More and more colleges are embracing sustainability as an academic and an operational mission. These schools have found that working towards sustainability improves their campus image, reduces their operational costs, and draws a generation of students who are increasingly environmentally conscious. A 2009 Princeton Review survey showed that one quarter of high school students applying to colleges said that a college's commitment to environmental issues would strongly influence their assessment of a college.*
Integrating sustainability into academic programs also better prepares students to face growing global environmental concerns in creative and constructive ways. Millsaps faculty, staff, and students have made small steps towards improving sustainability on campus, including recycling, conducting campus sustainability assessments, and donating surplus cafeteria food to Gleaners, a local food bank. Unfortunately, without administrative support or a process of institutionalization, few initiatives have continued year to year.
This QEP proposal proposes to integrate environmental sustainability into existing curricular and co-curricular programs at Millsaps in ways that would not require significant funding increases, but together would demonstrate Millsaps' commitment to sustainability. Millsaps is ideally situated to explore what it means to pursue sustainability with limited resources, now especially relevant for many colleges and highly relevant in the state of Mississippi.
Examples of incorporating sustainability into existing programs could include:
The aim of these curricular and co-curricular programs would be to expose students to a range of ideas and potential projects in sustainability. Sustainability studies, as part of a liberal arts education, can help prepare students to be environmentally literate, global citizens.
Contact person: Jessica Piekielek
For a PDF of the proposal, click here.
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