Sustainability Leadership, Minor

Program Code: SUSLD_UMNR

Program Description

The Intercollege Minor in Sustainability Leadership has been designed for students who wish to promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability in their personal and professional lives. Administered by a University-wide faculty committee, the program provides an opportunity for students in any academic major to develop key competencies that will be the foundation for their growth as sustainability leaders in their civic and professional endeavors. Students cultivate these sustainability leadership competencies in the context of thematic tracks that allow them to focus on particular topics within sustainability studies. The competencies cut across all thematic tracks so that all students in the minor will develop capabilities in:

  • systems thinking
  • application of sustainability concepts, metrics and analysis
  • ethics
  • self-knowledge and leadership
  • change agency
  • collaboration

While these competencies are developed in the context of a specific thematic track, they are transferrable to numerous settings and problems, and graduates of the Sustainability Leadership program will be able to apply them to ethical, social, business and civic issues that they encounter after leaving the University.

All students in the minor are required to take the introductory course, Foundations of Leadership in Sustainability (SUST 200). Within each thematic track, students select twelve credits related to the chosen theme in sustainability leadership. These must include three credits of approved leadership coursework (scholarly explorations of leadership concepts related to the chosen theme) and three credits that offer an immersive experience in sustainability (that is, an opportunity to engage, observe and learn in depth about sustainability challenges and solutions related to the student’s chosen theme). The final three credits for each student in the minor is the 400-level Sustainability Leadership Capstone experience. Capstone selection is in consultation with the student’s major adviser, the minor adviser or coordinator, and the course instructor. The capstone coursework must be relevant to the chosen theme, must have an approved capstone project that includes scholarly applied or theoretical research on a current issue in sustainability leadership, and must include a critical synthesis of the student’s minor curriculum and an articulation of its crosscutting themes. 

Design for Sustainable Communities Track

This track allows students to investigate sustainability and leadership in community and urban planning; courses focus on both technical design and community development.

Educating for Sustainability Track

This track provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of approaches to sustainability education and leadership in sustainability.

Humanistic Understanding of Sustainability Track

Through reading and analysis of significant sustainability-focused texts in philosophy, history, literature, and the social sciences students delve into the evolution and history of thinking on sustainability and leadership in sustainability.

Sustainability and Food Systems Track

Students in this track learn about the nature of food and sustainable food systems, and about sustainability policy and leadership issues related to food, including food security, sustainable production practices, distribution, and safety.

Applicants to the minor present a proposed plan of study for the chosen minor track. The proposed plan of study must be approved by the student’s major faculty adviser and by the minor adviser. Entrants to the minor are required to have declared a major field of study. 

New Sustainability Leadership minor tracks will be developed over time, and students are encouraged to consult with the minor coordinator early in their program planning, in order to be aware of upcoming additions to the curriculum. In exceptional cases, and by written approval of the program coordinator and major adviser, students may propose a specialized track of their own design.

What is Sustainability Leadership?

Sustainability Leadership competencies cut across disciplines so that all students in the minor will develop capabilities in: systems thinking; application of sustainability concepts, metrics and analysis; ethics; self-knowledge and leadership; change agency; and collaboration. While these competencies are often developed in the context of particular disciplines, they are transferrable to numerous settings and problems. Graduates of the Sustainability Leadership program will be able to apply them to ethical, social, business and civic issues that they encounter after leaving the University.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You care about the state of the world.
  • You want to first develop expertise in sustainability themes through engaged scholarship experience in and out of the classroom.
  • You want to apply sustainability expertise to your own creative, innovative, and original capstone sustainability project.
  • You want to improve your marketability and employability for sustainability-related positions upon graduation.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP

Program Requirements

Requirement Credits
Requirements for the Minor 18

Students may apply toward the minor no more than six credits from their major requirements and no more than six credits from their other minor requirements. The Sustainability Leadership Capstone credits may not be used simultaneously to fulfill capstone or thesis requirements for any other degree program. All minor programs must include at least six credits at the 400 level.

Requirements for the Minor

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10. In addition, at least six credits of the minor must be unique from the prescribed courses required by a student's major(s).

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
SUST 200Foundations of Leadership in Sustainability Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Take the following 6 credits, or approved substitutions, in consultation with the minor adviser:
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Internship
Internship
An approved substitution that provides an immersive sustainability experience
Select 3 credits from the following:3
Special Topics (or approved substitution that offers a capstone project in sustainability leadership)
An approved substitution that offers a capstone project in sustainability leadership
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select a track (allowable courses in this area vary by Sustainability Leadership Thematic Track)9

At least three credits from the Additional Courses or the Supporting Courses must be from outside the student’s major department.

Requirements for Sustainability Leadership Minor Thematic Tracks

Design for Sustainable Communities Track
Select 6 credits from the following, or approved substitutions:6
CE 410W
Community Development Concepts and Practice Keystone/General Education Course
Land Economics and Policy
Land Use Planning and Procedure
CED 427
Environmental Law
Urban Geography: A Global Perspective
Geographic Perspectives on Global Urbanization
Ecology, Economy, and Society
Property and the Global Environment
Built Environment and Culture: Examining the Modern City Keystone/General Education Course
Ecology and Plants I
Design IV: Expanded Use, Scale, and Context
Natural Resources Conservation and Community Sustainability
Select 3 credits from the following leadership courses or approved substitutions, in consultation with the SUSLD adviser:3
Leadership Practices: Power, Influences, and Impact
Integrative Energy and Environmental Design
Community, Local Knowledge, and Democracy
Community Structure, Processes and Capacity
Total Credits9
Educating for Sustainability Track
Select 6 credits from the following, or approved substitutions:6
Teaching Methods for Agricultural and Environmental Laboratories
Global Agriculture Education
Methods of Teaching Agriculture and Environmental Science
AEE 450
Child Labor and Education in the Global Economy
Introduction to Philosophy of Education
Principles of Environmental Interpretation
Environmental Education Methods and Materials
Select 3 credits from the following leadership courses, or approved substitution, in consultation with the SUSLD adviser:3
Interpersonal Skills for Tomorrow's Leaders Keystone/General Education Course
Developing Youth Leadership through Organization and Program Structure
Leadership Development for Small Groups
Foundations in Leadership Development
Leadership Practices: Power, Influences, and Impact
Leadership Studies in Popular Film
Introduction to Educational Leadership
Ethical Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
Leadership and Group Dynamics in Recreation Services
Advanced Theory and Practice in Small Group Facilitation Keystone/General Education Course
Total Credits9
Humanistic Understanding of Sustainability Track
Select 6 credits from the following, or approved substitutions:6
Cultures of Globalization
Ethics, Justice, and Rights in World Literature
Literature and the Natural World Keystone/General Education Course
Adventure Literature: Exploring the Chesapeake Bay Keystone/General Education Course
Adventure Literature: Exploring Cape Cod Keystone/General Education Course
The Beach: Exploring the Literature of the Atlantic Shore Keystone/General Education Course
Adventure Literature: Exploring the Literature of American Wilderness Keystone/General Education Course
Creative Writing and the Natural World
The American Renaissance
Introduction to U.S. Environmental History Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Global Environmental History Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to U.S. Food History Keystone/General Education Course
HIST 151
American Environmental History
Nature and Environment Keystone/General Education Course
Environmental Philosophy Keystone/General Education Course
Seminar in Environmental Ethics
Select 3 credits from the following leadership courses, or approved substitution, in consultation with the SUSLD adviser:3
Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Keystone/General Education Course
Democratic Deliberation
Ethical Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
PLSC 112
Leadership Studies
Total Credits9
Sustainability and Food Systems Track
Select 3 credits from the following food/nutrition courses, or approved substitutions:3
Physiology of Nutrition
Introductory Principles of Nutrition Keystone/General Education Course
Select 3 credits from the following food system courses, or approved substitutions:3
Economics of the Food System
AGECO 134
Principles and Practices of Organic Agriculture Keystone/General Education Course
Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Your Food Supply Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to U.S. Food History Keystone/General Education Course
NUTR 430
Select 3 credits from the following leadership courses, or approved substitution, in consultation with the SUSLD adviser:3
Interpersonal Skills for Tomorrow's Leaders Keystone/General Education Course
Leadership Practices: Power, Influences, and Impact
Ethical Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
PLSC 112
Leadership and Group Dynamics in Recreation Services
Total Credits9

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Carter A. Hunt
Associate Professor, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
801A Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-9773
cah59@psu.edu

Erie

Sherri A. "Sam" Mason, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability
4701 College Dr.
27 Hammermill
Erie PA 16563
814-898-7019
sam7201@psu.edu

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION, PARK, AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT
801 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-9773
cah59@psu.edu

https://sites.psu.edu/carterahunt/

Erie

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
27 Hammermill
Erie, PA 16563
814-898-7019
bdsustainability@psu.edu

https://behrend.psu.edu/school-of-science/academic-programs/minors/sustainability-leadership