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Developing the curriculum for a new Bachelor's degree in Engineering for Sustainable Development

By Francisco J. Lozano and Rodrigo Lozano


With a growing interest in sustainability, a number of universities have engaged in educating the future leaders, decision makers, scientists, and engineers on how their decisions can help societies become more sustainable. This paper presents the process for developing the Bachelor's degree curriculum in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico. The process was initiated in response to a request from top management of the university to a small committee of faculty members to prepare a draft of the degree's curriculum structure. Subsequently, a wider committee was appointed to design the courses' content and to refine the degree's structure. The process of developing a new degree posed a number of challenges, such as connectivity of courses and the curricular contribution to sustainability. These challenges were overcome by: using Concept Maps to help characterise and to overcome the challenges of inter-connecting courses by providing a systemic framework through a qualitative graphical tool titled, the 'Sustainability Tool for Assessing UNiversities' Curricula Holistically' (STAUNCH®). This tool helped the faculty team to develop a quasi-quantitative approach to the courses' coverage and their individual and collective contribution to education of their students for sustainability. The two methods provided a broader, more holistic, and systemic approach when developing a degree, because it allowed assessing the needed connectivity among curriculum courses from a systemic perspective, as well as evaluating the contribution of environmental, economic, and social issues in the degree. The systematic process followed in developing this degree curriculum can help other institutions to design and implement their own sustainability curricula. This can ensure that they develop sustainability-educated and empowered students, who can be change agents in making societies more sustainable. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Topics: Concept maps, Curricula assessment, Engineering for sustainable development, Sustainability Tool for Assessing UNiversities' Curricula Holistically (STAUNCH ) system, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment, Environmental Science(all), Strategy and Management
Year: 2014
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