Two impressive milestones occurred at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year – Arizona State University graduated its first class of students from the nation's first degree-granting sustainability school, and Prescott College graduated its first set of Ph.D.'s in Sustainability Education. It's so inspiring to see students graduate well equipped to help create the change needed to steer the world in the right direction – not that sustainability program graduates alone will be able to accomplish this. My hope is that graduates from programs that specialize in sustainability will then spread their knowledge to others, teaching their fellow professors how to integrate sustainability into their courses and leading a community and its individual members into a sustainable future.
These graduations certainly represent the beginning of a greater knowledge of sustainability principles and practices, and students will continue to graduate in the many sustainability-focused programs available. But where will we go next? If we tread carefully, we should be able to make sustainability a common theme in every course that students take. We need to teach students to always consider the externalities of their decisions and to plan for the future rather than for their day to day needs.
Sustainability program grads, sustainability professionals, and youth that will someday have a greater understanding of the principles of sustainability – we're looking to you to lead us to the day when we will all realize the consequences of our actions and will be willing to modify them for the prosperity of our successors.
-Andrea Webster,Publications and Education Coordinator