Who We Are

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Introduction to SLI

IN July of 2017 the College created the Sustainability Literacy Institute (SLI). SLI was envisioned as the physical, pedagogical, virtual and institutional hub for QEP-based sustainability literacy efforts at CofC. In February of 2019 the SLI was enveloped within the larger Center for Sustainable Development (CSD).  The purpose of SLI within the CSD 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 SLI trains 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, two Faculty Fellows assist the SLI. This includes a Faculty Development Fellow (Dr. Jen Wright) and an Assessment Fellow (Dr. Leslie Hart).


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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 2020-2021: Global Warming and Climate Change