Other Academic Opportunities in Sustainability
Several sustainability-related academic courses are offered in addition to formal SENS curriculum offerings. Additional academic resources and opportunities are available through academic internships and other co-curricular programs.
Appalachian Center Programs
The Loyal Jones Appalachian Center is committed to preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of the Appalachian region. They offer academic courses in Appalachian Studies as well as a summer institute and internship in Entrepreneurship for the Public Good.
Entrepreneurship for the Public Good
The Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG) program places interns with local businesses throughout Appalachia, where they contribute some of the skills and knowledge learned at Berea to increasing the profitability and sustainability of the enterprise, with which they engage. Sustainability-related EPG projects include ongoing research on sustainable “adventure” tourism and a green building resource guide for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.
Sustainable Appalachian Communities
A regularly offered academic course called “Sustainable Appalachian Communities,” which is cross-listed in Appalachian Studies and SENS, includes service-learning and research to help provide community development resources to Appalachian communities. Students in this class developed an online resource guide for Sustainable Appalachian Communities.
Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service
The Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS), established in 2000, provides a headquarters for several student-led service programs and promotes faculty engagement in service-learning courses with community partners. CELTS offers faculty workshops in service-learning as well as mini-grants for service-learning projects, some of which have focused on sustainability.
Energy and Empowerment in Appalachia
CELTS also oversees the Energy and Empowerment in Appalachia program, which is a three-year community-based research project, funded by Learn and Serve America. The purpose of the Energy and Empowerment project is to bring together multiple community organizations and multiple academic departments at Berea College, each with their specific expertise, in order to research the energy needs and to develop and maximize the energy assets of our community. This collaborative and coalition-based group is currently working toward the goals of:
- improving financial security of low-income families in Madison County;
- benefiting the environment by reducing demand for coal-based electricity; and
- empowering community members to become actively involved in transforming the policies, infrastructure, assumptions and behaviors that drive energy use in Kentucky today.
There is also an Energy and Empowerment list-serve for networking among activist organizations and individuals in Madison County.
Center for International Education
The Center for International Education (CIE) promotes sustainability as a core value for educational travel abroad. The May ‘09 issue of the CIE newsletter includes a section on their “Sustainability in Education Abroad” initiative. They also have a Sustainability in Education Abroad webpage, which includes resources such as the “Global Footprint Grant” for student proposals on a research topic related to sustainability in their study abroad destination.
Education Abroad Adviser Søren Peterson serves on the Advisory Council for the Green Passport program, which is an “intercollegiate initiative that promotes socially and environmentally conscious study abroad experiences. … The Green Passport is a tool that … recognizes the interconnectedness of the world’s people and the environment and seeks to relate this understanding to concepts of sustainability and global citizenship.” Several Berea College students are Green Passport holders as well as members of Berea’s Green Passport for Study Abroad group on Facebook, and the Green Passport website also includes a Berea College group.
Berea College graduate Kati Maginel completed an independent study on sustainable study abroad while she was a student. An abbreviated version of her final paper was also published as an article entitled “Can Earth Afford It?” in Abroad View.
The Berea College Internship Office offers opportunities for students to earn academic credit in applied learning settings. Students have completed sustainability-related internships on campus, in local community organizations, and other setting both nationally and abroad.
- Loyal Jones Appalachian Center
- Entrepreneurship for the Public Good (EPG)
- Sustainable Appalachian Communities
- Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS)
- Energy and Empowerment in Appalachia
- Energy and Empowerment list-serve
- Internship Office
- Center for International Education (CIE)
- Green Passport Program