Sustainability and Learning Committee

Sustainability and Learning Committee

Vision and Mission

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Vision

We have a vision of a world that is economically and environmentally equitable, where decision making is guided by thoughtful consideration of the benefits that will be provided to future generations and where all people understand why the preservation of healthy ecological systems is essential to future life on this planet.

Mission

Promote and support the integration of Lane's sustainability core values into all aspects of learning within the college and throughout our community.

Accomplishments

Focus the Nation
The Sustainability and Learning Committee participated in the programming for Lane's Focus the Nation Events in January 2008. Sustainability and Learning Committee members presented at the all campus event that focused Lane on solutions to climate change.

Sustainability Core Value
The Sustainability and Learning Committee drafted and guided Lane's core value of sustainability through the college approval process. The new sustainability core value was officially adopted by the college in March 2007.

Sping Conference
The Sustainability and Learning Committee organized the programming for the sustainability-themed 2006 Spring Conference.

Curriculum Development
The Sustainability and Learning Committee applied for and received funding from Lane's Strategic Learning Initiative for sustainability curriculum development. During the Spring of 2006, the Sustainability and Learning Committee distributed 100 hours of funded curriculum development time to Lane faculty interested in infusing sustainability into their courses.

Application for Sustainability Course Status
Modeled on Lane's Application for Ethnic/Gender/Cultural Diversity Requirement form, this Application for Sustainability Course status is the first step in a quick and easy process of having your course recognized as sustainability-focused.

Sustainability Infusion Project
In order to solve pressing environmental and social problems such as climate change and global poverty, today's students must be provided with a comprehensive foundation of sustainability concepts. In order to gain this foundation, students need to learn about sustainability from the perspective of many different disciplines. However, most colleges and universities are not keeping pace with these educational needs. According to the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Environment Report 2008, "between the years 2001 and 2008, the amount of sustainability-related education offered on college campuses did not increase and may have even declined." Lane's Sustainability Infusion Project seeks to stem the ebbing tide of education for sustainability by providing a mechanism to infuse sustainability across Lane's entire curriculum.

In spring 2008, the college received an EPA Environmental Education Grant for this project. The EPA grant provided funds for Lane to develop and offer a four hour course to train faculty to train other faculty to infuse sustainability into curriculum. The training was developed using the models taught at the Sustainability across the Curriculum Leadership Workshops that are offered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. In 2007, Lane sent a faculty member to this Workshop with the intent of developing this Sustainability Infusion Project.

History

The Sustainability in Learning Committee began after two focused conversations about Sustainability in Curriculum that were called by Lane's Vice President for Instruction and Student Services, Sonya Christian, in late 2004 and early 2005. From focused conversations, a group of Lane faculty, concerned about sustainability in learning, and Lane's Sustainability Coordinator began meeting regularly to implement actions agreed upon at these first two gatherings. The initially projects for the Sustainability in Learning Committee were:

  1. Inventory of existing classes currently covering sustainability issues. (Done in 2005)
  2. Define principles of sustainability (done and adopted as core value in March 2007)
  3. Investigate degree and curriculum requirements (on-going)
  4. Summer Academy organized around sustainability (Hosted Oregon Bioneers Conference in 2005 & 2006. Hosted Conference on Sustainability for Oregon Community Colleges in 2007. Hosted League for Innovation Sustainability Symposium in 2007. Hosted National Conference on Sustainability in 2008. Currently working on a Precautionary Principle Academy for October 2008).
  5. Organizational Learning - How do we educate the organization about sustainability? (The Sustainability in Learning Committee organized the programming for the Sustainability Themed 2006 spring conference and have worked on several other educational events in the past three years.)
  6. How can the campus be organized to be a sustainable organization? (This is on-going work of the sustainability group).