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.
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:
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.
Assistant Professor, Sustainable Communities
Department of Humanities
Office of Admissions