Educational Model and Courses

Each course is designed to earn 3 credits for students enrolled for undergraduate credit. The full semester program is designed to earn 15 credits. Course work will be modified for gap year students. Below each title, we suggest where our courses might fit into a student’s course requirements. Programs that study the environment and sustainability have various names among colleges and universities, so you may have to translate into the names that your institution uses. Also, leadership courses and community or group development courses are often taught in quite widely varying departments, so you may have to search for the best equivalent course. All courses are taught using experiential, fully integrated methodology in line with the image above. 

Leading and Learning for Transformation and Resilience

Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, education, or environmental studies requirements - 3 credits

This course surveys models of education and leadership and their roles in the sustainability movement. It also introduces the holistic, experiential, and progressive education model used by the Expedition Education Institute. The living and learning community provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to develop their skills and practices as leaders, learners, and advocates. Through experience, action, and reflection, students collaboratively explore transformative approaches to education and being the change.

Learning Community as Personal and Social Change

Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, education, outdoor leadership, psychology, or environmental studies requirements - 3 credits

Explores the learning community model and its influence on one’s personal well‐being, community, and culture. Students learn group development theory and practice facilitation, decision-making, cooperative communication, and conflict resolution skills. They become skilled in outdoor community living and learning. Trust, including the honoring of our commitments to one another, emerges as a foundation of our efforts. Students develop experiential and intellectual foundations necessary to establish learning communities in other settings.

Culture and the Environment

Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill social science, anthropology, sociology, human ecology, or environmental studies requirements - 3 credits

Cultures shape the ways humans interact with the land, and historically, they have been closely adapted to their local environment. Students investigate the ways that culture can support a sustainable society by exploring dominant US culture, regional subcultures and past and present local indigenous cultures. We look especially at the implied environmental ethics of cultural practices and beliefs. Students consider approaches to changing our culture to promote sustainability and whether their own unexamined beliefs and actions are in line with their environmental values.

Energy Issues and Sustainable Solutions

Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill environmental science, environmental studies, or sustainability requirements - 3 credits

Cheap fossil energy has fueled the rise of our modern consumer society. Its extraction, production, and burning has led to environmental destruction locally, regionally, and now with climate change, globally. To understand the role of energy in our society, we examine where it comes from, the way it is used in the economy, the environmental impacts it has, and alternative energy sources and economic systems that can help us transition away from our fossil fuel dependence.

Natural History and Ecology: A Systems Approach

Interdisciplinary course designed to fulfill natural science, ecology, or environmental studies requirements - 3 credits

In this course we examine natural systems using both a traditional scientific approach and a deep ecological perspective to illuminate the inter-relationship of all life. Living within and studying a variety of ecosystems from the northeast to the Appalachian mountains to the Gulf Coast, students learn about biological diversity and the forces that shape the complex interdependence of the living and non-living world. Students also work to develop a personal, emotional, and ethical relationship with the natural world.