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Sustainability Literacy – That's Our QEP

Train Your Brain to Sustain

First Annual Sustains/Solves




It’s time to make a difference! Register for the Floodathon!


The Floodathon aims to bring together a diverse group of people to brainstorm solutions to help people living in disadvantaged communities mitigate the impacts of flooding. We will use Human-Centered Design and Biomimicry to understand, brainstorm, create and test solutions. To come up with real solutions that will benefit the communities, we will have not only mentors and content experts but also stakeholders from the community present to help build ideas throughout the day! As citizens we are all affected by flooding, the floodathon will not only make a difference by improving the lives of those who live in these communities, but also serve as an opportunity to work with a variety of people with different mindsets to come up with the best solution for flooding!


            Anyone can register through this link, Can’t be present the whole day? Not to worry! There is an option to register for the half day session.  To help you decide on which session to attend, we will focus on understanding problems and brainstorming solutions in the first half, and model, test and share solutions in the second half. A day of developing real solutions to help make our city an even better place to live in! Anyone can participate, all it takes is a creative mind and a willingness to make a difference.  Hurry and register now, seats are limited!


Resilient Advocates on College of Charleston Campus


Two Students Lend CofC a Hand Towards Zero Waste

If you’ve ever been enrolled in a teaching lab at the College, you might have noticed how much waste is generated with each experiment. Every semester, pounds of one-time use gloves, plastic containers, paper towels, and other materials from the College of Charleston’s labs end up in landfills. Two seniors who both conduct research within the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department decided it was time to address this issue. Evan Bailey and Caroline Gilmer thought the place to start was to implement an effective way to recycle vinyl, plastic, nitrile, and latex gloves within the research and teaching labs in their department.

They explained that within the Chemistry and Biochemistry department alone, there are approximately fifty research students and a thousand enrolled students in lab classes. If we assume research students use ten gloves per day and chemistry students use four gloves per teaching lab, that quickly adds up to approximately 54,000 pairs of gloves per semester. While a glove-recycling program may seem like an insignificant part of a larger waste problem, it can divert over 840 pounds of waste from landfills in one semester alone.

A glove-recycling program is an initial move to evoke sustainability literacy among College of Charleston students, especially within the campus’s laboratories. Caroline explains that the goal of their effort is to, “establish a program that can serve as an inspiration and successful model to other departments, encouraging them to think of ways to reduce their waste as well. We ultimately hope to make a slight shift in the College’s consciousness towards a more sustainability-focused outlook.”

Through the company TerraCycle, recycling boxes for gloves for every teaching and research lab in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department will be ordered. This program will be monitored by Gilmer and Bailey, and eventually formed into a cooperative effort with Alpha Chi Sigma, the Chemistry fraternity, in future academic years. Maintaining and expanding this project will hopefully establish a shift towards zero waste in the thoughts and behaviors of lab students.

Evan Bailey expressed that two students couldn’t tackle this problem alone, and seemed excited that the College has started to show interest in combating our 21st century problems: “This idea wouldn’t be possible without the funding from the Office of Sustainability’s ECOllective Student Project Committee, the support from the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.  It also fits into the goals of the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan about empowering students to advocate for resiliency and solutions to 21st century problems, like plastic waste and pollution. We’re excited to bring campus-wide awareness to this issue as well as attempt to solve it in a way that incorporates zero waste practices into our college’s culture.”

Have your own plan to promote sustainability on campus?

Contact or for more information!


 College Lodge

Quality Enhancement Plan

Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st-Century Problems

The College's new Quality Enhancement Plan is Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st-Century Problems. This is an initiative to endow students with the tools and knowledge they'll need to address 21st-century problems such as climate change, social injustice and economic inequality.

At the College, we acknowledge that our world faces steep challenges, and that these are global in magnitude and complexity. Whether it's diminishing resources, human-induced climate change, economic inequality, or some other pressing concern, our society has arrived at this point precisely because of the way we think and how we behave. If we wish to change both our thinking and our actions, we will first need to change the education we deliver. That is the central notion underpinning the College’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st-Century Problems.

Within this initiative, it is the responsibility of our campus community to provide our students the sustainability literacy they will need to be effective problem solvers for the 21st century.  


SLI envisions positive social, economic and environmental change from a sustainability literate College of Charleston community.


The SLI supports teaching, learning and research in sustainability literacy at the College of Charleston and the communities with which it interacts.


Education - The Institute supports established pedagogical practices that teach sustainability literacy, and facilitates teaching faculty such practices.

Engagement - The Institute actively fosters interdisciplinary collaboration about sustainability literacy amonsgt faculty, and between faculty and staff, faculty and students, and the larger community.

Expression - The Institute advocates for and supports the expression of sustainability literacy at individual, campus, local, regional, national, and international levels.

Quality Enhancement Plan

Every 10 years, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires that member institutions be reaffirmed as accredited institutions. In preparing for this reaffirmation process, colleges and universities are required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). In our case, the Reaffirmation Leadership Team put out a call for proposals, and from the resulting submissions, selected sustainability literacy as the focus of the College’s QEP. The QEP has five overarching goals, each one related to specific student learning outcomes. 

For additional information about the reaffirmation process, see the website for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning.

Blog Feed

Plant Some Trees with Ecosia
Posted on 12 June 2017 | 11:54 am
As of mid June 2017, the people behind a website called Ecosia have planted 9,263,045 trees, and that number is growing exponentially as you read this. How does this work, you might ask? is a search engine that is very similar to Google. What’s the difference? The folks who run Ecosia use the majority […]
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What Does Sustainability Actually Look Like?
Posted on 6 June 2017 | 2:04 pm
If you’ve ever wondered how sustainability might actually appear if it were put on exhibit, now you’ve got a chance to find out. The College’s Quality Enhancement Plan office has partnered with the staff of Addlestone Library and JoAnn Gilmore’s students from ANTH 319 (Sustainable Museum Exhibit and Design) to present a QEP art exhibit. […]
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