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Sustainability Certificate Program

A tri-college collaboration between Wellesley, Olin,
and Babson Colleges.

Program Director: Linder (Olin College)

Addressing the challenge of using earth’s resources sustainably requires a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach in which basic research about the causes and consequences of environmental problems is combined with an understanding of the incentives and processes for large-scale economic activity, and the technology with which to reconfigure the human effect on the natural world. Wellesley, Olin, and Babson Colleges are uniquely suited to address this challenge by providing a joint program capable of educating students in ways that each cannot accomplish alone. By truly integrating business, engineering, and the liberal arts in the service of environmental sustainability, this program provides students with the cross-disciplinary academic preparation and the cross-campus cultural collaboration experiences needed to approach environmental issues holistically.
(Joint website - http://bow3colleges.org/sustainability.aspx)

Goals for the Program

The Sustainability Certificate Program seeks to educate students to make use of the skills, tools, and concepts from the liberal arts, business, and engineering to address environmental challenges and to evaluate potential paths towards sustainability at both the individual and societal level.

Introduction to Sustainability

DeSombre (Wellesley), Staff (Olin), George (Babson)

This case-based course introduces students to the basic concepts and tools that business, engineering, and the liberal arts (science, social science, and the humanities) bring to a consideration of sustainability. It is team-taught by three faculty members, one from each institution, with coursework fully integrated across the three approaches. The course will draw empirical material from, and apply concepts and tools to, a semester-long case (such as the sustainability of a city block, the transition to clean energy worldwide, or the life-cycle of a common consumer product). Course meetings will take place at Wellesley, Olin, and Babson colleges.

Prerequisite: None. Not open to first-year students except by instructor permission.
Semester: Fall
Units: 1.0; 4-credits

Sustainability Synthesis

Staff (Wellesley), Staff (Olin), Staff (Babson)

This project-based course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize the work from the introductory course and elective courses to apply their knowledge of sustainability to a specific problem or issue of interest to an identified community. Groups of three to five students representing more than one school will work on a semester-long project of their choosing that focuses on understanding and providing solutions for a specific environmental problem, using the tools and concepts developed in the program.

Prerequisite: Declared participation in the certificate program, and completion of Introduction course and three out of four elective courses for the program.
Semester: Spring, beginning 2013
Units: 1.0; 4-credits

Courses for Credit Toward the Certificate Program

The following courses may be used as electives. Please contact the course instructor to determine the accessibility and appropriateness of the course. Note that students may not earn credit for both ECON 228 (at Wellesley) and ECN 3675 (at Babson). Courses listed with an asterix require that students undertake their course project on a sustainability-related topic to gain credit towards the certificate.

Distribution

Institution

Course Number

Title

Business

Babson

EPS 4523

Environmental and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

Business

Babson

EPS 3525

Social Enterprise Management

Business

Babson

MOB 3522

Business and the Environment

Business

Babson

EPS 4527

Social Entrepreneurship by Design*

Business

Babson

MOB 3527

Solving Big Problems*

Business

Babson

EPS 4525

Living the Social Entrepreneurship Experience*

Business

Olin

AHSE 3510

New Technology Ventures

Engineering

Olin

MTH/SCI 1111

Modeling and Simulation of the Physical World

Engineering

Olin

ENGR 1200

Design Nature

Engineering

Olin

SCI 1410

Materials Science and Solid State Chemistry with Lab

Engineering

Olin

ENGR 2350

Thermodynamics

Engineering

Olin

ENGR 3210

Sustainable Design

Engineering

Olin

ENGR3499

Metals and Alloys: From Microstructure to Global Impact

Engineering

Olin

ENGR 3810

Structural Biomaterials

Engineering

Olin

ENGR 3820

Failure Analysis and Prevention

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 101

Fundamentals of Environmental Science with Laboratory

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 102

Environment and Society: Addressing Climate Change

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 201/GEOS 201

Methods and Problems in Environmental Science with Laboratory

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 203

Cultures of Environmentalism

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 214/POL2 214

Social Causes and Consequences of Environmental Problems

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ES 299/HIST 299

United States Environmental History

Liberal arts

Wellesley

AFR 226

Environmental Justice, Race, and Sustainable Development

Liberal arts

Wellesley

BISC 108

Environmental Horticulture with Laboratory

Liberal arts

Wellesley

BISC 201

Ecology with Laboratory

Liberal arts

Wellesley

ECON 228

Environmental and Resource Economics

Liberal arts

Wellesley

GEOS 101

Earth Processes and the Environment with Laboratory

Liberal arts

Wellesley

PHIL 233

Environmental Ethics

Liberal arts

Babson

SCN 2410

Environmental Technology

Liberal arts

Babson

SCN 3615

Ecology of Animal Behavior

Liberal arts

Babson

SCN 3697

Global Warming: Business & Society

Liberal arts

Babson

HSS 2410

Contemporary Environmental Issues

Liberal arts

Babson

LAW 3616

The Role of Animals in Technology, Law and Society

Liberal arts

Babson

ECN 3675

Environmental Economics, Policy and Analysis

Liberal arts

Babson

CVA 2457

Imagining Sustainability: Nature, Humanity, Business and End of Sorrow

Liberal arts

Babson

CXD 3662

Ecotourism, Biodiversity, and Conservation Policy in Costa Rica

Liberal arts

Olin

AHSE 2199

Environmental Enterprise: Technology, Civilization, and Sustainability

Liberal arts

Olin

SCI 2299

Microbial Diversity

 

Requirements for the Certificate Program

There are three components to the 6-course certificate program:

  1. Introductory Course (SUST 201)
  2. Synthesis Course (SUST 301)
  3. Four electives from the list of Courses for Credit Toward the Certificate Program. Those four electives, chosen from the list above (with the possibility of petitioning to accept a course not on this list), must include one course in each of the three areas – business, engineering, and the liberal arts – and must include a course taken at each one of the three institutions. These courses provide an interdisciplinary breadth of knowledge, skills and experiences relating to environmental sustainability. (Several courses include the requirement that the major course project a student chooses focus on sustainability issues.) The Babson business courses listed above may count towards the Wellesley degree only for students who complete the certificate program; these students may count no more than two Babson business courses total towards the 32 courses required for the Wellesley degree. (A student pursuing this program who takes a Babson accounting course may count only one additional Babson business course from this program towards the Wellesley degree.)

Admission to the Certificate Program

Students may declare their intention to pursue the certificate program any time after completing the introductory course; they must do so before enrolling in the synthesis course. Students with declared program participation will have preferential enrollment opportunities for the cross-campus electives. Upon declaring the intention to pursue the program, the student will be given a campus advisor; students may also contact the overall program director. Advising is a central part of ensuring a coherent structure to the certificate program, so students are encouraged to declare their intention to complete the program as soon as they can. ​