Nine years ago, Moraine Valley Community College (MVCC) developed and continues to offer an award winning, rigorous faculty professional development program to infuse sustainability-related content throughout and across disciplines. It is call the Sustainability Scholars Program (SSP), formerly called Greening Your Curriculum (SSP). During the SSP, using face to face and online teaching methods, faculty develop new curriculum and projects that involve students in real-world problem solving for sustainability. The program is available to all faculty and participation from the diverse faculty and departments is encouraged. To date, faculty from the following departments are participating: Biology, Environmental Science, Nursing, Medical Record Technician, HVAC, Art, Theater, Political Science, Nutrition, Early Childhood Education, College Preparedness, History, Mathematics, Developmental Math, Developmental Reading, Sociology, Communications, Speech, Literature and more.
The major goals of the Sustainability Scholars Program are to:
- allow faculty the space to internalize the true meaning of sustainability and determine, through a wide variety of resources, how sustainability connects to her or his curricula,
- introduce faculty to each other as content resources,
- explore the entire campus as a classroom,
- focus on the value of reflection in the infusion of sustainability across all disciplines,
- create a wave of learners who are not only well-informed about sustainability, but are creative systems thinkers ready to tackle an unknown future with strength and optimism, and
- provide students with an edge in the job market by holistically understanding sustainability and being able to apply that in their chosen career field.
The SSP program’s professional development opportunities range from one- to three-hour face-to-face activities, a wide variety of four-hour online workshops, a series of six-hour online workshops, and the 20-hour face-2-face Prairie Project. This 20-hour intensive reflective Prairie Project workshop serves as the culmination of the SSP faculty professional development program and finalizes the process to infuse sustainability across an entire course or several courses. SSP graduate faculty are noted as Sustainability Scholars.
This program has been created, taught and facilitated by Michelle Zurawski, with support from the Moraine Valley Learning Academy (MVLA), and supported and coordinated by the Center for Sustainability (Stephenie Presseller – Sustainability Manager). The MVLA provides a comprehensive faculty professional development program on a variety of teaching and learning topics as a substantial component of the college’s Center for Teaching and Learning – which provides professional development for the entire college. As the SSP program has grown, the college’s Center for Sustainability has also provided support by coordinating initiatives/activities, establishing a resource library, making connections to student organizations, bringing sustainability education to the greater community, and seeking/managing external funding to support the faculty committing to the program.
To date, over 80 MVCC faculty members have participated in the SSP program teaching one or more course sections infused with sustainability, reaching hundreds of students each semester and thousands since the program began. Faculty continue to voluntarily participate in the program.
In addition, SSP program training was made available to a 12-member consortium of colleges and universities, the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC) established to pursue common interests and resolve common challenges – one of which is sustainability. Michelle Zurawski has taught sections of the online six-week SSP workshops for a selected group of faculty from member institutions. This has extended the SSP project’s scope, reach and impact, and has also established a local community of peers that provide each other with encouragement and resources. Representatives of that SMHEC group that have participated in MVCC’s Prairie Project, further solidifying the community of peers and access to local resources. Other colleges around Illinois have also participated in the SSP series and have also created sustainability infusion programs at their home institutions.
Greening Your Curriculum 101: Intro to Greening Your Curriculum
Greening Your Curriculum 201: Eco-Literacy and Local Connections
Greening Your Curriculum 202: Green Economy and Social Justice
Greening Your Curriculum: SSP 203
|Vaccines and Society (Anatomy and Physiology II course)||Dawn Countryman|
|Equality and the Distribution of Wealth (Developmental Math)||Paula DeAnda-Shah|
|Our Personal Choices: A Closer Look at How We Affect Our World
(Composition II course)
|Information Literature for Service Learning||Tish Hayes|
|My Contribution For This World To Make It A Better Place To Live (Chemistry I course)||Ruchi Jairath|
|Sustainability using the Stanford Model Final Project (Reading course)||Jennifer Lee|
|Phlebotomy for Healthcare Sustainability Assignment||Stone|