Program Aims | St. Lawrence University Sustainability Program

Program Aims

The Sustainability Program is a living-learning community at SLU’s Sustainability Farm, where you will live with other students committed to creating a more sustainable world. Students will live and work at the farm through the school year and take at least 1.5 credits at the farm each semester (with the option of taking additional credits at the farm or returning to campus to take courses toward their major or distribution requirements). This program involves both in-class and out-class learning opportunities and is targeted toward sophomores and juniors. The program guides students toward becoming ecological citizens on local and global levels. Courses taught by dynamic faculty from across the university will use project-based teaching methods to guide students in identifying sustainability problems, evaluating solutions, and working with communities to implement those solutions. We seek dynamic and motivated individuals from all majors to join us on this exciting endeavor. 

Core Competencies

The program is designed to guide students in developing five competencies necessary to solving society's most pressing sustainability issues. These competencies include:

  • Systems Thinking: Understanding the complex relationships among and between social, political, and environmental systems involved in sustainability questions.
  • Anticipatory Analysis: Thinking into the future to predict future consequences of actions and policies.
  • Normative Thinking: Recognizing how social beliefs and values impact how we frame issues, develop strategies for solutions, and evaluate decisions about future actions.
  • Strategic Application: Identifying various strategies for solving recognized problems.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Working within communities and with others to develop and implement solutions to problems. 

Learning Goals

In developing the above competencies, students the meets the following learning goals:

  • Learn to seek and implement interdisciplinary solutions to sustainability problems.
  • Comprehend the local and global intersections of sustainability issues.
  • Identify the complexities of relationships involved with sustainability issues.
  • Develop strategies to communicate environmental knowledge to different audiences.
  • Gain leadership skills in community engagement and environmental activism.