Sustainability

Minor(s): 
Sustainability

The sustainability minor focuses on issues and problems related to local and global sustainability. This interdisciplinary program emphasizes connections between society and the environment, and is designed to complement any Principia College major.

Sustainability minors join a community of students and faculty from several disciplines who are committed to seeking solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems in ways that “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (UN World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

Students complete an introductory course, an independent project, and four courses selected from within the five following content spheres:

  • Social sphere. Courses explore how human behavior, ethical and theological values, and societal organization relate to increasing sustainability.
  • Economic sphere. Courses examine business practices and governance systems that lead to sustainable societies.
  • Environmental sphere. Courses focus on sustainable natural resource use and management, environmental issues, solutions to resource needs, and conservation.
  • Built environment sphere. Courses prepare students to design human and mechanical systems that reduce resource consumption and environmental damage, promote regenerative processes, encourage innovation, build community, and enhance quality of life.
  • Leadership and communication sphere. Courses prepare students to become successful “change agents” by examining strategies for motivating sustainable behavior, communicating effectively, resolving conflict, and developing effective and ethical leadership skills.

Courses in the sustainability minor address at least one of the program’s learning outcomes and include a significant project or assignment from the perspective of the course discipline.

Principia College has been recognized as a Bronze Level Compact School within the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact program by Governor Quinn and the Green Governments Coordinating Council. This designation signifies that Principia stands as a leader in higher education sustainability.