop a process for identifying UW-Platteville courses that specifically address sustainability. Once identified, these courses will be marked with a special icon in the course catalog so that students can seek them out.

What is sustainability? University of Wisconsin-Platteville uses the widely accepted United Nations Brundtland Commission definition of sustainable development (1987) as our foundation of sustainability: the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” To this end, sustainability is inherently multidisciplinary and includes concepts of transformation and change, education for all and lifelong learning, systemic thinking, envisioning a better future, critical thinking and reflection, participation and partnerships for change. Sustainability is not an isolated discipline, but a lens through which we view our personal relationships, our discipline, and the world.

How do I submit my course for classification? Recognizing the complex nature of sustainability, and that the concept is expressed in different ways through different disciplines and even though different courses within a discipline, in order to formally classify sustainability courses, we are asking faculty to share their existing student learning outcomes with us, and then classify each according to four broad sustainability categories. Our committee will then review these SLO's as well as course content (by looking at the syllabus), and recommend a classification for the course. Courses that have have minimal sustainability content will be classified as "sustainability-related courses" and courses that have substantial sustainability content will be classified as "sustainability courses." The committee will use the percent of course SLO's that are related to sustainability and the topics in the course content to make the classification recommendation. We will then follow up with each applicant to share our recommended classification.

Fall 2017 Message from Dr. Muslu 

Sustainability Categories (expand for explanation)

For each student learning outcome, please tell us which of the following four categories it most aligns with.

Category #1: Definitions. These SLO's encompass definitions and basic concepts of sustainability.

Here are some examples of Student Learning Outcomes that fit in this category:

  • Each student will be able to explain how systems are interrelated.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of comprehensive systemic analysis across both physical and behavioral dimensions involving society, the environment, and the economy.
  • Explain how natural, economic, and social systems interact to foster or prevent sustainability

Category #2: Individuals. These SLO's help students understand the role of the individual in sustainability.

Here are some examples of Student Learning Outcomes that fit in this category:

  • Demonstrate a sense of social, ethical and professional responsibility in a placement
  • Students will learn ways in which natural resources are used to produce what they consume, such as the food they eat, the water they drink, and the energy they use.
  • Articulate a comprehensive world view that integrates diverse approaches to sustainability.
  • Each student will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality.

Category #3: Organizations. These SLO's help students understand the role of organizations, communities, and groups in sustainability.

Here are some examples of Student Learning Outcomes that fit in this category:

  • Apply these concepts and methods to developing sustainable institutions for water, land, air, and urban management at the local to global level.
  • Assess how stakeholders (including government agencies, indigenous peoples, women’s groups, business and industry, NGOs, scientific and technological communities) are engaging with sustainable development issues
  • Appraise the complexity of sociocultural diversity in a specific community

Category #4: Disciplines. These SLO's help students understand the role of a professional discipline in sustainability.

Here are some examples of Student Learning Outcomes that fit in this category:

  • Apply marketing techniques and theories to develop creative solutions to social problems acknowledging the implications of managerial decisions on society
  • Examine how ecotourism can contribute to the process of change towards sustainable development
  • Explain the role of policies and politics and their influence on sustainable development.
  • Examine the role of ethics and its influence on sustainable development.

To submit your course for classification

Please complete the following form by Friday September 22nd 2017 for each course that you would like to have highlighted in the 2018-2019 course catalog. Once received, an interdisciplinary committee of faculty and staff will review your submission and be in contact with you. If you have any questions, please contact any of the committee members. Thank you!

We are no longer accepting course submissions for the 2017-2018 academic year. Thank you.

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