Delta State University                                                           

SOC 422/522 COD 522

Spring Semester 2007


Going Green:
Education for Sustainable Development
at Delta State University

Class Project Guidelines

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Over the course of the semester, students in SOC 422 and SOC/COD 522 will work on a class project, with the goal of producing a Sustainable Development Action Plan for Delta State University.

As part of this project, you will design and carry out interviews, research similar plans at other universities, and study the history of sustainable development and initiatives tied to Education for Sustainable Development.  You will work in groups that combine graduate and undergraduate students.  Each member of your group will be responsible for identifying one specific aspect of the overall project, and will develop a particular question that will inform his/her investigation into the subject.  You will work together in collecting data, but each of you will write an individual report that summarizes your individual effort.  You will collaborate with other group members to write an introduction and conclusion to your final report.


Remember, this is an Action Plan, and while it is important to incorporate knowledge generated through interviews and discussions with people on campus and in the community, you should also make reasoned suggestions for action that would make DSU a more sustainable campus.


The class will be divided into six groups, each with specific responsibilities.

Group 1 will be in charge of on-campus academic research.  You will be responsible for assessing the attitudes and perceptions of DSU faculty and students on initiatives to develop a "Green" campus, and to assess the potential for incorporating sustainability into the DSU campus.

Group 2 will be in charge of on-campus facilities research.  You will meet with campus administrators and personnel that manage the physical operation of the campus, to collect information on current initiatives to develop a "Green" campus, and to assess the potential for incorporating sustainability into the DSU campus.

Group 3 will be in charge of community research.  You will meet with community political, business and religious leaders to assess the receptiveness towards a greener DSU campus, potential sources of assistance/partnerships, and perceptions in the community about such a project.


Group 4 will be in charge of educational research.  You will assess the activities and potential in local elementary and high schools for Education for Sustainable Development, in line with DSU's role in training teachers to work in the Delta.


Group 5 will be in charge of historical research.  You will study the history of the Education for Sustainable Development program, international policy initiatives, and similar initiatives on other campuses to provide a background for a DSU plan,


Group 6 will be in charge of coordinating the plan.  You will organize the various group efforts, make decisions where necessary about the direction of the project,  and bring the final reports together into a comprehensive document. 



You will collaborate with other classmates on data collection, and on the production of an Action Plan for Campus Sustainability that summarizes your findings.  Each group will produce a report, organized as follows:


(1)  Introduction


Together, the group members should develop a 3-4 page introduction, which presents the issue addressed by the group, describes how data collection proceeded (e.g., how informants were identified), and introduces each member's contribution.


(2)  Individual Contributions


Each group member should write a 5-7 page chapter that summarizes what they learned in this project.  The chapter should include a title and the name of the group member, and should clearly identify the specific problem or question addressed by the group member, the method of data collection, the evidence collected, and the interpretation of the findings.


(3)  Conclusion

Together, group members should prepare a 3-4 page conclusion, which ties together the contributions of each member, and discusses the ramifications in terms of developing a sustainable campus.


On May 1, we will hold a public meeting to present the plan to the university community.  As a class, you will prepare a presentation of your findings and recommendations.  We will invite university administrators, faculty, students and staff, as well as community leaders to the meeting to consider the plan.


Education for Sustainable Development


The impetus for this project is a United Nations initiative, designating the period from 2005 through 2014 as the international Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.  This project is administered by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.  Click here for more information on this program.