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WCC Sustainability: S-Designated Courses

This guide was created to document and highlight Windward Community College sustainability resources, initiatives, and events.

What is an S-designated course?

Sustainability (S) designated courses are designed to teach students about sustainability across a variety of academic disciplines. They are part of a growing system wide effort to teach students ecological literacy and make the University of Hawaii system a leader in sustainability. These courses are not a graduation requirement, but the designation can steer students towards courses that address issues of sustainability. Sustainability designated courses encourage students to learn about the social, cultural, economic, political, scientific, and artistic approaches to sustainability, recognizing the valuable contributions from each academic discipline to thinking about the health of the planet and local communities. Sustainability designated courses may be either S-focused or S-related.

  • S-focused – these courses focus primarily on sustainability from within a given academic discipline and/or the course will examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens.
  • S-related – these courses include some assignments and course content that addresses issues of sustainability.

S-Designation Hallmarks

  • A significant component of readings, assignments, and other course materials address environmental topics.
  • The course teaches students to think critically and examine environmental challenges and debates on an international, national, and local level.
  • Students learn the underlying causes of environmental challenges and explore ways to address these challenges.

From the WCC Website

For Instructors

How to make your class an S-Designated class:

  1. Determine if your class is sustainability-focused. The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals identify issues and topics as "the vital framework that provides us with a long-term response that leads to greener, more inclusive economies, and stronger, more resilient societies" and are identified as the following:  
    • ending poverty
    • ending hunger
    • increasing good health and wellbeing
    • access to quality education
    • gender equality
    • clean water and sanitation
    • access to affordable and clean energy
    • decent work and economic growth
    • industry, innovation, and infrastructure
    • reduced inequality
    • sustainable cities and communities
    • responsible consumption and production
    • climate action
    • life below water
    • life on land
    • peace and justice and strong institutions
    • creating partnerships to achieve these goals
  2. If your course content includes one or more of the above sustainability related issues, please consider applying by filling out the google form: Application Form for Sustainability (S)-Designation
  3. Hold tight, the Sustainability Committee will review your application. You will receive notification from the Sustainability Committee after your application is reviewed.
  4. To have the S-Designation appear in Banner, you must (enter steps here)

How to keep your course designation:

Sustainability Certificate

The Academic Subject Certificate in Sustainability provides students with an interdisciplinary introduction to core concepts of sustainability. This certificate will prepare students to transfer to UHWO BAS in Sustainable Community Food Systems, UHMC BAS in Sustainability Science 101Management, or the UH Mānoa Interdisciplinary Studies BA in Sustainability, BA in Hawaiian Studies, Mālama ʻĀina “track”. Perhaps more importantly, it will help students to understand the interdisciplinary nature and relevance of sustainability in whatever major and career they choose.

 Upon successful completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Define sustainability on local, national, and international levels
  • Identify the personal values and attitudes that can facilitate sustainable living
  • Describe how the individual relates to the wider issues of sustainability
  • Measure oneʻs impact on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit
  • Identify the sociocultural values and attitudes that facilitate sustainable living at the local, regional and global levels
  • Apply concepts of sustainability to local, regional, and/or global challenges
  • Demonstrate how concepts of sustainability are connected to local, regional, and global issues
  • Describe how traditional and indigenous perspectives inform practices of sustainability

This certificate consists of a minimum of 12 credits. 

Required Courses (9 credits)

Three (3) credits must be taken in each of the following three categories:

  • S-focused Course in the Natural Sciences 
  • S-focused Course in Social Sciences/Language Arts/Humanities/Math & Business
  • S-Focused Course in Hawaiian Studies 

Independent Study or Special Topics Course in the discipline of choice (3 credits)

  • Any discipline independent study course (199 or 299) or Special Topics Course approved by Sustainability Curriculum Committee to receive an S-designation.

From the course catalog

For Students

How to identify and register for an S-designated course:

How to get your Sustainability Certificate:

Windward Community College Library • 45-720 Keaʻahala Rd. • Kāneʻohe, HI 96744
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