COF Minor in Sustainability  (pdf summary)

The COF Minor in Sustainability is embedded in emerging the international recognition that unsustainable pressures resulting from human activity threaten the natural systems on which human existence depends. These pressures often impact the most vulnerable members of society. The COF Minor in Sustainability encourages students to explore connections between their specific, career-directed studies and issues of the natural world, finite resources, and social justice involved in sustainability. The selection of specific courses within the Minor will be undertaken in consultation with the student’s major advisor or another faculty member with an interest in issues of sustainability.

What is sustainability?
The core definition of sustainability relates current human actions to the environment and to future generations: meeting the natural resources needs of today so that the needs of the future will be met. A widely accepted conceptual model for sustainability encompasses the quest for economic prosperity, social interactions, and social interactions with the environment. Our model for the interrelation of courses is shown in the three categories that organize the distribution of electives in the COF Minor in Sustainability: Environmental Science; Social Equity, and Policy/Economics.

The minor is anchored in the
Environmental Forum (ENVI 201), which students take once during their program. This course provides a common experience for all students electing the COF Minor in Sustainability. The Environmental Forum is a required, two credit course that focuses on topics related to sustainability and the environment, encourages dialog between students and invited expert speakers, and provides an integrative thread to the minor. This course has a service-learning component that connects sustainability to the community. For example, students have worked with a variety of organizations ranging from NGOs, community groups, businesses, and federally mandated oversight groups. The Environmental Forum course has a different focus each time it is taught. Two credits

Sustainable Projects follows on the approach of the Environmental Forum, but orients the curriculum towards the particular concerns of art and design students.  Invited guest speakers, field trips, readings, and community service are the core of the course. Three credits

Four elective courses distributed across two of the three categories of Policy/Economics; Social Equity; Environmental Science. Students will select these courses in consultation with their advisor to form a cohesive and thematic area of study. Twelve credits for Mass Art students.

Total credits required for a Mass Art student to do a CoF Minor in Sustainability: 17-18 credits.

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This is a great opportunity for students with an interest in sustainability to expand their knowledge and skills in an interdisciplinary program as well as to meet and network with students and faculty from the Colleges of the Fenway.

Meet with Sustainability Fellows Jane D. Marsching or Joanne Lukitsh to learn more about the Sustainability Minor. /