Learning Outcomes

1. Underlying Concepts

Our students will be able to explain the underlying concepts that comprise the study and application of sustainability. To this end they will be able to define sustainability; outline key concepts of disciplines central to sustainability; explain how sustainability relates to their lives, their values, and how their actions impact issues of sustainability; and demonstrate knowledge of sustainable practices and their effects on the environment, social equity, and  the economy.

2. Perspective and Scale

Our students will understand that sustainability embraces many different perspectives and scales related to environmental stewardship, social justice, and a thriving economy. To this end, they will be able to describe the concepts and methods of environmental economics, sociology, anthropology, environmental politics, ethics, design, and human geography relevant to the sustainability of environmental resources and social institutions; identify the fundamental linkages between ecological, political, social, and economic systems; demonstrate an ability to think critically about the diversity of ethical issues raised by human interactions with the environment, and to use these ethical insights as a foundation for sustainable behavior; demonstrate an appreciation for the wide variety of perspectives, preferences, and priorities among stakeholders and the need for communication and collaboration among them; and display the ability to think across scales, from individual to global.

3. Research and Application

Our students will be able to research, design, apply, and evaluate solutions to sustainability problems. To this end, they will demonstrate a knowledge of technical, design, scientific, and/or institutional strategies and techniques that foster sustainable development; demonstrate the ability to apply the concept of sustainability in critically examining social issues related to the use of earth's natural resources; think critically and make informed evaluations of costs, benefits, and trade-offs associated with sustainability challenges; evaluate the sustainability of environmental institutions, legal frameworks, property rights and culture; demonstrate the ability to creatively and effectively apply the principles of sustainability to his or her own field of study; demonstrate the ability to apply these concepts and methods to developing sustainable institutions for land, water, air, and/or urban management at the local and global level; and demonstrate an understanding of how to apply principles of sustainable development in the context of professional activities.

4. Leadership

Our students will acquire the leadership and communications skills necessary to be an "agent for change". To this end, they will demonstrate a knowledge of personal and societal barriers to change and possible solutions; demonstrate a knowledge of strategies to motivate sustainable behavior by individuals and institutions; demonstrate the ability to present ideas persuasively through speaking, writing, and/or basic graphic design; and employ leadership skills by applying concepts of sustainability to the Principia campus and community.