Educating Campus Community to Build a Coalition

Integrating sustainability throughout the curriculum and other programs and activities that comprise the student experience at Macalester is consistent with both the college’s mission and the goals of the ACUPCC. Macalester’s mission compels us to provide "high standards for scholarship and a special emphasis on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service to society." Similarly, one goal of the ACUPCC is to “make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.” Education for a sustainable future that examines the environmental, social justice and economic impacts of individual and community actions is consistent with Macalester’s core values of multiculturalism, internationalism, and civic engagement.

Education is also essential for strengthening the culture of sustainability on campus and empowering students, faculty, staff, and the community to take action in the wider world. Macalester fosters a vibrant learning community for students through academic experiences in the classroom guided by faculty, and through experiences beyond the classroom, guided by student affairs educators.

See how far we have come in incorporating sustainability in academics by seeing the  Sustainability Course listing for the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System submission.  Sustainability Courses

Here is an in depth analysis of the sustainability classes on offer in the curriculum.  Analysis of Course Mapping

Here is a big-picture reflective look at the current state of play and potential areas for further development.  Current State of Play

Here is how specific department learning outcomes implicitly invoke sustainability.  Relevant Department Learning Outcomes

Here is the visualization, using The Brain software, that connect specific sustainability themes to classes currently on offer at Macalester.  Sustainable Themes and Classes

Student Learning in the Classroom

Academic courses and experiences offer rich opportunities and give students the knowledge and skills to be leaders in sustainability in their personal and professional lives after graduation.

Macalester has a strong and growing Environmental Studies department. Students in this department have been involved in academic work that provides invaluable contributions to the development and implementation of any sustainability effort. Projects to date have included research on the EcoHouse, studying campus greenhouse emissions and developing recommendations for an institutional climate action plan.

However, for Macalester College to continue to lead on issues of sustainability and meet student learning and broader community needs, it is essential that sustainability be further infused throughout the curriculum. A wide variety of academic disciplines can find relevant teaching examples centered on sustainability issues. These include case studies, research projects, service learning opportunities, and historical references. The environmental aspects of sustainability are an excellent fit in the sciences, and the social justice and economic aspects are a focus in many social science disciplines. Yet, bridging these disciplinary boundaries and integrating these aspects across the curriculum is challenging.