Johnson County Community College

Curriculum Development for Sustainability

The Sunflower Project 2.0 is a faculty award program intended to encourage and support the infusion of sustainability across the curriculum of JCCC and to strengthen sustainability as an asset to the educational experience of our students. Funds awarded are for the faculty member(s) to use as they wish, as an acknowledgement of their voluntary effort to support sustainability in the curriculum. Support for this award will be dependent upon the course in question. It does not have to be used for course materials.There are now five distinct avenues in which faculty can participate in the Sunflower Project 2.0:

  • Integrate sustainability into the syllabus of a unique course section(s).
  • Create a sustainability unit that will be used in more than one course.
  • Integrate sustainability into an existing course outline (across course sections).
  • Create an entirely new sustainability-themed course.
  • Department or programwide sustainability revision.

Email Kristy Howell to apply. 

Requirements

  • Convey to students the concept of sustainability as it pertains to their quality of life in their community, country and world.
  • Apply new sustainability knowledge and understanding through an assignment, e.g., a reflection paper, research paper, group exercise, presentation, etc.
  • Promote critical thinking and problem solving about sustainability issues, especially as they pertain to students' field of study and/or future careers.
  • Advance discussion about sustainability topics within students' field of study and/or their future careers.
  • Inspire and allow for examination and reflection on personal attitudes and habits.
  • Encourage students to think outside the disciplinary “box” by making cross-disciplinary connections.
  • Teach new technologies and discuss the context for their necessity in a sustainable future.

Steps to Apply

$500 award for integrating sustainability into your syllabus.

  1. Complete the application and attach a plan to incorporate sustainability into your existing course.
  2. Submit the materials to the Center for Sustainability along with a syllabus reflecting integration of sustainability.
  3. Include the details of how your unit will fit into your existing course(s) if you choose this option. 

$750 award for creating one unit that can be incorporated into additional courses. Prior to completing the steps above: Seek department chair approval to update the course outline to include sustainability, as well as cooperation agreements from any additional faculty who teach the course that they, too, will teach according to the updated outline.

  1. Email the Technical Support Center to request a new CORS site for a course update. Note: a course modification via Ed. Affairs is not required for a course update.
  2. Follow steps on the CORS site, including uploading the updated outline and sending it out to Instruction for comment.
  3. Meanwhile, complete step 1 above with the plan for integrating sustainability into your course.
  4. Have your department head approve the course outline changes after the two-week waiting period.
  5. Complete step 2 above, integrating sustainability into your syllabus, and include new, approved course outline.

$1,500 Award Amount for creating an new sustainability-themed course

  1. Pursue and complete both the course development process within your department and approval process through Ed. Affairs.
  2. Complete the application, attaching a scope of work or narrative on how this new course will enhance the student learning experience and understanding of sustainability at JCCC and/or within a particular degree program. Submit to the Center for Sustainability.
  3. Once the course is approved, submit an approved outline and any additional materials available to the Center for Sustainability.
  4. Follow up with syllabuses and corresponding course materials when available.

Department or Programwide Sustainability Revision

With the Sunflower Project 2.0 we are hoping to see departments push beyond individual course sections, to enhance foundational or required courses and/or program objectives with sustainability themes. This can take a variety of forms from case to case (Interior Design and Nursing are currently pursuing this option). 

Download an application or email the Center for Sustainability.

Award Resources

Made possible through a federal earmark for sustainability curriculum development, the original iteration of The Sunflower Project – an award and support program to facilitate the infusion of sustainability across the curriculum at JCCC – resulted in the creation of seven new sustainability-themed courses and the enhancement of 35 unique course sections to include sustainability concepts between January 2011 and May 2013.

Thanks to funding support from the Student Sustainability Committee, the Center for Sustainability launched the Sunflower Project 2.0 – a redesigned award program intended to further advance the momentum of JCCC’s cross-curricular sustainability offerings. In the years since, Sunflower Project or sustainability-related courses have been taught in every unit of the college, reaching almost 7,000 students since 2011.