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Sustainability Course Submission Guidelines

Faculty are invited to submit proposals for courses proposed for inclusion in the Sustainability General Education curriculum.  All course proposals (new courses, and existing courses) seeking Sustainability Course status must be submitted via UVM's Courseleaf system.  Once the course proposal has been submitted electronically in Courseleaf, it will follow the workflow established for the specific college or school, ultimately making its way to the Sustainability Curriculum Review Committee.  Proposals are accepted at any time during the academic year, from all academic fields and disciplines.  The instructional faculty for sustainability courses must hold a UVM faculty appointment.

Sustainability Course Proposal Guidelines

  1. Submit a Course Action Form through the Courseleaf system
  2. In the Sustainability Learning Outcomes section of Courseleaf, select "Yes" in the section "Are you seeking sustainability learning outcome (SLO) credit approval as part of this action?"
  3. Attach a course syllabus to the Courseleaf submission
  4. Provide a brief history of the course/curriculum, general reasons why the course satisfies the SLO, and any other contextual information that can assist the committee in its review process.
  5. Describe how your course meets each of the four sustainability learning outcomes. You will be prompted to answer the following for each of the four learning outcomes:
    • Level of exposure:  (Introduces/Reinforces/Mastery) It is expected that for three of the outcomes, the level of exposure will be at least "reinforces".
    • Activity title/type, lecture or activity content, topics taught, etc.
    • Description of the activity and how it addresses the SLO and any assessment methods used to demonstrate learning.

Sustainability Course Proposal Review

During the proposal review, the SCRC will look for the following:

  • Evidence in the syllabus that the course meets the four sustainability learing outcomes
  • The level of exposure for three of the outcomes will be at least "reinforces"

Timeline for Sustainability Course Proposal Review

  • Once a proposal is entered into the Courseleaf system, it will follow the workflow established for the specific college or school. This may include the Chair, Dean, and Curricular Committee, and may take up to 30-days for each step in the workflow. 
  • The SCRC is notified of each Course Action Form awaiting action in Courseleaf.
  • Proposals reaching the SCRC for action at least one-week prior to each scheduled SCRC meeting will be considered by the committee. The SCRC meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month from 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
  • Proposals approved by the SCRC return to the Courseleaf workflow.
  • The final steps in the workflow include;
    • Provost
    • Public Comment (posted for 30-day period)
    • Registrar
    • Banner

NOTICE: All Course Action Forms are due in the Provost's Office by February 15 for inclusion in the next year's course list and catalogue.  Course proposals must reach the SCRC for consideration at their January meeting in order to meet the deadline for inclusion in the course catalogue.

Special Topics Courses

Approval of Special Topics courses for Sustainability credit may occur under the following specific guidelines:

  1. Approval of a Sustainability course that carries a “special topics” number (095, 096, 195, 196, 295, 296) will be for the course taught by the instructor listed on the Course Action form only.
  2. Approval of a Sustainability course that carries a “special topics” number is for one academic year only.
  3. A request for another year of approval for the same course taught by the same faculty member requires only a letter from the instructor indicating the course has not changed from that originally approved by the SCRC.
  4. A “special topics” course approved for Sustainability credit will be approved for a maximum of three offerings in separate semesters (and/or winter or summer sessions). Two or more sections of the course in the same semester taught by the same faculty is equivalent to one offering.
  5. To continue to be offered to meet a Sustainability credit requirement following three offerings, a permanent number and position in the catalogue is required.
  6. When a “special topics” course approved for Sustainability credit is transitioned to a permanent number, a full SCRC review must be completed, as for any new course requesting to fulfill the requirement.

Section-Level Courses

University requirements for Sustainability will be designated only at the course level.  The only exception is a Special Topics course, as they are experimental in nature and can be offered a maximum of three times.  University requirements for Sustainability are offered at the course level rather than the section level for the following reasons:

  1. Unit planning - When there is a requirement at the University level, we need to be sure we have sufficient capacity to meet the need.  This is best accomplished at the course level.  It is not sustainable to rely on a particular faculty member or a particular syllabus.
  2. Clarity for students - If a student looks at a list of courses for a University requirement, the reasonable assumption is that any section of the course will suffice.  There is no need to place an additional burden on the student to look carefully at sections of the course to ensure the specific section will meet the requirement.