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Academic Programs

STUDYING SUSTAINABILITY AT GORDON COLLEGE

Sustainability-focused Majors, Minors and Degree Programs

Gordon College has a number of programs that focus on at least one of the three prongs of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social.

  • Environmental Studies Minor
  • Sustainable Development Minor
  • Community Agriculture Apprenticeship
    The Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship program will give students experience with a working farm as well as the background to understand how agriculture connects to the rest of society. This new program is slated to begin in 2015.

Other Gordon programs that relate to sustainability include:

These majors feature a number of sustainability-focused or related courses:

  • Biology major
  • Marine Science concentration
  • Environmental Science concentration
  • Chemistry major
    The Chemistry Department is centered around the distinctive of Green Chemistry.
  • Pike Honors Program
    Students with advanced standing are invited to apply after their first semester to the Kenneth L. Pike Honors Program, which enables a student to design a unique academic program. This is a way for top students to craft a customized course of study that might only be found at a large university, while enjoying the advantages of a liberal arts college. Pike Scholars' sustainability-related work has included Pike programs on environmental studies, public health, and community development.

Sustainability-related or Sustainability-focused Off-campus Programs

Gordon sends students to a variety of off-campus study programs that provide the opportunity to study sustainability in different hands-on environment. These include:

Gordon is a member of the Marine Studies Consortium.

Gordon College offers its own off-campus courses, including:

Sustainability-focused and Sustainability-related Courses

Gordon offers more than 80 courses focused on or related to sustainability. A list is below. Off-campus courses were not included.

Sustainability-focused courses provide valuable grounding in the concepts and principles of sustainability. These courses educate students about how different dimensions of sustainability relate to and support each other in theory and practice. In addition, these courses help equip students with the skills to weave together disparate components of sustainability in addressing complex issues.

Sustainability-related courses help build knowledge about a component of sustainability or introduce students to sustainability concepts during part of the course. They may complement sustainability-focused courses by providing students with in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect or dimension of sustainability (such as the natural environment) or by providing a focus area (such as renewable energy) for a student's sustainability studies, or they may broaden students' understanding of sustainability from within different disciplines.

NON-DEPARTMENTAL
Sustainability-related courses:
COR107—The Great Conversation
GEG210—Principles of Geography
NSM202—The Scientific Enterprise

BIBLICAL STUDIES AND CHRISTIAN MINISTRY
Sustainability-related courses:
BCM105—Foundations of Youth Ministry
BCM215—Foundations for Global Christianity
BCM216—Contemporary Developments in World Missions
BCM314—Survey of World Religions

BIOLOGY
Sustainability-focused courses:
BIO302—Crops & Society
BIO304—Conservation Bio
BIO222—Environmental Science
BIO310—Ecology
BIO371—Selected Topics in Environmental Science
BIO371—Natural History of Belize

Sustainability-related courses:
BIO151—Animal Biology
BIO220—Human Biology
BIO225—Nutrition
BIO230—Introduction to Marine Science
BIO250—Plants, Ecology, and Evolution
BIO331—Marine Biology Institute
BIO340—Field Ornithology
BIO308—Botany
BIO371—Selected Topics, Intro to Public Health
BIO440—Advanced Techniques in Ecology
BIO491—Senior Seminar
NSM202—The Scientific Enterprise

CHEMISTRY
Sustainability-related courses:
CHE111—Principles of Chemistry I
CHE112—Principles of Chemistry II
CHE211—Organic Chemistry I
CHE212—Organic Chemistry II
CHE311—Quantitative Analysis
CHE312—Instrumental Analysis
CHE371—Environmental Chemistry

ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS
Sustainability–focused courses:
ECB307—Environmental Economics

Sustainability-related courses:
ECB245—Principles of Management
ECB305—Economic Development
ECB362—Cost Accounting
ECB366—International Economics
ECB374—Small Business Management
ECB491—Senior Seminar: Economic Policy
ECB492—Management/Policy/Ethics
ECB335—Not-for-Profit Accounting
ECB341—Christian Teaching on the Economy

EDUCATION
Sustainability-related courses:
EDU118—Schools in Society
EDU245—Multicultural Education
EDU366—Contexts of the Urban School

ENGLISH
Sustainability-related courses:
ENG148—Literature and Human Rights

HISTORY
Sustainability-related courses:
HIS321—American Thought and Society

KINESIOLOGY
Sustainability-related courses:
KIN371B—Disability in the Developing World

MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
Sustainability-related courses:
CPS403—Computers and Society

PHILOSOPHY
Sustainability-related courses:
PHI233—Environmental Ethics

POLITICAL SCIENCE
Sustainability-related courses:
POL106—International Relations
POL312—Justice
POL416—International Political Economy

PSYCHOLOGY
Sustainability-related courses:
PSY353—Community Psychology

RECREATION AND LEISURE STUDIES
Sustainability-focused courses:
OEI 343—Expeditionary Training (Wilderness Education Association Certification)
OEI 370—Culture, Society and Global Perspectives in Outdoor Education

Sustainability-related courses:
REC240—Methods and Skills in Adventure Education
PSY371—Selected Topics: Leisure and Society
REC371—Selected Topics: Leisure and Society
OEI 241—Foundations of Outdoor Education
OEI 243—Philosophies and Theories of Outdoor Education and Leadership

SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK
Sociology
Sustainability-focused courses:
SOC291—International Seminar: Coffee
SOC335—Social Change and Development

Sustainability-related courses:
SOC106—Sociology of Death
SOC221—Power, Prestige and Poverty
SOC232—Diversity in U.S. Populations
SOC290—Urban Sociology
SOC322—Social Policy and Institutions
SOC340—Women and World Development
SOC448—The Social Self

Social work
Sustainability-focused courses:
SWK291—International Seminar: Coffee
SWK401—Community and Sustainability

Sustainability-related courses:
SWK202—Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SWK221—Power, Prestige, and Poverty
SWK322—Social Policy
SWK420—Practicum Seminar
SWK371—Selected Topics: Social Development: Mid. Income Countries

PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES MINOR
Sustainability-related courses: 
SOC/PCS250—Peacemaking: Personal, Social, Global
PCS325—Conflict Mediation: Theory & Practice
PCS375—Conflict Transformation & Reconciliation

THEATER ARTS
Sustainability-related courses:
THT150—Technical Production I
THT250—Technical Production II

Courses with Service Learning

Many sustainability programs require service learning, a pedagogical tool that integrates academic learning with service in the community, in a credit-bearing academic course. Students participate in an authentic service activity which meets needs identified by the community and which requires students to critically reflect on that activity. The courses below include service learning.

BIOLOGY
Optional:
NSM220—Human Biology
BIO222—Environmental Science
BIO302—Crops & Society
BIO308—Botany

Required:
BIO250—Plant, Ecology, and Evolution
BIO304—Conservation Biology
BIO/NSM222—Environmental Science

CHEMISTRY
Required:
CHE212—Organic Chemistry II

COMMUNICATION ARTS
Optional:
COM425—Internship
Required:
COM325—Advanced Writing for Public Relations and Advertising

ECONOMICS & BUSINESS
Optional:
ECB348—Organizational Behavior
ECB364—Federal Income Taxation

EDUCATION
Required:
EDU112—Introduction to Early Childhood Education
EDU113—Introduction to Elementary Education
EDU115—Introduction to Middle School Education
EDU116—Introduction to Secondary Education
EDU118—Schools in Society
EDU221—Early Childhood Education
EDU225—Human Development/Learning
EDU228—Classroom Discipline/Management
EDU238—Exceptional Child
EDU245—Multicultural Education
EDU270—Math Methods
EDU300—Theories of Language Acquisition
EDU301—Methods of Second Language Teaching
EDU302—Disabilities and the Young Child
EDU342—Special Education Assessment and Intervention
EDU346—Early Childhood Reading and Language Arts: PreK–Grade 2
EDU347—Elementary Reading and Language Arts (Grades 1–6)
EDU352—Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
EDU407—Special Education Seminar
EDU420—Middle School: Methods and Curriculum
EDU421—Secondary Education: Methods, Organization and Curriculum
EDU428—Language and Learning Disabilities
EDU440—Education Methods Block

RECREATION & LEISURE STUDIES
Optional:
REC218—Programming and Evaluation in Recreation
REC318—Recreation Leadership
REC323—Recreation for Individuals with Special Needs
REC/PSY371—Selected Topics: Leisure And Society
OEI370—Humans & Nature
PED015—Discovery Expeditions
PED016—LaVida

Required:
REC218—Programming and Evaluation in Recreation
REC318—Recreation Leadership
REC323—Recreation for Individuals with Special Needs
REC/PSY371—Selected Topics: Leisure And Society
OEI370—Humans & Nature

SOCIOLOGY
Optional:
SOC291—International Seminar: Coffee

Required:
SOC311—Social Research Methods

SOCIAL WORK
Required:
SWK201—Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
SWK311—Social Research Methods
SWK425—Practicum I
SWK426—Practicum II

THEATER ARTS
Optional:
THT371—Selected Topics:
THT371—Selected Topics: Touring Show
THT371—Selected Topics: Oral Performance
THT410—Directing

CORE COURSES
Optional:
COR107—The Great Conversation

Sustainability Learning Outcomes

More than 90% of Gordon students take courses with sustainability learning outcomes. Most students take The Scientific Enterprise, a common core course in the sciences, with learning outcomes relating to sustainability. Students majoring in some of the sciences instead satisfy the common core requirements relating to sustainability through completion of required courses within their fields.

Programs, courses and departments have established official statements of sustainability learning outcomes; some examples are below.

The sustainability related outcome from NSM 202 The Scientific Enterprise include:

From module 2 - Energy

  • Students will be able to discuss some of the problems with various energy sources, particularly non-renewable, and some of the benefits and drawbacks to alternative energy sources as well.
  • Students will be able to apply quantitative concepts to societal energy issues (amount of power produced by various energy systems vs. needs for powering house, airplane, car, etc.).

From module 3 - Environmental Stewardship

  • Students will be able to understand that the scientific models and the consensus of climate scientists today indicate a warming planet and that human activity is contributing to this.
  • Students will be able to intelligently discuss the implications for society in reference to climate change, including what “mitigation” and “adaptation” mean.
  • Students will be able to explain the consequences of increased greenhouse gases on the earth due to burning fossil fuels, and understand the greenhouse effect, the contribution of various forcing factors, and consequences for the earth’s energy budget.
  • Students will be able to understand the role of oceans as a CO2 buffer, and the resulting acidification effect that is distinct from the global warming effect.
  • Students will be able to explain the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems, as well as tangible human benefits from biodiversity.
  • Students will be able to explain how human activity has a negative impact on biodiversity.
  • Students will be able to indicate some of the complex issues that arise when practicing environmental stewardship in a multicultural world.
  • Students will be able to articulate a biblical mandate for environmental stewardship.

A limited number of students are in majors that waive the NSM 202 requirement because much of the material and skills are required by the major.

Biology majors must take:

BIO 151
Learners in this course, as a result of their studies, will better appreciate the natural world so that we can use our scientific understanding to promote its stewardship.

BIO 250
The purpose of this course is to gain a basic understanding of the natural world beyond the laboratory, as we look at living organisms in their context of populations, communities, and ecosystems, and understand the diversity of plants and their basic functioning.

This course will better prepare students to protect species, as we understand the causes of rapid species loss.

This course also has goals for specific units that cover climate change, species loss, ecosystem restoration, habitat degradation, and invasive species.

Sustainability is an integral part of many other courses.