Essential Learning Outcomes for Sustainability

Stockton University Essential Learning Outcome LogoStockton’s sustainability program provides students with an interdisciplinary ethical, social, and scientific framework for understanding human relationships with, and impact on, the natural environment, and defining rational and informed analysis toward reducing undesirable outcomes. The program provides hands-on laboratory, field and analytical work that prepares students for a variety of careers as sustainability professionals. The program is designed to produce graduates who are qualified for employment with industry, non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and social and environmental firms as well as graduate and advanced professional study in related fields.

Stockton University’s 10 Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) are identified in seven separate but interrelated conceptual categories and general and concentration-specific content categories:

A. Content and Principles

  1. General Principles - Key concepts in sustainability
  2. General Content - Content knowledge all majors should possess.
  3. Concentration Content Areas:
      1. Energy - Content knowledge specific to concentration
      2. Environmental Quality - Content knowledge specific to concentration
      3. Sustainable Biosystems - Content knowledge specific to concentration
      4. Policy and Economy - Content knowledge specific to concentration
      5. Sustainability Management - Content knowledge specific to concentration

B. General Program Skills

  1. Information Literacy and Research - Applied skills in the collection and analysis of information
  2. Critical Thinking - Analyzing, synthesize, and evaluate information, allowing them to interpret, verify and reason.
  3. Communication Skills - Personal and professional skills necessary for the conveyance of knowledge and development of understanding
  4. Engagement - Skills and understanding necessary to empower the student as an agent of change.

A.1. Content and Principles: General Principles

Identify and understand unifying principles in sustainability with emphasis on an understanding of complex systems and change.

Understand the social responsibility of professionals and citizens, and their role in shaping humanity’s changing relationship with the natural world; and exhibit a sense of social responsibility and personal and professional integrity.

Understand diverse ethical perspective on humanity’s shared responsibility to future generations and toward the natural world.

Describe and explain the connections and interdependence between humans and the natural world, and the nature of limited carrying capacity in this context.

Demonstrate creativity and innovation in the application of knowledge across the social and scientific disciplines in the search for resolution of challenges related to human reliance on limited natural resources.

A.2. Content and Principles: General Content

Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnections of the subfields of ethics, policy, economics, ecology and technology.

Demonstrate a solid understanding of the fundamentals principles, approach, and concepts of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.

Identify the social, scientific and technological causes of perturbations to the natural world and describe the ways in which these causes interact.

Understand ways in which lifestyles, wealth and well-being are interconnected with environmental challenges, public welfare and community resources around the world.

Make informed judgments about the value and risk of emerging technologies in addressing sustainability.

A.3. Content and Principles: Concentration Learning Outcomes

A.3.i. Energy

Demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate the design of processes, products and components taking into account the full life cycle impact and environmental soundness of the product.

Understand and evaluate existing energy generation, distribution, and use patterns and infrastructure.

Understand and evaluate the potential for energy generation from wind, solar, geothermal, and other clean or renewable sources.

Demonstrate proficiency with energy analysis practices, tools, and technology in a real world application.

Demonstrate an ability to define possible solutions to a technological challenge.

Demonstrate advanced energy analysis skills in the assessment of an existing facility, product, or practice.

Exhibit an ability to apply basic technology and mechanics in a real world setting.

Demonstrate advanced proficiency in technical writing.

A.3. ii. Environmental Quality

 Demonstrate the ability to plan and execute experiments using modern instruments, accurate quantitative measurements, appropriate recording skills, safe lab practices, and appropriate use of computer applications.

Demonstrate understanding of professional behavior that include rules of ethics and etiquette.

Demonstrate advanced proficiency in technical writing.

A.3. iii. Sustainable Biosystems

Demonstrate knowledge of natural resource management and conservation issues in the areas of wildlife management and conservation, forestry, and land management.

Understand complex social, economic, and ethical conflicts that shape natural resource use and conservation issues.

Demonstrate an ability to work in the field or laboratory on natural resource issues.

A.3. iv. Policy and Economy

Understand and appreciate the diverse ethical, ideological, and cultural perspectives that complicate real world solutions to multifaceted environmental and social issues.

Analyze power structures and social and cultural systems that shape individual and communal life, social choices, and humanity’s impact on the natural world in a local, national, and global context.

Cultivate tolerance toward disagreement and ambiguity in dealing with ethical problems.

Demonstrate awareness of issues related to creating and maintaining a sustainable local economy.

Identify embedded biases and assumptions in social, political and economic systems as they determine human impact on the natural world.

Demonstrate awareness of issues that impact the global community and shape future possibilities for development and sustainability.

Demonstrate advanced writing and spoken communications skills in an applied political or social context.

A.3. v. Sustainability Management

Demonstrate an understanding of basic business and financial practices with particular attention to their role in shaping industry’s impact on the natural world

Demonstrate an understanding of the role of sustainability in contemporary industry practices.

Demonstrate proficiency in professional writing for business and industry.

B. 4. Information Literacy and Analysis

Identify and critically evaluate varying sources of information in terms of their reliability and authority.

Interpret and critically assess scientific and social scientific research

Demonstrate proficiency with basic industry and research procedures, methods and tools, and show an ability to utilize these tools and methods to test or implement basic social, technical and scientific hypotheses.

B. 5. Critical Thinking

Understand, interpret, and represent information using symbolic, graphic, and quantitative expressions

Evaluate the logic, validity and relevance of arguments, evidence, and analysis.

Engage in meaningful and innovative ways with broad and dynamic social, ethical, and scientific questions and challenges.

Evaluate complex and changing problems from multiple analytical perspectives, considering alternative solutions and diverse ethical and cultural approaches.

B.6. Communications

Compose a written argument to clearly define and support an analytical thesis.

Clearly utilize reliable evidence in support of a well-defined argument.

Write professional and analytical research including multiple in proficiently

Orally explain and discuss scientific and social data, arguments and analysis in a professional context, demonstrating an awareness of audience and purpose in communications.

Demonstrate an ability to communicate, work, and problem solve as a member of a team.

Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and understanding necessary for effective communication and cooperation with diverse groups.

B. 7. Engagement

Exhibit an understanding of the skills, adaptability and creativity necessary to function as an agent of social change, and identify social and political nodes of action toward the resolution of pressing environmental and social issues.

Explain how the concepts of sustainability can help address environmental and social issues in a a local, national and global context.

Appreciate the challenges, limitations, and complexity of real-world application of general concepts and knowledge.

Evaluate the impacts that individual life decisions and lifestyle choices have on the natural world, and develop an integrated perspective that can shape the individual’s personal, professions, and social choices.

Accommodate individual cultural, social, ethical differences in decisions and actions and negotiate across these differences in contributing to group outcomes in a national and global context.

Collaborate successfully on projects having hypothetical as well as real-world application