The University of Mount Union will begin offering a minor in sustainability beginning in the fall of 2019. This minor will serve as a compliment to any major and provide skills that can be directly applied to students’ professional and personal practices. The minor is centered around the three pillars of sustainability – the environment, the human social system and the economic system – and is designed to provide students with an understanding of, and ability to utilize, sustainability as a lens for systemic thinking in any discipline. Sustainability focuses on how the three pillars can interact in a way that ensures the longevity and health of the planet for future generations. Sustainability perspectives and practices are emerging as essential tools to have in today’s ever-changing world. In fact, in 2014, 43% of executives said their companies seek to align sustainability with their overall business goals, mission, or values, which is up from 30% in 2012.
The sustainability minor is offered through the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. To earn a sustainability minor, students are required to take a minimum of 18 credit hours. The required courses for the minor are Introduction to Sustainability (2-credit hours) and Sustainability Seminar (4-credit hours). Students will also complete a minimum of 12- credit hours in approved elective courses. This interdisciplinary minor will give students the opportunity to develop a thorough understanding of the principles of sustainability and ideas about how these principles can be applied to their major.
“Higher education has the opportunity, the responsibility, and the great honor of leading global efforts to create a sustainable future,” writes the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). “This is not a future for which we can afford to wait, but one we must actively forge by teaching our students, and ourselves, how to achieve human health and happiness, environmental quality, and economic well-being for current and future generations.”