Houghton College will offer a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies beginning in Fall 2020. “The Environmental Studies academic program is a new major and minor for undergraduate students interested in learning about environmental issues from a social science perspective,” says Houghton College Sustainability Director Brian Webb.
“Our goal in the Environmental Studies program is to help students develop a holistic, Christ-centered approach to complex environmental challenges,” continues Webb. “By adopting an intentionally interdisciplinary approach, students apply a strong foundation in the environmental sciences to a broad range of societal responses ranging from environmental communication to public policy to advocacy to sustainable development.”
Students will take courses in biology, intercultural studies, international development and sociology. Several new courses will be added that are more specifically focused on environmental issues, including Environment and Society, Environmental Communication, Environmental Ethics and Environmental Public Policy. Career paths in this major include environmental education, environmental nonprofit work, public policy, environmental law, international sustainable development work and corporate sustainability.
Included in the program are numerous opportunities for students to put their learning into action both on and off campus. On campus, students can serve in a volunteer leadership role as an “eco rep” or obtain a paid internship with Houghton’s Center for Sustainability. In addition, they can help maintain the student-run campus garden and apiary. Off-campus experiential learning opportunities that focus on sustainability include Houghton in East Africa, the Creation Care Study Program in New Zealand and the Au Sable Institute in Michigan. Hands-on experience in environmental advocacy is available through paid and volunteer opportunities with nationally recognized environmental non-profits.
“Environmental issues form some of the most important challenges of the 21st century,” added Webb. “Addressing these requires a broad understanding of both the natural and social sciences with a focus on long-term sustainability.”
For more information about the Environmental Studies program at Houghton, visit the Environmental Studies webpage at Houghton.edu.