SCC Advisory Services

Interest in sustainability education at the post-secondary level has grown rapidly in recent years, and colleges and universities nationwide have responded in a variety of ways to meet increasing demand for courses, programs, and sustainability in practice.  Many academic institutions have implemented formal or informal arrangements to implement an approach to sustainability education that includes certain core courses or concepts, and many of these appropriately cut across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.  In some cases, colleges and universities have established degree and/or certificate programs that confer a sustainability credential upon students who successfully complete the associated requirements.  In others, sustainability as a discipline is approached through individual courses that may or may not be presented in a defined order or have a clear relationship to one another.  In addition, and reflecting substantial and growing interest in sustainability as a subject matter domain in colleges and universities, research on how best to define and integrate sustainability into the academic curriculum (as distinct from operating the physical plant) is increasing in scope and scale.  As it stands, however, along several important dimensions, sustainability in higher education has yet to coalesce around common principles, practices, content, curriculum, and place within the typical campus.

As a result, college and university faculty and administrators seeking to develop their own approaches to teaching sustainability may face some difficult challenges.  Given the absence of any consensus regarding the definitions of and core competencies required to become a sustainability practitioner, limited and incomplete sets of principles, practices, and policies for establishing and delivering college-level sustainability curricula, and the availability of only partial and anecdotal materials (e.g., text books, course materials, case studies), it may be difficult for sustainability program advocates to know where and how to begin or to improve the results of ongoing efforts.

The Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (SCC) is positioned to provide assistance to sustainability leaders seeking to develop or improve the formulation, delivery, and effectiveness of sustainability curricula.  Our staff, advisory committee members, and associated volunteers and supporters offer extensive experience in working with organizations to improve their effectiveness, and in bringing new and creative approaches to bear in resolving complex problems.

We provide an array of advisory services to sustainability champions at colleges and universities whether seeking to initiate a program or enhance an existing program.  Our menu of services includes the following:

Baseline assessment

    • Research and surveys
    • Stakeholder/customer demand analysis
    • Academic program/curriculum review and gap analysis
    • Benchmarking
    • SWOT analysis
    • Forecasting

Strategic planning

    • Goal setting
    • Logic modeling
    • Business case development
    • Metrics evaluation and improvement
    • Strategy development
    • Tactical planning, budgeting, and scheduling

Organizational development and change management

    • Organizational climate assessment (faculty, administration, students)
    • Policy and procedures review and revision/formulation
    • Organizational structure, staffing, and capacity analyses
    • Leadership development
    • Functional skills training
    • Facilitation
    • Strategic communication assistance

Sustainability curriculum development

    • Development of policies, principles, and guidelines
    • Co-creation of learning objectives, course materials, interdisciplinary approaches, and other resources
    • Development of experiential options, intensive courses, seminars, and internships
    • Peer review of draft materials
    • Training and support for faculty on emerging trends and hot topics as well as core sustainability topics
    • Pilot testing and evaluation

Professional development for faculty

    • Faculty skills development workshops (e.g., advances in sustainability pedagogy)
    • Cross-disciplinary team-building exercises
    • Peer-peer networking

Please contact SCC’s Managing Director, Ira Feldman, for further information on our advisory services for institutions of higher learning.  We’re here to help!