Teaching Sustainability Initiative

The Office of Planning, Sustainability and Project Management along with the CCSE Education and Research Subcommittee are pleased to invite UIC faculty to apply for the Teaching Sustainability Initiative’s 2020-2021 Course Development Cohort.  In its second year, this program is intended to intentionally grow UIC’s sustainability course offerings to all students.

The Teaching Sustainability Initiative consists of a one-day program that will provide faculty of all subject areas an overview on how to amend and/or create curricula to include sustainability concepts. The workshop will explore how we can meaningfully integrate sustainability—broadly defined—into our classrooms, as well as access to a network of experienced instructors who will provide assistance and feedback as you formulate a dynamic syllabus and curriculum.

Program Objectives

As a participant in the 2020-2021 Teaching Sustainability Course Development Cohort, you will emerge from the program with a knowledge of:

  • Comprehensive working definition of sustainability.
  • Framework for understanding the components of sustainability and how each relates to your background and expertise.
  • List of readings and short videos to use in your class(es).
  • Learning outcomes for classes
  • Internal and external sustainability resources
  • Draft exercises that you might use in your class(es) and examples of how other instructors have incorporated sustainability into their courses.
  • Opportunities for exploring sustainability on campus through the landscape, buildings, operations, transportation, and UIC’s Climate Action Implementation Plan strategies.
  • Cohort of colleagues with similar goals to incorporate sustainability into their teaching.
  • A paradigm shift towards interdisciplinarity. Faculty from last year’s cohort came from the Department of Health Policy & Administration, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Kinesiology & Nutrition, the Department of Restorative Dentistry, the Department of Managerial Studies, and the Department of Communication.

Program Overview

The program consists of four components designed to make it as easy as possible for participants to add sustainability to their teaching:

  •  Teaching Sustainability Workshop. The Office of Sustainability will host a required one-day workshop on May 13, 2020. Participants will work alongside subject matter experts from a varied array of disciplines to begin the development of lesson plans and exercises appropriate for courses in each attendee’s given field. Selected faculty will also be expected to read several short articles prior to the workshop.
  •  Feedback and Support. Throughout the summer of 2020, the Office Sustainability, alumni from the program, and subject matter experts in sustainability will be electronically available to provide feedback on initial plans and course revisions.
  •  Fall Check-In. In November/December 2020, the Office of Sustainability will hold a final meeting for members of the cohort to discuss lessons learned, things that may bear revision in the future, and plans for the upcoming spring 2021 semester. Participants will be expected to submit their instruction plans, syllabus, or other documents around the time of this meeting. A second meeting in the spring may be required.
  •  A Stipend. Faculty or instructors of record will receive monetary support for their participation in the above events.
    • $1,000 to faculty adding significant sustainability components to a preexisting course or courses, with an expectation that this course(s) will be taught no later than the spring 2021 semester.
    • $2,000 to faculty creating a new course or courses with a sustainability focus, with an expectation that this course(s) will be taught no later than the fall 2021.

Half of the stipend amount will be offered upon acceptance to the cohort; the other half will be provided after provision of the final syllabus and start of instruction. Funding is made available through the Sustainability Fee and has been approved by the Sustainability Fee Advisory Board.

The deadline for applications is February 28, 2020; applicants will be notified of their status no later than April 9.

Any questions?  Email Sarah Koning.


Teaching Sustainability Application

Make sure your application includes the following information:

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Teaching Sustainability Fellowship at UIUC