Sustainability Curriculum Review Committee SCRC
April 10, 2015
Aiken 301 9:30-11:30

Committee Members:
CESS - Alan Tinkler
CEMS - Brian Lee
RSENR - Christine Vatovec
CALS - Laura Hill
BSAD - Marilyn Lucas
CNHS- Eyal Amiel
CAS- Beverly Wemple and Rory Waterman
Office of Sustainability- Lisa Watts Natkin
Ex-officio- CAC- Ann Hazelrigg
Co-Chair- Deane Wang

In Attendance: Alan Tinler, Eyal Amiel, Brian Lee, Beverley Wemple, Laura Hill, Marilyn Lucas, Deane Wang, Christine Vatovec, Lisa Watts Natkin

Meeting notes:

  • We are not reviewing the syllabi submitted by the SFF alumni and current cohort for the SLOs but for the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) STARS (Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System) sustainability focused designation. Deane reviewed the background of how the STARS focused course designation process happened. Tarah Rowse, Stephanie Kaza, Deane Wang, Laura Hill, and Wendy Verri-Berenback reviewed SFF alumni syllabi to see if they felt the course met the STARS focused based on the following definition:

"Sustainability-focused courses concentrate on the concept of sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions, or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens,"

Discussions throughout the meeting:
  • If we grandfather courses in for one year, then we assess the effectiveness of the learning outcomes in 4 years, how will the measurement be valid. The STARS grandfathered courses were not crafted to teach the SLOs, so we will not be measuring the same thing.
  • If it a course is about the environment, is that sustainability? No, needs to be about the interaction of economic, social, and ecological- not just addressing the environmental issues.
  • Should we approve all SFF alumni’s courses? We want to be consistent with the process that occurred for the initial STARS focused designation
  • Catalogue designate- the “SU” prefix will not show up for courses in the catalogue because the deadline has passed. However, the registrar has agreed for one year it will hand coded the “SU” designation in the SOC and CATS systems.
  • When a course is approved, students enrolled in that course in that semester and going forward will earn the sustainability credit. So if we approve a course in the fall semester then students enrolled in that course during the Fall semester with get credit. The registrar will have to hand code that the requirement has been met.
  • The reinforced level has to have an activity that is assessed by the instructor.
  • Do student need to be explicitly aware that a course is addressing the SLOs? Ideally, faculty would incorporate the SLOs in the syllabus. Are we OK with students talking a course that has been approved but students do not know they are learning the SLOs. Should we send an email to all students who have completed a course or curriculum so that they are aware that learning about sustainability? If students were involved with the getting sustainability as a part of UVM curriculum, shouldn’t they be more involved the SLOs?
  • Should we gather a cohort of faculty who have designated courses and have a workshop about assessment and how best to disseminating the message of the SLOs. It will be important to highlight courses, with communication, maybe a way to demonstrate student learning and faculty teaching?

Course Review

Richard Watts CDAE 006:
Majority disapproved
Notes: The syllabi does not give much content information because the lecturers are different each year. If we had a schedule of lecturers from last year that may have given more content.

Mandar Dewoolkar CE 175:
Majority approved

Jody Prescott ENVS 293
Majority disapproved

Jody Prescott POLS 130
Majority disapproved

Robert Bartlett POLS 159
Majority approved

Donna Ramirez EC 40
Majority disapproved

Donna Ramirez EC 133
Majority disapproved

SU Designation courses with matrix:

Luis Vivanco- ANTH 59 culture and environment
Majority approved

Paul Bierman- GEOL 007 Earth Hazards
Majority approved
Notes: change with SLO #2 as reinforced and SLO #4 as introduced.

Char Mehrtens- GEOL 095 How the earth works
Majority approved
Notes: SLO 1 and 3- are questionable. It needs a little more information; please provide more details on both. How are the learning outcomes being addressed? So SLO 1 as introduced and SLO as reinforced.

Action item Laura will get back to the instructors with the results of the vote.