Docstoc

Studies

Document Sample
Studies Powered By Docstoc
					        NEW ENVS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

                                       Concentrations

The goal of the concentration requirement is to have our students develop an area of
expertise within the broader field of Environmental Studies. The last few years have shown,
however, that the way in which requirement was structured did not support students in
meeting this goal. Specifically, under the current requirement: 1) Our experience has been
that the breadth of courses available in the humanities, social sciences, and professional
schools that touch on topics of environmental concern is so large that most students do not
have the background or the familiarity with sub-disciplines of environmental studies to
develop a well designed study plan; 2) many students choose courses that are not offered
in the only semesters they have available to take them, which results in heavy use of the
waiver/substitution system and diminishes any sense of curricular planning; and 3) students
put in “filler courses” that they have taken to meet the requirement of 7 courses (21
credits) for a self-designed concentration.

The revised concentration requirement being proposed makes two fundamental changes to
this system: 1) it reduces the total number of credits in the concentration, and 2) it
introduces more structure into the types of courses that may be taken to satisfy this
requirement. For all students in the program, the concentration requirement is: a total of 15
credits in upper level courses. All concentrations prohibit inclusion of 100-level courses.
Within each concentration area, students must take at least five courses, of which three
must be at the 300-level. One course must be an ENVS course at the 300 level or higher to
ensure environmental content. Proposed concentrations must be reviewed by the academic
adviser, and submitted to the department chair no later than the second semester of the
student’s sophomore year.

At the same time, we have developed guidelines for typical concentrations, while still
retaining the traditional “self-design” option, to improve student advising; this will help to
assure that our students meet the primary goal of this requirement, to graduate with an
area of expertise. In developing these guidelines, including sample courses, we sought
advice from colleagues across the College on appropriate content and experiences and on
which courses were offered on a regular enough basis to include. The faculty of the ENVS
Steering Committee (representing six departments in the School of Humanities and
Sciences), drawing on this input, defined a common core of learning outcomes and
experiences for the concentration requirement, identified a few concentration areas as
appropriate and feasible, and drew together collections of sample courses for each area.
These “typical concentrations” are intended to guide students’ selection of upper-level
coursework in such a way that they can develop expertise in an academic area of particular
interest. These concentration areas are primarily advising tools; they are flexible collections
of courses that together introduce coherence into a student’s upper-level interdisciplinary
coursework.

Sample Concentrations
Students may choose a concentration that falls into one of the categories described below.
On the department website, students can find a listing of suggested courses that provides
more detail about how they might plan their concentrations.
These course listings are developed in consultation with the departments that offer relevant
courses. Because upper-level courses often have prerequisites, careful planning by the
student is essential to making sure the requirements can be met. Students whose interests
do not match any of the concentration options listed below, and who have demonstrated a
sense of direction about their career path, may design their own concentration area with
approval of their adviser (a special form is available for this purpose on the department
website). All students must submit their proposed concentration to the Department
Curriculum Committee for approval no later than the second semester of their sophomore
year. Although the concentrations do not require a credit-bearing internship, students are
encouraged to seek such opportunities either for credit or as summer employment. A list of
applied experiences is also available on the department website.

Health
This concentration explores the relationship between human health and environmental
change. Students select courses that address such topics as the relationship between
environmental problems and human health; the role of public health in shaping
environmental policy; and the relationship between diet (and therefore agriculture) and
human health. Specific courses that are appropriate for this concentration may be found in
the Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Philosophy, Economics, Sociology,
Speech Communication, and Health Promotion and Physical Education.

Policy
This concentration explores the fundamental importance of policy and politics on
environmental issues and problems. Students select courses that address such topics as:
the relationship between regulatory frameworks (including but not limited to laws) and
environmental problems; the role of the state in shaping human behavior toward the
environment; and the transnational nature of environmental regulation in the 21st century.
Specific courses that are appropriate for this concentration may be found in the
Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Politics, Philosophy, Economics, and
Sociology, as well as through the legal studies program in the Division of Interdisciplinary
and International Studies.

Communication
This concentration explores the fundamental importance of communication in both framing
and solving environmental issues and problems. Students select courses that address such
topics as: the importance of good written and oral communication to solving environmental
problems, as well as the role of the media in shaping human behavior toward the
environment. Specific courses that are appropriate for this concentration may be found in
the Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Writing, Speech Communication,
and Strategic Communication.

Environmental and Outdoor Education
This concentration explores the fundamental importance of education in both framing and
solving environmental issues and problems. Students select courses that address such
topics as: the role of education (both formal and informal) in shaping society and social
values; the importance of education in the outdoors for identifying and solving
environmental problems; and the role of education in forging environmental and
recreational values. Specific courses that are appropriate for this concentration may be
found in the Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Education, Sociology, and
Recreation and Leisure Studies.

Anthropology
This concentration explores the ways in which individual cultures interact with their natural
environments. Students select courses that focus on particular geographic areas, including
South Asia, Mesoamerica, North America, the southwest United States, and South America.
Specific courses that are appropriate for this concentration may be found in the
Departments of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Anthropology, and Sociology.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:5
posted:10/23/2011
language:English
pages:2