Environmental Studies Program
Mission Statement and Student Learning Goals


The Mission

The core mission of Illinois Wesleyan’s Environmental Studies Program is to educate a new generation of students who are socially engaged, critical and creative thinkers, committed to advancing environmental sustainability both locally and globally. Central to advancing sustainability is an understanding of the complex relationship of human societies with the biological and physical aspects of the natural world. At Illinois Wesleyan, we provide our students with a strongly interdisciplinary education through which to accomplish this. Students develop foundational knowledge of ecological principles, earth science concepts, and social and cultural institutions that shape the human-environment relationship and affect its longevity and health. They grapple with the ethical dimensions of this relationship and they engage in applied learning. In addition to educating our majors and minors, the Environmental Studies Program supports the University’s mission and vision by striving to educate all Illinois Wesleyan students about environmental sustainability and by working to make the campus a model of environmental stewardship.

Student Learning Goals

Student learning goals guide our curriculum and provide our majors with a body of knowledge, skills and values. A student majoring in Environmental Studies at Illinois Wesleyan will have acquired:

Foundational Knowledge of

  • Ecological principles (goal 1)
  • Earth science concepts (goal 2)
  • The relationship between human beings, society and the environment (goal 3)

Skills in

  • Systems thinking in biological, geological, institutional and other contexts (goal 4)
  • Critical analysis of environmental conditions and human-nature interaction (goal 5)
  • Interdisciplinary dialogue among the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences (goal 6)
  • Effective oral and written communication with both the scholarly community and the general  public about environmental issues (goal 7)
  • Design and development of independent research on environmental topics (goal 8)
  • Collaborative engagement with community members to advance sustainability (goal 9)

Core Values emphasizing

  • Commitment to advancing sustainability (goal 10)
  • Concern for environmental justice (goal 11)
  • An ethical relationship with nature (goal 12)
  • Global citizenship (goal 13)
  • Life-long learning  (goal 14)

 Mission Statement adopted 3.7.11
Student Learning Goals adopted 10.20.11