Sustainability Related Courses

Sustainability courses can provide valuable grounding in the concepts and principles of sustainability, help build knowledge about a component of sustainability, or introduce students to sustainability concepts. A course may be designated as sustainability focused or as including sustainability. A sustainability focused course is one in which the primary and explicit focus is on sustainability and/or on understanding or solving one or more major sustainability challenges. A course that includes sustainability is primarily focused on a topic other than sustainability, but incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability issues throughout the course.

Sustainability focused courses are designated as those that meet two or more of the Student Learning Outcomes for Sustainability:

  • Be able to define sustainability and understand how concepts of sustainability are connected to issues of social justice, the environment, and the economy at local, regional, and global levels.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts related to the study of sustainability, including planetary carrying capacity, climate change, and ecological footprint.
  • Be able to explain how sustainability relates to their lives and their values, and how their actions impact issues of sustainability at the individual, and at local, regional, and global levels.

The list of sustainability focused courses can be found here.

Many of CSUN’s General Education Student Learning Outcomes are sustainability-related including the following:

1. Analytical Reading and Expository Writing

Analyze and compare perspective, meaning and style in different texts, including those that reflect multicultural images and voices.

2. Critical Thinking

Use investigative and analytical thinking skills to examine alternatives, explore complex questions and solve challenging problems.

4. Oral Communication

Evaluate contexts, attitudes, values, and responses of different audiences.

5. Natural Sciences

Demonstrate an ability to apply scientific knowledge and to critically assess real-world issues and make sound decisions.

6. Arts and Humanities

Analyze, interpret and reflect critically upon ideas of value, meaning, discourse and expression from a variety of perspectives from the arts and/or humanities.

6. Arts and Humanities

Describe and explain the historical and/or cultural context within which a body of work was created or a tradition emerged.

7. Social Sciences

Analyze and explain the multiple perspectives found in the social sciences that underlie debates on important historical and contemporary issues.

7. Social Sciences

Demonstrate an understanding of how social problems impact individuals, communities and societies.

8. Lifelong Learning

Identify and actively engage in behaviors conducive to individual health, well-being or development, and understand the value of maintaining these behaviors throughout their lifespan.

8. Lifelong Learning

Identify and apply strategies leading to health, well-being or development for community members of diverse populations.

8. Lifelong Learning

Apply the knowledge and skills of science and technology and evaluate how they impact individuals, the community and/or society.

9. Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages

Describe and explain how race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexuality and other markers of social identity impact life experiences and social relations.

9. Comparative Cultural Studies/Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity Studies, and Foreign Languages

Analyze and explain the deleterious impact and the privileges sustained by racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, homophobia, religious intolerance or stereotyping on all sectors of society.

Courses that include sustainability concepts are those that meet one of the G.E. SLOs listed above (see course list here) and those with a weighted score of 5 or more based on sustainability-related keywords contained in their catalog description (see course list here).