The Environmental Sciences and Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on the state of the environment and serious environmental problems that the world faces. Through a series of academic courses and co-curricular activities, students will learn how human activity impacts the environment and will obtain the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to productively contribute to solutions.
The Environmental Program mission supports the College mission to offer “educational opportunities for students to gain knowledge, insights, and skills in order to grow more sensitive to the significance of the human heritage, to participate and contribute knowledgeably and effectively as citizens, and to lead rewarding, productive and enriched lives within the contemporary world.” In addition, students in the Environmental Program “acquire and develop knowledge, skills, capabilities and values that enrich their lives and prepare them to meet the needs and challenges of the contemporary world, including the ability to communicate effectively, appreciate diversity, work collaboratively, synthesize knowledge, solve complex problems, and adapt to change,” as stated in the Winthrop University mission statement.
Student Learning Outcomes and Program Goals
The following program goal and student learning outcomes have been established and are regularly assessed. When appropriate, the outcomes are directly linking the University Level Competencies.
- Program Goal: Program faculty will encourage students to participate in hands-on environmental experiences beyond the classroom. These experiences should be sustained and might include one or more of the following: volunteering,interning, service learning, studying abroad, participating in research projects.
- Student Learning Outcome 1: Students will use critical thinking, problem solving, and skeptical inquiry skills and use them to propose solutions to environmental problems. (University Level Competency 1: Graduates think critically and solve problems.)
- Student Learning Outcome 2: When confronted with environmental issues, students will identify and consider a diversity of viewpoints. They will practice ethical reasoning and consider a variety of stakeholders and systems when making decisions and proposing actions. (University Level Competency 2: Graduates are personally and socially responsible.)
- Student Learning Outcome 3: Students will articulate the interconnected, interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies. (University Level Competency 3: Graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and time which they live.)
- Student Learning Outcome 4: Students will communicate effectively about environmental issues in speech and writing. (University Level Competency 4: Graduates communicate effectively.)
- Student Learning Outcome 5: Students can identify and explain the major sources of, and solutions for, environmental problems facing the world today.
- Student Learning Outcome 6: (Environmental Science majors only) Students will be able to articulate and apply the scientific process.
In addition, the following program goals have been set.
- To update curricula as appropriate in time for the changes to appear in the next year's catalog.
- To continue to update tentative course rotations that support the environmental program.
- To continue to support faculty and student travel as appropriate.
- To provide thought-provoking campus programming throughout the academic year, including some that supports the campus Global Learning Initiative (GLI).