Sustainability Learning Pathways

Our long-term vision is to embed Sustainability Learning Pathways across all teaching programs.

Our long-term vision is to embed Sustainability Learning Pathways across all teaching programs. This ambitious goal – that every UBC student will have access to an education in sustainability – mirrors UBC’s view that sustainability applies to all students and any discipline. Our view is that every student should have access to equipping themselves with the competencies and capacities that enable them to contribute to the co-creation of a sustainable future. 

To help guide academic units to develop Sustainability Learning Pathways, UBC has described four Student Sustainability Attributes: Holistic Systems Thinking, Sustainability Knowledge, Awareness and Integration, and Acting for Positive Change.  A Sustainability Learning Pathway is a collection of sustainability-oriented courses and experiences that students pursue alongside their disciplinary major that provides them with a firm grounding in the four attributes. For a full description of the Student Sustainability Attributes, click here.

Sustainability pathways are currently under development in the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Applied Science. Pathways Seed Grants are available to faculty members who would like to lead the development of a sustainability pathway within their department and/or faculty. Please contact the Teaching, Learning & Research office of the UBC Sustainability Initiative for more information. 

Two background documents, developed by the UBC Sustainability Initiative Teaching, Learning and Research Office and the USI Teaching and Learning Fellows, overview the initial attribute development and learning objectives, and provide an updated version of the attributes and practical teaching examples.

§  Transforming Sustainability Education at UBC Desired Student Attributes and Pathways for Implementation (2010)

§  Transforming Sustainability Education at UBC Desired Student Attributes and Pathways for Implementation - Sustainability Learning and Student Attributes (2013)

Sustainability Attributes

Students graduating with a sustainability background from UBC should have a firm grounding in, and be able to demonstrate, the following four key attributes: Holistic Systems Thinking, Sustainability Knowledge, Acting for Positive Change, and Awareness and Integration.

Example Pathway: Faculty of Science

Most university courses focus on a particular discipline, but in fact all disciplines overlap or are influenced by others. The new Science 220 course challenges students to consider interdisciplinary perspectives - from science and engineering, to economics and business, and the social sciences - in analyzing and proposing solutions to complex problems.