21 September 2010

Arizona State launches new sustainability minor

Arizona State University (ASU) has launched a new 18 hour minor which will enable students to explore the challenges of sustainability, and learn what determines the sustainability of human institutions, organizations, cultures and technologies in differing environments at local, national and international levels. The minor is available to undergraduate students in all majors that do not already include a sustainability minor or concentration.

The content will introduce the principles of sustainability, and how they relate to various academic disciplines and professional field, and students will be required to take courses that touch on two of four themes; Earth Systems; Human Transformation of the Earth; Coupled Human-Environment Systems; and Social, Political and Economic Treatment of Natural Resources and Environment.

The minor, offered this fall (2010), marks a milestone for ASU's initiative to make sustainability education and practices university wide across four campuses.

"The demand already exists for sustainability education. The minor allows students unable to commit to a sustainability major to apply sustainability principles and practices to their own field of study," says Chris Boone, Associate Dean of Education for the School of Sustainability. "An increasing number of companies and agencies ask for students with a sustainability background, and the minor in sustainability is designed to offer a path for students to create their own jobs in the area of sustainability."

Sustainability is a core educational principle at ASU and courses under this minor will continue to develop, connecting students with outside professionals and allowing them to gain real world learning experiences from multiple perspectives.

"The sustainability minor is a university wide minor, meaning that it is owned by the university and not by a particular department. Students can receive advising from the department of their current major," says Lisa Murphy, program development specialist for the School of Sustainability. "Advisors across the university will be equipped to answer questions and add the sustainability minor to their student's plan of study."

Arizona State has been ranked 81st in the top 100 universities world wide (according to the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University), and named as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate studies (The Princetown Review - 2011 College Guide 'The Best 373 Colleges'.) ASU has also made the 'Green Honor Roll' rating as one of the country's 'greenest' universities.

For more information on the sustainability minor, please visit http://schoolofsustainability.asu.edu/minor-in-sustainability.

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

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