Mission & Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

The Environmental Studies Program at Elmhurst College focuses on worldwide environmental challenges. Through interdisciplinary academic courses, internships, experiential, and co-curricular activities our students become passionate stewards of the environment, scholars in sustainability and environmental management, and experts in environmental studies. With a focus on environmental justice, students develop critical-thinking skills, analyze real-world problems, and understand the power of narrative to create sustainable solutions for local and global communities.

Program Goals

  • To provide students with a broad interdisciplinary liberal arts framework for understanding the relationship between humans and their environment;
  • To provide students with informed perspectives on biological and physical processes relevant to environmental problems, to help students understand responsible environmental policy and practice, and to engage students in ethical reflection regarding environmental problems in local, regional, national, and global communities;
  • To prepare students for careers, citizenship and environmental stewardship through experiential curricular and co-curricular opportunities;
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue professional careers and advanced study related to the multi-faceted nature of environmental studies; and
  • To serve as an environmental resource, through service, outreach and engagement, to the Chicago metropolitan region.

Program Objectives

  • Students will integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines representing physical and life sciences perspectives, political and economic perspectives, and social and cultural perspectives on humans’ interactions with their environments;
  • Students will contribute to and facilitate interdisciplinary research and problem solving, through independent and collaborative work; and
  • Students will use quantitative and qualitative research tools and techniques to analyze, implement, envision, assess, and report sustainability efforts.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the major in Environmental Studies, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the interconnected and interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies;
  • Demonstrate an integrative approach to environmental issues with a focus on sustainability;
  • Use critical thinking, problem-solving, and the methodological approaches of the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities in environmental problem solving;
  • Communicate complex environmental information to both technical and non-technical audiences;
  • Understand and evaluate the global scale of environmental problems; and
  • Reflect critically on their roles, responsibilities, and identities as citizens, consumers and environmental actors in a complex, interconnected world.

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