Sustainability at Chico State

Academic Programs

At Chico State, our academic programs offer students exposure to a multitude of concepts and learning experiences that contribute to their understanding of sustainable development. Sustainable development is infused throughout our curriculum and our academic programs in agriculture, business, engineering, natural sciences, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, fine arts, education, and communication.  

Rawlins Endowed Professor of Environmental Literacy

The Rawlins Endowed Professor of Environmental Literacy is a major catalyst for integrating environmental and sustainable concepts into our academic programs. It was created to prepare all students of all majors for dealing with a world environment which is being continually diminished by loss of species, disappearance of habitats, and degradation of air, water, and soil.

Paul Persons Sustainability Award

This award, established by family and friends, honors Paul Persons' memory by helping to realize his vision of a CSU system-wide emphasis on sustainability. Paul wanted every student in the CSU to have an opportunity to learn how to apply sustainable practices in their given field. The Institute for Sustainable Development will gather nominations and select one faculty member annually who has shown a commitment to integrating sustainability into their curriculum. Nominees will be asked to supply their course syllabi and other appropriate materials to be considered in determining the recipient using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated a concentrated effort in helping students get the broadest perspective possible on sustainability principles.
  • Incorporated methods and materials into their curriculum, including current information, case studies, expert advice on alternative methods and practices being used in a particular industry or career path, etc.
  • Facilitated opportunities to learn about procedures that could be implemented to create a more sustainable organization, business or government.

The annual award of $500 will be presented at our This Way to Sustainability Annual Conference in November. 
2008 winner and nominees:

College Highlights in Sustainable Development and Courses Relevant to Sustainable Development

The current criteria are: Green courses must focus on environmental issues, management of scarce resources, and/or sustainable development. Green courses encourage students to be wise stewards of scarce resources and to understand that individual and collective actions have economic, social, and environmental consequences. Green Courses are identified in the course catalog with the green leaf.

The College of Agriculture

The College of Agriculture offers programs of integrated agricultural and environmental systems that contribute to education for sustainable development: agriscience and education, animal science, and plant science.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences has several disciplines key to education for sustainable development:

The College of Business

The College of Business offers a GE Pathway Minor in Sustainable Studies. The Sustainable Pathway introduces the multiple dimensions surrounding environmental issues and needed skills to enter both the workforce and public life as a socially-responsible and environmentally-minded citizen. The college also offers an 18-19 unit Minor in Managing for Sustainability. The minor is open to business and non-business majors alike. See the business minor brochure (PDF)

Non-business majors benefit by gaining a foundation in sustainable management, thus opening the door to more career options when they graduate. Business majors who have a particular interest in sustainability will maximize their chances of obtaining a position in an organization that allows them to make a difference in how the organization impacts the environment. 

The College of Communication and Education

The College of Communication and Education has several disciplines that contribute to education for sustainable development.

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

The College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management has several important components of sustainable development integrated into its programs including a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Manufacturing.

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts has woven sustainability into select course work, mainly in the departments of philosophy, history, and religious studies. 

The College of Natural Sciences

The College of Natural Sciences is dedicated to improving the public good and supporting the sustainable development of society with basic and applied sciences in the