Greening Education: The Impact of Sustainability on Academic Programs
The defining characteristic of a modernized and prosperous economy is the quality of its labor force.
A nation’s workforce ultimately determines the rate of technological progress, economic growth, innovation, and aggregate standard of living. It is why advanced economies value the productive use of human capital.
And at the source of a nation’s labor supply is its educational foundation — the universities and trade schools that prepare participants to enter into the workforce.
Despite the continued economic contraction and net reduction in investments, the clean energy sector has fared better than most. Although investment in clean energy remains modest compared to its expected potential in the coming years, debt and equity markets are still willing and able to finance the needed capital investments for commercially proven clean energy technologies.
This reality, among others, indicates the market’s willingness to invest in long-term sustainability business ventures as a means to enhance profitability and technological advancement.
With the increased dominance of clean energy in today’s international economy, a focus on sustainability and economics is pivotal.
To succeed, modernized economies will need to instill within graduates an understanding of the importance of sustainability for the coming decades — namely that economic growth and the emergence of clean energy is intrinsically linked. A failure to acknowledge this inherent reality will result in a loss of competitiveness in the international marketplace.
So, where’s the action then?
With the harsh reality of high unemployment, we must focus our efforts on where the quality jobs will be tomorrow — and not lament over the jobs we've lost, and are unlikely to return.
Moreover, we must also consider that how we've conducted business in the past — with little or no regard for sustainability — will no longer be acceptable.
The triple bottom line (the financial, social and environmental effects of a company's policies and actions that determine its viability as an environmentally and economically sustainable organization) is quickly becoming the standard, and those who ignore this reality will do so at their own peril.
For this reason, it is of great importance that we examine sustainability as the new frontier for wealth and value creation. Because at the end of the day, if you're not properly prepared for the future, you will fall victim to it...
So to give you a better understanding of the vast array of sustainability programs that exist, consider the following 86 academic institutions — ranging from associate degrees to doctorate programs.
Associate Degree Programs in Sustainability
Amarillo College (Amarillo, Texas): Associate in Applied Science, Renewable Energy http://www.actx.edu/wind/index.php
Bronx Community College (Bronx, New York): Center for Sustainable Energy
Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, North Carolina): AAS in Sustainability Technologies
Coconino Community College (Flagstaff, Arizona): Associate of Applied Science in Alternative Energy Technology
Columbia Gorge Community College (The Dalles, Oregon): Associate of Applied Science Degree in Renewable Energy Technology
Cosumnes River College (Sacramento, California): AS in Environmental Studies and Sustainability
Eastern New Mexico University Roswell (Portales, New Mexico): AAS in Renewable Energy
Indian Hills Community College (Ottumwa, Iowa): Associate in Advanced Technologies – Renewable Energy Technology
Lane Community College (Eugene, Oregon): AAS in Sustainability Coordinator
Portland Community College (Portland, Oregon): AAS in Green Technology and Sustainability http://www.pcc.edu/programs/mechanical-engineering/
Bachelor Degree Programs (Bachelor of Arts)
Acadia University (Nova Scotia, Canada): BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina): BA in Sustainable Development
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona): BA in Sustainability
Baldwin Wallace College (Berea, Ohio): BA in Sustainability
Columbia University (Manhattan, New York): BA Major and Concentration in Sustainable Development
Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada): BA in Environment, Sustainability, and Society
Dominican University of California (San Rafael, California): BA in Sustainable Communities
Drew University (Madison, New Jersey): BA in Environmental Studies and Sustainability
George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia): BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland): BA in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability
Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee): BA in Sustainability Practice
Meredith College (Raleigh, North Carolina): BA in Environmental Sustainability
Messiah College (Grantham, Pennsylvania): BA in Sustainability Studies
Pennsylvania State University (State College, Pennsylvania): BA in Energy and Sustainability Policy
San Francisco State University (San Francisco, California): BA in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice
Stony Brook University (New York City, New York): BA in Sustainability Studies
Wilson College (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania): BA in Environmental Sustainability
Bachelor Degree Programs (Bachelor of Science)
Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina): BS in Sustainable Development
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona): BS in Sustainability
Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia, Canada): BS in Environment, Sustainability, and Society
Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Virginia): BS in Environmental Sustainability
Kean University (Union, New Jersey): BS in Sustainability Science
Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee): BS in Sustainable Practice
Maharishi University of Management (Fairfield, Iowa): BS in Sustainable Living
Mountain State University (Beckley, West Virginia): BS in Environmental Sustainability
Murdoch University (Perth, Australia): BS in Sustainable Energy Management
Philadelphia University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania): BS in Environmental Sustainability
Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York): BS in Environmental Sustainability
St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, Florida): BS in Sustainability Management
University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida): BS in Sustainability and the Built Environment
University of New Haven (New Haven, Connecticut): BS in Sustainability
Western New England College (Springfield, Massachusetts): BS in Sustainability
Masters Programs (Masters in Arts)
Antioch University (Los Angeles, California): MA in Urban Sustainability
Antioch University (Keene, New Hampshire): MA in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona): MA in Sustainability
Goucher College (Baltimore, Maryland): MA in Cultural Sustainability
Harvard University Extension School (Cambridge, Massachusetts): MA in Sustainability and Environment Management
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona): MA in Sustainable Communities
Ramapo College (Mahwah, New Jersey): MA in Sustainability Studies
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (Vigo County, Indiana): MA in Earth Literacy
Savannah College of Art and Design (Atlanta, Georgia): MA in Design for Sustainability
Saybrook University (San Francisco, California): MA in Organizational Systems, Leadership of Sustainable Systems Specialization
University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida): MA in Global Sustainability
Masters Programs (Masters in Science)
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona): MS in Sustainability
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (San Luis Obispo, California): MS in Regenerative Studies
The City College of New York (Manhattan, New York): MS in Sustainability
Columbia University (Manhattan, New York): MS in Sustainability Management; MS in Earth Resources Engineering
Denmark Technical University (Copenhagen, Denmark): MSc in Wind Power
Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois): MS in Environmental Management and Sustainability
Leiden University/Delft Technical University/Erasmus University (Netherlands): MS Industrial Ecology
Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee): MS in Sustainability
Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania): MS in Sustainable Systems
University of Texas, Arlington (Austin, Texas): MS in Sustainability
Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut): Center for Business and the Environment: MBA, MEM, MF, MFS, MeSc
Specialized Masters Programs
Blekinge Institute of Technology (Karlskrona, Sweden): Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability (MSLS) and Sustainable Product-Service System Innovation (MSPI)
Presidio Graduate School (San Francisco, California): MPA in Sustainable Management
University of Massachusetts (Boston, Massachusetts): Online Sustainable Development Program
University of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan, Canada): Master of Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.) and Master of Sustainable Environmental Management (M.SEM.)
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia): Executive Master of Natural Resources (XMNR)
Core Masters Programs in Europe
Ecole des Mines de Paris, France
Loughborough University, UK
University of Zaragoza, Spain
Oldenburg University, UK
Hybrid Systems Specialization – Kassel University, Germany
Wind Specialization – National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Photovoltaics Specialization – University of Northumbria, UK
Bioenergy –Specialization – University of Zaragoza, Spain
Grid Integration Specialization – University of Zaragoza, Spain
Doctoral Degree Programs
Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona): Ph.D. in Sustainability
Columbia University (Manhattan, New York): Ph.D. in Sustainable Development
Prescott College (Prescott, Arizona): Ph.D. in Sustainability Education
Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, New York): Ph.D. in Sustainability
University of Alaska, Fairbanks (Fairbanks, Alaska): Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Sustainability
University of Rochester (Rochester, New York): Ph.D. in Solar Energy
University of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan, Canada): Ph.D. in Environment and Sustainability
Walden University (Minneapolis, Minnesota): Ph.D. in Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities
In addition to all of the aforementioned educational institutions, there are also disciplinary concentrations in…
It is clear that sustainability will impact not only science and engineering, but also every facet of the international marketplace, ranging from law to architecture.
Impactful Education for an Instrumental Field of Study
“It’s important not to miss the forest for the trees,” Nicholas Parker, executive chairman of the Cleantech Group, said in January 2009.
“In 2008, there was a quantum leap in talent, resources and institutional appetite for clean technologies. Now, more than ever, clean technologies represent the biggest opportunities for job and wealth creation.”
Parker's words highlight the essence of what the new wave of sustainability is: The reality is that sustainability is becoming paramount in today’s globalized and high-tech economy.
In order to survive, graduates will need to have at least a basic understanding of sustainable systems management, applying their knowledge to their specialized field of study. Whether it's engineering or economics, sustainability graduates will take the lead role in building on existing achievements in the international economy.