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ERIC Number: ED543327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 292
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2674-8287-7
Education for Sustainability in Career and Technical Education: A Multiple Case Study of Innovative Community College Programs
Ruppel, Karen R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
Research indicates we are faced with environmental, social, and economic challenges and higher education is being called upon to provide education for a sustainable future. The literature surrounding Education for Sustainability (EfS) in higher education points toward implementing EN into all levels of education. Very few Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at community colleges have made EfS a foundation of practice. This multiple case study explored three innovative CTE programs in community colleges in order to describe the strategies used to develop program curriculum to include EfS. In addition, using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE STARS, 2012) as a framework, this study sought to interpret how sustainability literacy concepts are included in the curriculum. Data were collected through interviews, focus groups, and document production to examine the experiences of students, faculty, administrators, and advisory committee members for each program. These data were analyzed and coded using narratives for each case, and through cross-case analyses. The findings for program development suggest that current attention paid to the industries associated with these programs strongly influenced the initial reason to develop the programs, while sustainability core values appeared to influence overall institutional commitment to the program. Other factors that appeared to have an effect on program development were (1) geographic location of urban versus rural, (2) longevity and maturity of the program, and (3) the advisory committee and its related industry. The findings for sustainability literacy suggest that a unifying definition for sustainability does not exist among the participants in this study. The findings also suggest that although it was not the intent of these three programs to implement sustainability curriculum, the participants understood at least some concepts related to sustainability. CTE programs are unique to specific industries and must retain flexibility to respond to the changing skills requirements in those industries. This study suggests that AASHE STARS (2012) may provide a flexible framework for introducing EN concepts into the variable curriculum of community college CTE programs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A