Already an emerging Midwest leader in sustainability Education, Central is adding a global sustainability minor to our curriculum starting this fall. This integrative program is designed to offer all students, regardless of major or career aspirations, a means of acquiring some of the tools and practical experience they will need when they enter the work force, assume leadership positions in their communities, and deal with complex, interconnected problems on a scale never before faced by humans.
Most students who come to college strongly interested in sustainability are more focused on the environmental side and generally major in environmental studies. We want Central to give students with the interest of global sustainability the option for a minor in the field because most are looking more broadly at the social, economic and environmental sides of sustainability. This way, students are able to pursue traditional academic major in their area but also have the advantage of having global sustainability as a minor. The overriding intent is to increase the number of Central students graduating with global sustainability as a significant part of their total academic program.
Nationally, including in Iowa, there is growing interest in sustainability among high school and college-aged students. This minor will make the students more employable because companies will see added value in hiring someone who has not only the requisite educational credentials for the job —accounting, marketing, or education, but in addition the ability to make contributions to the employer by helping to green the company.
Global sustainability minor requirements include 20-22 hours of class study and students must complete two courses: Introduction to Environmental Science and Global Sustainability. Check it out at: http://departments.central.edu/globalsustain/
According to AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, there are only around 30 schools nationwide that list such a program and Central is the lone school in Iowa to have global sustainability as an option for a minor.
In 2008, Central’s faculty voted to add a global sustainability component to its newly restructured core curriculum. Few other schools in the nation have sustainability as part of its required curriculum.
By placing global sustainability in Central’s liberal studies core as a common required element, while simultaneously working to infuse it across the curriculum, all Central students encounter sustainability in their courses and other credited academic experiences. Central’s global sustainability core component captures the interconnectedness of environmental, economic and social systems.
Central College is a leader in the Midwest for sustainability as it is a part of the college’s ethos. In recent years, Central made a commitment to create an environmentally-friendly community with a strong emphasis on sustainability. The college has three Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-rating buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council and has a commitment to building green on campus. Central’s Vermeer Science Center was recognized as the first building in Iowa to obtain a LEED rating, receiving silver. Howard McKee Hall was the first residential building in the state to receive a gold LEED rating. The Roe Center, which houses the college’s Center for Global Sustainability, earned a platinum rating, the highest LEED rating. Sustainability efforts extend across campus from dining services serving organic foods to facilities planning and management, which uses green cleaning practices, to student-led recycling efforts.
WHO-TV13 featured Central’s newest minor on the news and its website:
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education featured Central in its newsletter: