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  • Thumbnail for HOW CAN FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURES ENHANCE SUSTAINABILITY IN LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES?:  A CASE STUDY OF COLORADO COLLEGE
    HOW CAN FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURES ENHANCE SUSTAINABILITY IN LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES?: A CASE STUDY OF COLORADO COLLEGE by Haslett, Fiona Sinclair

    The “institutional inertia” for Education for Sustainability (EfS) in liberal arts institutions is often attributed to faculty perceptions that EfS is not relevant within their area of expertise. However, sustainability is most effectively integrated into an institution when the formal administrative structures align to prioritize a whole system approach. After conducting 40 interviews with professors across all divisions, we developed an understanding of academics’ attitudes, values, and experiences to identify areas where EfS can be more effectively woven into informal campus activities and curricula. In addition, the formal administrative structures of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can promote incongruences between faculty beliefs and campus practices. Findings from this qualitative study are divided into three hypotheses that a liberal arts education should: (1) transition away from teaching within disciplines and establish curricula structured around the process of learning, the development of skills, and the acquisition of knowledge through transdisciplinary topics, (2) create a context for student learning that engages the affective domain and fosters opportunities to develop individual values, attitudes and passions, (3) prioritize a process of learning that includes active participation and an inquiry-based approach to develop students as leaders and agents of change.