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Sustainable Communities



Be Part of the Green Solution!

Join Dominican's Humanities BA with a Major in Sustainable Communities.

Sustainable Communities (SC) is a unique and vibrant degree major that addresses current needs by integrating environmental education with cultural analysis, social action, public policy, and hands-on skill building. The course of study encourages a student’s capacity to think globally and systemically; to clarify value conflicts, motivations, and learning styles; and to plan and carry out imaginative projects. Students undergo an expansion of their perspectives and a deepening awareness of themselves in relation to their world.

SC courses ask questions such as: Who is offering what solutions to address current social and ecology issues? What can we do as individuals and as communities as part of a democratic society to offer real solutions to address social and ecological issues?

SC courses are taught one weekend a month plus most Fridays. Other non-major requirements are taught in the evening as part of DUOC’s Pathways program for busy adults. Once students have met the requisite undergraduate general education courses and electives, approval to enter the Sustainable Communities cohort will be granted via faculty and academic advising. The SC major is based on the cohort model, with structure, content, and activities that encourage development of a sense of community among the students who move through the major coursework together. This allows the academic subject matter of group dynamics, leadership, and building community to be put into practice. Each student will enroll in a series of core courses (Cultural Ecology and Sustainable Community) and a series of concentration courses in either EcoDwelling or Ecological Food Systems and Agriculture that allow them to delve more deeply into a particular area of interest. In addition, there are co-curricular activities, service learning projects, community outreach, public events, and career/internship opportunities available to all SC students.

Sustainable Communities Mission Statement

The Sustainable Communities major recognizes that humanity is at a pivotal moment in its history. As societies face growing resource constraints, they must inevitably undertake a comprehensive transition away from an extractive, exploitive model of development characterized by ever-increasing consumption of resources and instead toward a sustainable mode of existence characterized by local production for local consumption, distributed decision-making powers, and dramatically reduced rates of resource usage.

Given this historical and social context, the mission of Sustainability Communities is to:

    • Provide an education that both honors the passions and talents of our students, and focuses these passions and talents in formulating holistic solutions to create a sustainable world;
    • Develop and model ecological systems thinking, critical thinking, and empathy as the basis for understanding society and culture;
    • Model equitable, transparent decision-making processes;
    • Provide a supportive community for intellectual inquiry, service learning, and practical skills development at both the personal and collective levels; and
    • Synthesize personal transformation, leadership and policy-making skills, eco-literacy, and the building of alternatives into strategies and practices that lead to a more just and sustainable world.

The Sustainable Communities major seeks to provide our students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them personally to thrive during this period of change, and also to be effective social change agents able to help humankind undertake the transition to sustainability with intelligence, compassion, and creativity, protecting the natural environment while advancing the cause of social justice.


For More Information, Please Contact:

Kendall Dunnigan
Assistant Professor, Sustainable Communities
Department of Humanities
Phone: 707-548-5156

For Admissions Information, Please Contact:

Office of Admissions
Phone: 415-485-3280

Apply Online


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