Paper No. 186-3
Presentation Time: 8:40 AM
INTEGRATE MODULES AND AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH AS SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM OPPORTUNITIES
Sustainable stewardship of earth resources is paramount to maintaining, and even enhancing, our global quality of life. Recent curricular efforts at Wittenberg University, a liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio, have united in this endeavor through an InTeGrate Sustainability Implementation Program and collaborative development in the Environmental Science Program. To date we have 1) developed three InTeGrate modules on topics including agricultural sustainability, freshwater justice, and ecosystem services 2) piloted action-oriented sustainability curriculum into our Freshmen Experience course, 3) implemented InTeGrate modules in five courses across 5 disciplines with a doubling of sustainability courses planned by the end of 2016, 4) introduced sustainability curriculum into our First Year Seminar and 5) built substantive community based projects with multiple stakeholders across our Environmental Science Program. We plan to expand the impact of these activities through the attention to key guiding elements from the InTeGrate Materials Development and Refinement Rubric and the Sustainability Improves Student Learning (SISL) initiative. These elements are central to cultivating student engagement and integrated research expertise and include: authentic data, systems thinking, interdisciplinarity, and proactive community-based problem solving. Here we present our curricular evolution, barriers overcome, and preliminary measures of success (numbers impacted, community recognition, student learning), and plans to formally expand our sustainability curriculum through the creation of a General Education Theme, new program, or track within the Environmental Science Major. Key to our success is a STEAM approach.