The program is designed to prepare the next generation of environmental professionals while building environmental leadership in historically marginalized communities.
Antioch University is set to launch a BS in Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences degree to be offered in a 100% online format. The program was established to offer an accessible, affordable, academically rigorous bachelor of science completion degree that educates students to deal with the impacts of a changing climate. The course work pays special attention to issues of equity and justice, particularly as environmental hazards and climate change disproportionately impact low income, Black, Indigenous, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups throughout the United States and in other countries.
“No one disciplinary approach will solve the complex environmental and justice challenges of today or in the future,” said Dawn Murray, PhD, Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences Program Director. “We must challenge learners to think for themselves, commit to exploring the messiness of seeking interdisciplinary solutions, and envisioning the world as interconnected, holistic systems.”
The coursework is 100% online, but students may opt into Field Study electives to extend and deepen their learning and professional development. The program values an interdisciplinary focus on social and natural sciences, conservation, education, resource management, humanities, and social justice, which promotes systems thinking, environmental scholarship, and stewardship.
“The Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences degree emphasizes practitioner preparation and service to new majority and first-generation students,” said Terry Ratcliff, EdD, Antioch University Provost for Distance and Extended Education. “It builds on Antioch’s nearly 170-year social justice commitment.”
Students are taught by diverse and engaged faculty with expertise and passion for sustainability, science, advocacy, and leadership. Courses include conservation science, culture and ecology, ocean science, and environmental ethics. The optional field studies courses will consist of professional development at environmental conferences, opportunities to engage in policy and advocacy work, and conservation initiatives. Up to 75-semester credits can be transferred into the Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences program allowing students to complete the degree in 18-30 months. The program starts in January 2021 and has six entry points per year.
“Time is of the essence for the next generation of environmental studies students to develop the knowledge, skills, and networks to lead as effective environmental professionals, strengthening communities and ecosystem health,” said Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD, MS in Environmental Studies Program Director, Antioch University New England. “Core to this work, the BS in Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Sciences program emphasizes practitioner preparation, including awareness and skills to advance justice, equity, and inclusion.”