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Teaching Sustainability Initiative

The Office of Planning, Sustainability and Project Management (PSPM) along with the CCSE Education and Research Subcommittee (CCSE) are pleased to host the Teaching Sustainability Initiative's Course Development program.  Currently in its fourth year, this program is intended to intentionally grow UIC’s sustainability course offerings to all students. Since its inception, our community has grown to 45 TSI Fellows and TSI-incentivized courses have reached over 3,000 students to deliver innovative sustainability curriculum. Cohorts are limited to twenty fellows and faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

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

Applications due on Google Forms by January 13, 2023.

Program Objectives Heading link

The Teaching Sustainability Course Development program objectives:

  • 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. View the previous years’ cohorts syllabi here.
  • 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 Disability & Human Development, English, EOHS, Finance, and Nursing. (See map of fellows with links to their profiles below.)

Program Overview Heading link

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.  Workshop 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.
  •  Feedback and Support. After the workshop and throughout the summer semester, the Office of Planning, Sustainability and Project Management (PSPM), 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. A final meeting for members of the cohort will be held in the fall semester to discuss lessons learned, things that may bear revision in the future, and plans for the upcoming spring 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.
    • $2,000 to faculty creating a new course or courses with a sustainability focus. (requires additional letter of support from department chair)

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.

Applications due on Google Forms by January 13, 2023.

For questions or comments, please email Christopher Anderson at

TSI Fellows Heading link

circles representing TSI Fellows academic units

TSI Fellows come together from across the university to explore sustainability as a truly interdisciplinary field. You can use this dynamic tool to explore their diverse academic homes and find collaborators for your teaching and research. This faculty map was developed by our intern, Elizabeth Christian, during the recent session of the Sustainability Internship Program.

Teaching Sustainability Fellowship at UIUC