Founder & Managing Director, Sustainability Curriculum Consortium
Research Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
Coordinator of Academic Sustainability & Professor, Northern Arizona University
Every year, new sustainability degree programs are launched at colleges and universities across North America, joining a global trend of sustainability degree programs offered at higher education institutions worldwide. This raises important questions for the field of sustainability in higher education related to quality and standards, processes of program development and administration, and communicating the skills and abilities sustainability graduates have to potential employers. In early 2018, the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) launched a process focusing on ‘key competencies’ in sustainability degree programs in collaboration with the Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (SCC) and NCSE member institutions, including the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University (ASU) and University of Northern Arizona (NAU). The goal of this initiative, through workshops, dialogues and other activities, is to create a ‘Consensus Statement’ on sustainability competencies. This workshop, led by members in this initiative from NCSE, SCC, ASU and NAU, is an opportunity to inform about the initiative’s progress to date; to further explore the above questions; and, to invite workshop participants to contribute their experiences and insights to a shared and growing body of knowledge around key competencies in sustainability degree programs. Workshop participants will share the learning outcomes of their courses/curricula and compare these with each other and with key competencies in sustainability. On this basis, the workshop will identify lessons learned for the future development of key competencies in sustainability and formulate next steps for the initiative, including what would be useful support structures for institutions to support development and administration of sustainability programs in the field.