Loyola is working to advance sustainability across the curriculum in classes from the Stritch School of Medicine to the Corboy Law School to the Felice Rome Center and everywhere in-between. Our academic and research strengths in Biology, Environmental Science, and Sociology provide a focal area for disciplinary study in sustainability.
Interdisciplinary study and research through Centers of Excellence including the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy, Center for Urban Research and Learning and Center for Experiential Learning provide rich and transformative educational experiences.
The following principles are intended to broadly guide the framework for integrating environmental sustainability in the campus life and academics of students at Loyola University Chicago:
- Students are integrated in process, decision-making, action and reflection as part of a transformative education
- Our Jesuit, Catholic values inform all actions as we seek to represent the social, economic and environmental impacts of our decisions
- Sustainability is reflected in our culture, communication, and identity
- Strive for metrics, measurement and continuous improvement
- Endeavor to be inclusive and collaborative, building collaborative bridges and nourishing connections between departments, units and campuses
The following are some of the learning outcomes we intend to augment through the integration of sustainability principles in the University life of our students:
- Ability to connect with others
- Capacity to understand and describe consequences, both individual and collective
- Commitment to develop strategies knowing they are flawed (incomplete, imperfect or temporary)
- Ability to demonstrate sustainability expertise specific to their area of study
- Capacity to integrate and synthesize (participatory fluency)
- Ability to understand, describe and take part in reflective or contemplative practice
(adapted from Northern Arizona University/G. Chase)
Loyola University Chicago is committed to delivering a premier environmental educational experience, characterized by teaching multidisciplinary, problem-solving, research-based, and experiential courses, and offering co-curricular activities to supplement coursework.
Environmental Studies/Science Program
The diverse ENVS curriculum draws upon courses in social sciences, humanities and natural sciences to provide students with valuable knowledge, professional competency, structured ethical reflection and service in the interest of social justice to solving environmental problems both locally and globally.
Students go beyond the classroom to explore the relationship of humans and the natural environment through research and action-oriented programs.
Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP)
Loyola’s Center for Urban Environmental Research & Policy (CUERP) developed a Transformative Education Model that is interdisciplinary, highly engaging, experiential, and problem-solving based – Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP).
Faculty and students from various disciplines come together to design solutions to environmental issues. The solutions are developed into student-run programs or businesses which help to advance our campus goal of reducing our environmental footprint.
STEP courses serve as critical testing grounds and as incubators for longer-term sustainability projects that become institutionalized on campus and in the community. Loyola’s successful Biodiesel and BioSoap Program, and the LUREC Farm exemplify this progression from experimental, lab-scale projects to institutional, operations-scale projects. Following its inaugural semesters as STEP: Biodiesel, STEP has focused on Food Systems (Spring 2009 to Spring 2011) and Water (Fall 2011 to Fall 2012).
Sustainable Agriculture Course
Located on Loyola's Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC), a small farm was launched in 2011 through the Sustainable Agriculture class. Students explored and applied viable alternative agriculture operations to the industrialized methods with a focus on vegetable, fruit and herb production and poultry. The on-site course provides a rich and varied living laboratory for research, teaching and physical learning.
Additionally, the students' experience in taking the course and working towards expanding the farm instills values of work, care, craftsmanship, patience, ingenuity, resourcefulness, cooperation, and humility.
Sustainability Fellowships and Internships
In support of the University's commitment to provide a rich educational experience, the Institute of Sustainability provides hands-on experiential learning opportunities through fellowships and service internships. Through these fellowships and internships students gain the knowledge and skills to become leaders in environmental policy, justice and research.