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Sustainability Courses

Practical Environmentalism

In the Classroom

Dr. Sankar teaching Practical Environmentalism Class

Sustainability-Focused and Related Courses 

A “sustainability-focused” course concentrates on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens. 

A “sustainability-related” course incorporates sustainability as a distinct course component or module, or concentrate on a single sustainability principle or issue.

The Office of Sustainability asked faculty to use the above guidance to self-identify whether any of their classes were sustainability-focused or sustainability-related. In 2015, nearly 500 courses were identified as such. 

American University also includes sustainability learning outcomes in a variety of majors. 

Greening the Classroom & Curriculum

In addition to offering many courses that teach sustainability, the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning offers a Green Teaching Certificate program to help faculty green their classrooms. 

The Green Teaching Certificate is based on a system of self-reporting. Faculty members at American University can qualify for a Green Teaching Certificate by answering a number of questions about their efforts to make their courses more sustainable. Upon evaluation, qualified courses will be rewarded with a seal representing one of five different levels of the Green Teaching Certificate, which can be put on syllabi and Blackboard pages to market courses as green.