This spring, most students graduating from at Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus will walk with “green transcripts,” the culmination of a unique concept to instill sustainability-intensive coursework into every program of study.
Green transcript diplomas and certificates, which feature a special golden-leaf seal, will be awarded to an estimated 75% of May graduates, all of whom have taken at least 12 credit hours with enhanced environmental principles incorporated into the class material.
Unlike other institutions that have adopted a certificate or associate’s in environmental technology, Arkansas Tech-Ozark understands that every profession has a sustainability aspect. With all programs on campus able to award a green transcript, Arkansas Tech-Ozark can graduate a more environmentally conscious collective workforce.
“We’re not looking to just add a green program,” said Ken Warden, chief business and community outreach officer. “We want green in everything.”
Emphasizing green initiatives is included in Arkansas Tech-Ozark’s most updated strategic planning process. As a result, earlier this year Energy Corps volunteer James Goodhand helped determine where courses had a relative emphasis in sustainability, and where sustainability material could be added.
Working with faculty to review course syllabi and related technical literature, Goodhand and campus administrators were able to develop green transcripts for each program.
Chief Academic Officer Bruce Sikes said the overall goal was to embed “green concepts and sustainability into the education of every program and identify it both by coursework and on the transcript, so students and employers recognize the learning that’s occurring.”
“The Ozark Campus’ green transcript model was derived from the ‘writing-intensive’ requirements in many bachelor’s degree programs. We adapted this concept as environmental education and sustainability principles, and embedded the concept in all of our associate’s degrees,” ATU-Ozark Chancellor Jo Alice Blondin said in a statement.
Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees’ Chair, Leigh Burns Whiteside, along with Arkansas Tech-Ozark administrators, recently gave a presentation about the green transcript initiative during the National Council for Workforce Education annual conference in Long Beach, Calif.
Blondin said. “We’re one of the only campuses in the country that is approaching sustainability in education this way.”