Curriculum

Introduction

One of the primary functions of colleges and universities is to educate students. By training and educating future leaders, scholars, workers, and professionals; higher education institutions are uniquely positioned to understand and address sustainability challenges. Institutions that offer courses covering sustainability issues help equip their students to lead society to a sustainable future.

6335 resources

Webinar: How Can Sustainability Education More Effectively Equip Students to Become Change Agents?

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • AASHE (PA)

Advancing sustainability, whether in one’s dorm, on a college campus, in a community, or at national and global levels, means enabling change, and educating change agents. Many sustainability competencies ...

  • Posted June 11, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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Embedding sacred ecology in sustainability solutions: The role of post-secondary environmental science programs

  • Central European University

There is increasing attention to the potential contribution of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to addressing an unprecedented crisis in social-ecological systems. Approaches to the bridging of scientific and indigenous knowledges ...


Designing a Regenerative Future: Higher Education as a Driver of Change

  • OCAD University (ON)

Many Ontario colleges continue to educate students in the traditional mechanistic fashion of the linear economy. Graduates in search of a career are equipped to perpetuate the take-make-waste economic system ...


Affecting Sustainable Changes in the Individual Through Landscape Architecture: A Case Study of the University of Virginia

  • University of Virginia (VA)

In the long trek towards creating a sustainable society, universities play one of the most significant roles. They serve as laboratories for defining what it means to be a sustainable ...


Environmental Justice Ethnography in the Classroom: Teaching Activism, Inspiring Involvement

  • Allegheny College (PA)
  • Rhode Island College (RI)
  • San Francisco State University (CA)
  • University of North Carolina, Wilmington (NC)
  • University of South Florida (FL)

In this era of industry deregulation, gutting of environmental protections, and science denial, environmental justice applied anthropology is more important than ever. There is growing ethnographic research into the ways ...


Towards an equity competency model for sustainable food systems education programs

  • Columbia University (NY)
  • Middlebury College (VT)
  • Teachers College, Columbia University (NY)
  • Tufts University (MA)
  • University of New Hampshire (NH)
  • University of British Columbia (BC)
  • American Museum of Natural History (NY)

Addressing social inequities has been recognized as foundational to transforming food systems. Activists and scholars have critiqued food movements as lacking an orientation towards addressing issues of social justice. To ...


Discourse of ‘helping the poor’: rethinking global poverty and its pedagogical possibilities in higher education

  • Xiamen University

As the global community strives for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, the first goal of ‘ending poverty in all its forms everywhere’, university students’ learning experiences and understanding about ...


Increasing University Competitiveness through Assessment of Green Content in Curriculum and Eco-Labeling in Higher Education

  • University of Novi Sad
  • Educons University

Growing environmental problems and increasing requirements of green jobs force universities around the world not only to transform their curricula but also to enrich existing ones with contents related to ...


Teaching the “how” of transformation

  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Central Office (NJ)
  • University of Oslo

College and university students are eager to engage with transformative solutions to the climate crisis, but often struggle to see openings or possibilities where they can leverage their actions and ...


Key experiences for the transdisciplinary approach: fieldwork-based training in sustainability science education

  • University of Tokyo
  • National University of Singapore
  • University of the Free State
  • International Christian University

This paper aims to describe how a sustainability-focused program in higher education can provide training and key experiences for implementing transdisciplinary approaches. The case is a fieldwork-based training course called ...


Inner Transformation for 21st-Century Futures: The Missing Dimension in Higher Education

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras

We live in times of great global risks and problems that pose multiple wic­ked, inter­depen­dent challenges, such as climate change, environmental degradation, social ine­qualities, geopolitical tensions ...


Towards a common future: revising the evolution of university-based sustainability research literature

  • University of Beira Interior
  • University of Passo Fundo
  • University of Campinas
  • Hiroshima University
  • Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
  • Universidade Federal Fluminense
  • University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz
  • Bournemouth University (Dorset)
  • University of Wroclaw/Uniwersytet Wrocławski (Wrocław)
  • University of Minho
  • Universidade federal de Santa Maria
  • University of Belgrade
  • University of the Aegean (Lesvos)
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

The field of sustainability has evolved considerably since the report “Our Common Future” was published in 1987. Whereas matters related to sustainable development used to be of marginal interest in ...


Students’ Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development—A Longitudinal Study on Interdisciplinary vs. Monodisciplinary Learning

  • University of Hamburg
  • Goethe University Frankfurt

Innovative ideas are essential to sustainable development. Students’ innovative potential in higher education for sustainable development (HESD) has so far been neglected. Innovation is often associated with an interdisciplinary approach ...


Impact of sustainability-focused learning intervention on teachers’ agency to teach for sustainable development

  • University of Education Lahore (Punjab)
  • Beaconhouse National University

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been identified as a key enabler of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Considering the vital role of ESD, a framework ‘ESD for 2030ʹ has ...


BS Sustainability Studies

  • University of California, Riverside (CA)

The Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Studies program at UC Riverside offers a social justice approach to environmental sustainability and climate change. This interdisciplinary degree program explores interactions between human ...

  • Posted May 27, 2021
  • Academic Programs
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Sustained Relevance Through Elegance: Redesigning Higher Education from Within

  • Arizona State University (AZ)

Universities and colleges in the United States (U.S.) are in a period of rapid transformation. Driven by the need for an educated workforce, higher education institutions are responding to ...


Defining Social Change as Social Action: HE's Role in Addressing Social Change

  • University of Greenwich

Recent resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement across the world is a reminder for HE institutions that we have a key role to play in enabling that our graduates ...


The effect of information source on higher education students’ sustainability knowledge

  • Michigan State University (MI)
  • University of Michigan (MI)

When it comes to what higher education students know about sustainability, where they learn matters. In this study, we explore the extent to which students’ level of sustainability knowledge differed ...


Undergraduates in a Sustainability Semester: Models of social change for sustainability

  • Michigan State University (MI)

This was a qualitative case study aimed to understand the impact of sustainability education on undergraduate students after one term of course enrollment. It was found that while students’ models ...


Will We Learn from COVID-19? Ecopedagogical Calling (Un)heard

  • Beijing Normal University

‘(Un)heard’ in the title questions if we will learn from experiencing COVID-19 to counter unrestrained environmental devastation occurring, or will we remain largely untaught? I argue the need for ...


CGHE 2020 Annual Conference webinar panel: Higher education and sustainability

  • University of Bristol
  • University College London (London)
  • International Association of Universities

Higher education institutions both impact and are impacted by global climate change and the environment. In this conference hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education, a panel of professors ...

  • Posted May 26, 2021
  • Videos & Webinars
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The Inclusive Sustainability Initiative at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM)

  • California State University, San Marcos (CA)

The Inclusive Sustainability Initiative (ISI) at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is an example of innovation and investment connecting inclusive excellence and sustainability. The term inclusive sustainability whether applied ...


California State University System-wide Climate Justice and Intersectional Sustainability Speaker Series

  • California Polytechnic State University (CA)
  • California State University, Channel Islands (CA)
  • California State University, East Bay (CA)
  • California State University, Chancellor's Office (CA)
  • California State University, Chico (CA)
  • California State University, Fullerton (CA)
  • California State University, Long Beach (CA)
  • California State University, Los Angeles (CA)
  • California State University, Northridge (CA)
  • California State University, Sacramento (CA)
  • California State University, San Marcos (CA)
  • Humboldt State University (CA)
  • San Diego State University (CA)
  • California State University Stanislaus (CA)

During the 2020-21 academic year, Sustainability Officers from across the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, the largest public university system in the U.S., joined forces to coordinate a ...


Integrating racial equity, social justice, and sustainability through general education learning outcome assessment

  • University of Utah (UT)

In 2014, the University of Utah administration received a poignant letter from a group of passionate students suggesting that granting an undergraduate degree to any student without ensuring that they ...


Infusing Sustainability into the Curriculum

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

Name: Colin Donahue Project Mentors: Carr Everbach Project board Members: Carr Everbach, Aurora Winslade, Joy Charlton, Betsy Bolton, James Padilioni, Jason Martin

The climate crisis represents one of the greatest ...


Virtual Energy Treasure Hunt Event

  • Suffolk County Community College (NY)

In April 2021, Suffolk County Community College hosted our first US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Treasure Hunt Event. The DOE describes the Treasure Hunt as “One of the best ...


President's Sustainability Research Fellowship 20-21: ChesterSemesters

  • Swarthmore College (PA)

The 2020-2021 President's Sustainability Research Fellowship ChesterSemester project was conducted by Ananya Bhattacharya '21 over the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The purpose of the project was to support the the ...


What makes an effective campus climate action plan?

  • Montana State University (MT)

Over the course of Spring Semester 2021, eight undergraduate students from a wide variety of majors and disciplines enrolled in a 3 credit directed independent study course in Human Geography ...


Mitigating Carbon Emissions While Staying In Business: A Case Study of Longview Farm

  • Smith College (MA)

Smith College has aggressive goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and local food procurement. In an effort to understand supply chain emissions associated with food, students in the Environmental Science ...


Cascadia Cornucopia Food Forest as a prototype for food permaculture areas on campuses

  • Cascadia College (WA)

The Cascadia Food Forest is an example of an integrated learning project at Cascadia College. It was designed to facilitate learning opportunities outside the classroom. The food forest is a ...


Climate Action Plan Sustainability Ambassador Course

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (IL)

The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) ambassador course was piloted in the spring 2021 semester as an opportunity for students to have a direct role in assessing and recommending building-level ...


Planting the Pond

  • Western Dakota Technical College (SD)

For this project, Western Dakota Tech formed an interdisciplinary team comprised of Environmental Engineering, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Electrical Trades, Computer-Aided Design, and Farm and Ranch Management students to design and ...


Turnaround Leadership for Sustainability in Higher Education

  • University of Western Sydney (NSW)
  • Australian National University

Higher Education around the world is at a cross-road as a wide range of change forces bear down upon it. These include a complex, interlocked and rapidly unfolding set of ...


The Futility and Fatality of Incremental Action: Motivations and Barriers among Undergraduates for Environmental Action that Matters

  • Ithaca College (NY)

Monty Hempel was deeply engaged with the impact of sustainability education on student values and behavior. An important question that he posed was How can sustainability education provide a sound ...


Adventuring into Complexity by Exploring Data: From Complicity to Sustainability

  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Problems of sustainability are typically represented by major present-day challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental and social injustice. Framed this way, sustainable lives and societies depend on ...


Exploring the consistency of ethical perceptions by business and economics higher education students: Looking from academia towards the corporate world

  • Universidade do Porto
  • University of Minho

Understanding how business and economics higher education students ethically appraise corporate behaviour nowadays may contribute to anticipating how they will behave in the future as corporate actors and leaders. At ...


Sustainability in Brandenburg Study Programs. Perspectives for Anchoring Sustainability in Higher Education Curricula

  • Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development/Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde (Brandenburg)

The study investigates the extent to which sustainability is anchored in university curricula of a federal state (Brandenburg, Germany). (1) It provides a baseline for identifying opportunities for sustainability-related curriculum ...


Teaching wicked problems in higher education: ways of thinking and practising

  • University of Edinburgh
  • Wageningen University

This paper reports on teachers’ perspectives on preparing students for working with ‘wicked’ problems (Rittel and Webber [1973]. ‘Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning.’ Policy Sciences 4 (2): 155 ...


Educated professionals of sustainability and the dimensions of practices

  • University of Helsinki
  • Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) (Uusimaa)

The purpose of this paper is to expand the competence-led structuring and understanding of sustainability education by analysing the practices of professional individuals who have completed university education geared to ...


Evaluation of a tertiary sustainability experiential learning program

  • University of Melbourne (Victoria)

This paper aims to describe the development, promotion and evaluation of sustainability learning experience database (SLED), a university-curated database of sustainability experiences to augment formal student learning. Its purpose was ...


Educating for transitions: ecovillages as transdisciplinary sustainability “classrooms”

  • University of Brasilia

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the pedagogical tools that can enhance transdisciplinarity in higher education and stimulate sustainability transitions, based on the case study of a partnership ...


The university went to ‘decolonise’ and all they brought back was lousy diversity double-speak! Critical race counter-stories from faculty of colour in ‘decolonial’ times

  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Manchester (Lancashire)
  • Sheffield Hallam University (Yorkshire)

UK Higher Education is characterised by structural and institutional forms of whiteness. As scholars and activists are increasingly speaking out to testify, whiteness has wide-ranging implications that affect curricula, pedagogy ...


Reimagining global citizenship education for a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world

  • University of British Columbia (BC)

In this article, I propose the need to reimagine global citizenship education for a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. In this context, it remains unclear what kind of ...


Add Business and Stir: Finding New Markets for Your Religion and Ecology Courses

  • Alma College (MI)

This essay makes a case for teaching an interdisciplinary undergraduate course at the intersection of religion, ecology, and business. At a basic level, this approach gets students with diverse intellectual ...


The role of sustainability in media and communication studies’ curricula throughout Europe

  • University of Klagenfurt

This research aims to analyze to what extent sustainability and its related core aspects are integrated in media and communication's curricula of higher education institutions in Europe.


Fostering Sustainability Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviours through a Tutor-Supported Interdisciplinary Course in Education for Sustainable Development

  • University of Hamburg

Extant research into the efficacy of—especially interdisciplinary—higher education for sustainable development (HESD) is limited. A need exists to investigate students’ development of sustainability knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours. Furthermore ...


Framing the role of higher education in sustainable development: a case study analysis

  • Zayed University
  • Cairo University

Higher education institutions (HEIs) should play a fundamental role in achieving the international 2030 sustainable development (SD) agenda. Quality education is the fourth of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and ...


Integrating professional sustainability literacy into the master of public administration curriculum

  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington (NC)

Public administration, or the implementation of public policies by civil servants, will be central to implementing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. And yet, few American master of public administration ...


Redefining action competence: The case of sustainable development

  • University of Antwerp
  • Karlstad University

The concept of Action Competence (AC) has been interpreted in different ways in various domains of the educational sciences. Given the rising scholarly attention to AC, these diverse interpretations are ...


How Teaching Affects Student Attitudes towards the Environment and Sustainability in Higher Education: An Instructors’ Perspective

  • The American College of Greece (Aghia Paraskevi)

In the rapidly changing, 21st century globalized world, with increasing environmental pressures and challenges, education for the environment and sustainability is a priority at all levels; from kindergarten to higher ...

This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. Additional content and advanced benchmarking tools will be added to this tab over time.

Programs and Initiatives

The following links connect to specific Content Displays on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Scores

The following link connects to the Score Display on the STARS website (AASHE membership and log-in required).

Curriculum Partners

Bound International

San Antonio, TX
Business Affiliate
We navigate the intersection of international educational mobility, environmental sustainability, and technological innovation.

FIE: Foundation for International Education

London, London
Business Affiliate

Strategic Energy Innovations

San Rafael, CA
Business Affiliate
Helping communities embrace sustainability.

Sustainability Curriculum Consortium

Bethesda, MD
Business Affiliate

The GREEN Program

Philadelphia, PA
Business Affiliate
Founded in 2009, The GREEN Program creates short-term, experiential education programs focused on sustainable development. TGP's accredited model has attracted university students representing over 470 universities and 70 countries globally.