Global sustainability means meeting the needs of Earth's living generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Sustainability education emphasizes the interconnectedness of ecological, political, economic, socio-cultural and moral-ethical systems. Global sustainability education promotes active learning, trans-disciplinary integration and synthesis of concepts, theories and methods of inquiry, along with development of practical problem-solving skills.
Sustainability education helps students acquire and apply heightened knowledge and awareness of significant intergenerational issues and problems and solutions by raising awareness and understanding of how their personal and collective actions affect the sustainability of local and global systems. Many problems are global in scope, transcending national boundaries and requiring global solutions. Complex underlying local, national and international political and economic institutions and processes structure and manage the research, policy debates and international negotiations aimed at reaching agreements and finding ways to implement solutions for the problems themselves.
This integrative program is designed to offer all students, regardless of major or career aspirations, a means of acquiring some of the tools and practical experience they will need when they enter the work force, assume leadership positions in their communities and deal with complex, interconnected problems on a scale never before faced by humans.
Complete all of the following:
Ecological systems integrity (complete at least three semester hours of the following):
Ethical, social and cultural integrity (complete at least three semester hours of the following):
Political and economic systems equity (complete at least three semester hours of the following):
The Vermeer Science Center went through a $20-million renovation and expansion that was completed in fall 2003. The building contains 13 high-tech classrooms. Each contains a ceiling-mounted projector, computer with flat panel monitor, Wolfvision document camera, combination VCR/DVD player and a Ken-a-vision flex camera. Vermeer also contains several computer labs with new Dell computers with flat panel monitors and the most recent versions of math and science computer programs. Numerous science laboratories with state-of-the-art science equipment allow students to conduct their own research. Central was awarded a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) medal rating from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), making the science center the first LEED-rated building in the state.
No matter what your interests are, Central College has a student group that you’ll want to join! Central College has over 45 recognized student organizations, with new ones forming as student demands arise. Environmental studies majors might be interested in joining Central’s Bio-chem Club or SCATE (Students concerned about the environment). In addition, Central’s SUSTAIN group is an association composed of students, faculty and staff, working together to make Central College a more sustainable campus through hands-on projects. In recent years, students have worked to promote trayless dining at Central, increase recycling efforts and investigate the feasibility of installing kinetic tiles on campus as a potential energy source.
Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s eight international programs to further them on their journey as global citizens, or with Central’s Chicago program and the Washington, D.C. program. In particular, several of the study abroad sites are ideally suited for environmental studies majors. Merida, Yucatan, proves excellent internship opportunities at national and state parks. The University of Wales in Bangor specializes in natural resource management and oceanography, and the Leiden, Netherlands, program provides many courses in global issues of sustainability. In all cases, courses taken abroad transfer directly as Central College courses and may be counted towards the major. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.
Learn more about global sustainability education at Central via their website.