SCC Curriculum Dialogue

contributing to the NCSE-CEDD “sustainability competencies” process

Following the SCC Faculty Conference in Philadelphia on June 26-27, 2017, the SCC team carefully reviewed feedback from the attendees, including a request for a mechanism to facilitate an ongoing discussion on curriculum and pedagogy. The conference had included a well-received session on “Sorting Curriculum at the 100, 300, and 500 Levels,” in which presenters offered 4 different perspectives.  The suggestion was made that we continue that discussion online in greater detail. We agreed. Therefore, in March 2018 we convened an online dialogue focused on curricular options on our Collaborase platform and we fielded a “pre-survey” developed by Peter Soyka of Soyka & Co. to establish a baseline for ongoing work.

This “pre-survey,” while not comprehensive, was intended to help us perform some important foundational work by documenting pre-existing views in the SCC community of practice regarding the purpose and content of sustainability curricula delivered at the university level. Our goal was to understand the range of views held and identify any areas of concurrence, as well as highlight issues for further exploration through the continuation of the SCC online curriculum dialogue. Responses to the pre-survey were received in the run-up to our Faculty Conference which was held June 25-26, 2018 in Pittsburgh.
At the SCC Faculty Conference in Pittsburgh, Peter Soyka presented his preliminary findings and analysis.  [PPT presentation available here].

While in Pittsburgh, on the evening of June 26, 2018, SCC convened a joint workshop with the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD) and the pre-survey findings were presented as the initial SCC contribution to the NCSE-CEDD “sustainability competencies” process.  CEDD is a program of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). Earlier this year, NCSE had launched a process through CEDD focusing on “key competencies” in sustainability degree programs.

SCC is committed to integration and alignment of its curriculum dialogue with this NCSE process.
This collaboration has already resulted in a joint panel and a workshop at the 2018 AASHE Conference, also held in Pittsburgh in October 2018.  [PPT presentations available here; Workshop summary available here].
Peter Soyka’s webinar for SCC on October 10, 2018 updated his summary and analysis. [Video recording available here; Slides available here].

Going forward, the joint effort with NCSE-EDD will take the form of a dual track approach. One track will consist of a Delphi panel to be led by Katja Brundiers of Arizona State University; the complementary track, to be led by SCC, will proceed with webinars, a continuation of the online dialogue, a workshop at the NCSE Conference in January 2019, and other activities. Rod Parnell of Northern Arizona University will play a leadership role as an NCSE Senior Fellow. The proposed goal is to create a “Consensus Statement” on sustainability competencies.

Look for further updates on the dual track process in this space.