Sustainability is woven into academics in every college at Colorado State University. Students can choose to take courses that focus on or include sustainability and/or pursue an undergraduate or graduate sustainability major, minor, or concentration in a number of fields. The School of Global Environmental Sustainability offers several interdisciplinary minors open to any student at CSU.
CSU Institutional Learning Outcomes were officially adopted by Faculty Council on November 5, 2019. There are five institutional learning outcomes with sustainability, equity, and inclusion woven throughout. Sustainability is explicitly mentioned in two learning outcomes:
Creativity – “Education for creativity includes the development of an understanding of the ways in which the arts and sciences support expression of the diversity of the human experience and human community, and the development of the ability to apply creative skills in problem-solving; it stimulates the imagination to inform new ways of understanding our place in the world and contributes to innovative solutions addressing the challenges we face locally and globally.”
Collaboration – “Education for collaboration is oriented toward the effective and sustainable stewardship of human, economic, and environmental resources”.
CSU Institutional Learning Outcomes (PDF)
In addition to the Institutional Learning Outcomes, some colleges also have sustainability learning outcomes.
College of Business: “An understanding of the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability and how to measure, report, and manage sustainability in organizations.”
College of Engineering: “The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.”
Sustainability-focused courses in the inventory below have a primary and explicit focus on sustainability, including the interdependence of ecological, social, and economic systems. This includes:
- Foundational courses with a primary and explicit focus on sustainability (e.g., Global Environmental Sustainability Seminar, Introduction to Sustainability, Global Sustainability and Health).
- Courses with a primary and explicit focus on the application of sustainability within a field (e.g., Issues in Environmental Economics, Foundations of Sustainable Enterprise, Sustainable Practice – Design and Construction). As sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic, such courses generally incorporate insights from multiple disciplines.
- Courses with a primary and explicit focus on a major sustainability challenge (e.g., Science of Global Climate Change, Glaciers and Climate Change, Introduction to Sustainable Energy). The focus of such courses might be on providing knowledge and understanding of the problems and/or the tools for solving them.
Courses that include sustainability are also included in the inventory. These courses are not explicitly focused on sustainability but the course incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability challenges, issues, and concepts throughout the course.
The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) is a campus-wide school that was founded in 2008 to confront global changes in the environment by providing the cross-college infrastructure to better integrate and more fully capitalize on the University’s historic strength in environmental research and education.
Environmental problems are no longer isolated within one field of study. The School positions CSU to address the many interrelated challenges to global sustainability. Issues include food security, poverty, inequality, water quality and use, desertification, clean energy, climate change, biodiversity, globalization, industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, population growth, and urbanization. SoGES offers several interdisciplinary minors.