Sustainability Learning Outcomes for UVM undergraduate students (adopted 7 April 2014)

As stated in Our Common Ground, “The University of Vermont is an educationally purposeful community seeking to prepare students to live in a diverse and changing world.” In the context of the emerging challenges of the 21st Century, this preparation includes envisioning and planning for a sustainable society. In addition, Our Common Ground speaks to "the transforming power of education." Thus UVM's vision for sustainability embraces the goal of educating all of its students to understand and contribute to the sustainability of human society. That is, we recognize that the pursuit of ecological, social, and economic vitality must come with the understanding that the needs of the present be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Through its General Education Initiative, The University of Vermont will integrate its sustainability vision across curricular and co-curricular activities. Whatever their chosen discipline, each student will demonstrate their mastery of the defined learning outcomes in the knowledge, skills and values categories, as well as the personal domain.

Students who are prepared to address the challenges of creating a sustainable world have knowledge of current issues in sustainability and the social, ecological, and economic dimensions of these complex problems. With the knowledge gained through coursework from varied disciplines, students develop the skills to engage in rigorous and complex discussions around creating sustainable solutions. Coursework and experiences in sustainability are meant to widen social, historical, and cultural perspectives and strengthen students' ability to negotiate multiple values that routinely come into play when planning for sustainability at the local, regional or global scales. Students connect conceptual learning to challenges and opportunities in the world outside of the university classroom by critically analyzing their own experiences in order to make sustainability meaningful and guide their personal actions.

The Learning Outcomes
  • Learning outcome 1: Students can have an informed conversation about the multiple dimensions and complexity of sustainability. (knowledge category)
  • Learning outcome 2: Students can evaluate sustainability using an evidence-
    based disciplinary approach and integrate economic, ecological, and social
    perspectives. (skills category)
  • Learning outcome 3: Students think critically about sustainability across a
    diversity of cultural values and across multiple scales of relevance from local
    to global. (values category)
  • Learning outcome 4: Students, as members of society, can recognize and
    assess how sustainability impacts their lives and how their actions impact sustainability. (personal domain)