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ERIC Number: EJ1069906
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Experiential Learning for Sustainability Leadership in Higher Education
Savage, Emma; Tapics, Tara; Evarts, John; Wilson, Jeffrey; Tirone, Susan
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v16 n5 p692-705 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to compare the program design of a sustainability leadership certificate to participants' perceptions of their in-program learnings and competencies development. The authors present the results from the analysis of one program evaluation component, a survey, which was delivered before the program start and at the program end. Design/methodology/approach: The authors describe key design elements of a sustainability leadership certificate, which was framed around five key sustainability competencies. Using a pre/post self-assessment, participants (n = 32) selected their level of confidence and competence in each of the key sustainability competencies and completed open-ended questionnaires. Quantitative data were analyzed using a Mann-Whitney U test, and qualitative data were transcribed and coded using a grounded theory approach in NVivo 10. Findings: Based on the survey feedback, the program participants were generally excited by the program's experiential format and supportive community. They felt that they had improved their confidence and competence in the key sustainability competencies. Three themed clusters, community, future and personal development, emerged from the participants' open-ended responses. This supports the program design and can inform further program development. Practical implications: The third theme, personal development, is notable, as it is not a typical focus of sustainability in higher education, but held high importance to participants. This strong resonance with participants suggests that sustainability programs should consider the role of the self to foster the development of key sustainability competencies. Originality/value: The program's focus on "personal" was intentional in the program design. Based on participants' feedback, the inclusion of personal development exercises was a critical element for successful sustainability leadership development.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A