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Sustainability Literacy Institute

SLI

Introduction to SLI

The College has introduced the Sustainability Literacy Institute (SLI). SLI was envisioned as the physical, pedagogical, virtual and institutional hub for sustainability literacy efforts at CofC. The purpose of SLI is to foster positive social, economic and environmental change by way of a sustainably literate campus community.

SLI works on several fronts to assist the campus community in achieving the goals of its Quality Enhancement Plan. SLI connects existing initiatives and encourages more efficient and synergistic activities on campus related to sustainability literacy. For example, the institute is helping to train faculty to develop courses that qualify as sustainability-focused or sustainability-related. (See the list of SF or SR courses here.) SLI also coordinates with student clubs and organizations to foster greater engagement with the QEP and encourage students to become aware of further avenues of advocacy for sustainability literacy.

To assist in this work, four newly created Faculty Fellowships have been established within SLI. These positions include an outreach fellow (Caroline Foster from the Department of Communication), a faculty development fellow (Steve Jaumé from the geology department), an innovation fellow (David Hansen from the Department of Management and Marketing) and a student engagement fellow (Barry Stiefel from the Historic Preservation and Community Planning Program). 

SLI will also oversee the Sustainability Literacy Scholars Program, which will begin in 2018. This program will seek to offer exemplary students an opportunity to become effective advocates for and innovative leaders of a more sustainable future.

SLI also hosts a variety of speakers, exhibits and other events related to sustainability literacy. (See the events page for a list of upcoming events.)

Though SLI will begin as a virtual hub, it will evolve to become a physical entity at the College that will connect students and faculty and provide them with the resources and training to support the goal of achieving literacy in issues of sustainability.

CofC Sustain/Solves Themes

Each year the CofC community will engage in a shared discussion around a “CofC Sustains/Solves” sustainability literacy theme.  This theme will help unify our collective advocacy for resiliency and entry into interdisciplinary creative problem solving at the interface of social, economic, and environmental systems.  Over the course of their CofC career, students will be exposed to multiple sustainability “big ideas,” with our campus joining in to national and international discussions around sustainability.   Each annual sustainability literacy theme will be studied in sustainability focused and related courses and learning communities, during faculty/student research, explored during the SLI Innovation Challenge, and addressed by other curricular and co-curricular events and programming.  Focusing on an annual sustainability big idea will help build awareness about sustainability literacy; help students identify policies and practices that have led to unsustainable behaviors related to this theme; and present an opportunity for a shared discussion about how to design solutions to such behaviors.  CofC students will then be able to bring these insights into future careers, helping advocate for solving interconnected 21st century problems.  Overall it is hoped that students recognize that the themes are actually all interconnected, and all impact and are impacted by social, economic, and environmental systems.

CofC Sustains/Solves theme for 2017-2018: Water Quality and Quantity

CofC Sustains/Solves theme for 2018-2019: Social Justice and Fair Distribution

CofC Sustains/Solves theme for 2019-2020: Food Security

CofC Sustains/Solves theme for subsequent years will be decided by a campus vote.