Students learn about the Triple Bottom Line in a wide range of disciplinesGraphic Design student poster for Earth Day.Year of Energy poster (c) Beall & StenbergEnvironmental Science students conduct water testing at nearby Parker MillEnvironmental Science students visit Ann Arbor Material Recovery FacilityStudents testing water at nearby Parker MillEnvironmental Science student collects macro invertebrates for studyGeology students at Eddy Discovery CenterStudents at MRF Compost PilesField Biology class picks up trash on WCC groundsConstruction students build a picnic table for local non-profit Growing HopeHigh efficiency A/C units in HVAC labRenewable Energy student sets up Solar Pathfinder instrumentStudents with solar hot water panels

Academics

Issues of the environment, sustainability and climate change have increasingly become part of the curriculum over the years at WCC, both in an informal way through the initiative of individual instructors, and formally as part of course master syllabi. Recently, three new programs were initiated which have a specific environmental focus: the Environmental Science Associates in Science degree, the Environmental Science and Society certificate, and the Sustainable Building Practices Certificate.  In conjunction with the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, the Sustainability Literacy Task Force was created and has started planning programs and resources to help move sustainability literacy forward at the College and to make sustainability part of the culture on campus.  Extra-curricular activities are also available to students.

Courses & Programs

Programs:

The Environmental Science programs are designed to prepare students to deal with environmental issues and concerns from a global point of view.  Because environmental science is an evolving, diverse field with various career options, we offer two different program tracks.  The Environmental Science Associates in Science degree is a 2-year program based on physical science which prepares students to transfer to a 4-year institution to complete their Bachelor’s in Environmental Science. This program is designed to give students first hand lab experiences in studying environmental problems from a scientific perspective, as well as propose and implement solutions to sustainability. It is ultimately preparing students for careers in resource management, waste management, sustainability, environmental consultation and the like.   The Environmental Science and Society Certificate is a 5-semester program emphasizing the social science perspective.  Both tracks integrate biology, chemistry and geology.  Three new courses, ENV 101, ENV 201 and ENV 105 were developed to be the core courses in the program.

The Sustainable Building Practices certificate is intended as an add-on to a Construction Technology, HVAC or Electrical Technology certificate or degree. Students take classes in green building practices (CON 180), energy auditing (HVA 201) and renewable energy (ELE 106), and finish with a capstone course (CON 247).

Courses:

For information on sustainability in courses, please refer to the Curriculum, Education and Engagement section of the  WCC Sustainability & Climate Action Plan.