BASSP Competencies

Preamble:

The interdisciplinary Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree in Sustainable Practices is intentionally designed to prepare students as sustainability professionals to build resilience and to implement meaningful change in response to complex environmental, economic and social problems.

Using an interdisciplinary approach that honors pluralism, innovation and creativity, and that is grounded in active learning, collaboration and global awareness, students learn to look beyond short-term solutions, which are appropriate for linear problems, toward long-term approaches, which apply to intricate problems that encompass context, diversity and relationships.

Learning Outcomes by Competency[1]

Systems Thinking Competence – the ability to collectively analyze complex systems across different domains (society, environment, economy, etc.) and across different scales (local to global)

  • Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively:
    • Describe sustainability problem statements for research and analysis across different domains and scales
    • Use appropriate sources and frameworks to evaluate and investigate causal factors and approaches to addressing a topic
  • Learn Actively:
    • Apply appropriate frameworks and methods to experiment and verify approaches to addressing a topic
  • Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments:
    • Incorporate different perspectives to increase understanding of a system
  • Communicate with Clarity and Originality:
    • Diagram and explain complex systems to multiple audiences

Interpersonal Competence – the ability to motivate, enable, and facilitate collaborative and participatory sustainability research and problem solving

  • Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively:
    • Evaluate critical approaches for arguing, debating, and advocating for specific outcomes and goals associated with sustainable practices and methods
  • Learn Actively:
    • Critique, defend and/or change own and others’ perspectives to increase understanding
  • Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments:
    • Develop relationships, identify allies and navigate organizational politics to facilitate collaborative research and problem solving
  • Communicate with Clarity and Originality:
    • Discuss own and others’ interpersonal and collaborative skills
    • Develop rhetorical skills and visual appeals for both effective oral presentations and written communication

Anticipatory Competence – the ability to collectively analyze, evaluate, and craft rich ‘‘pictures’’ of the future related to sustainability issues and sustainability problem-solving frameworks

  • Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively:
    • Exhibit curiosity and creativity toward possible alternatives
    • Formulate innovative solutions
  • Learn Actively:
    • Evaluate consequences of short-term vs. long-term decision-making processes
    • Research how elements within systems change over time, generating patterns and trends
  • Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments:
    • Engage disruptive thinking strategies to open space for innovation
  • Communicate with Clarity and Originality:
    • Describe sustainability issues using narratives, imagery, qualitative and quantitative information
    • Design effective media messages and images that promote cultural diversity, inclusion, and pluralistic views and perspectives 

Strategic Competence – the ability to collectively design and implement interventions, transitions, and transformative governance strategies toward sustainability

  • Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively:
    • Analyze and synthesize scientific and financial data around sustainability
    • Select appropriate tools, practices, and methods to implement strategies toward sustainability
  • Learn Actively:
    • Use industry tools, practices, and methods to implement strategies toward sustainability
    • Utilize broad and strategic thinking skills
  • Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments:
    • Appreciate and practice self-direction, teamwork, and leadership
  • Communicate with Clarity and Originality:
    • Analyze effective strategies for media use and consumption among a variety of diverse audiences
    • Strategically use persuasive appeals for marketing sustainable ideas, perspectives, and insights in both local and global communities through social media

Normative Competence – the ability to collectively map, specify, apply, reconcile, and negotiate sustainability values, principles, goals, and targets

  • Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively:
    • Evaluate and critique current structures and practices
  • Learn Actively:
    • Examine leverage points, where change has the greatest impact
    • Develop cultural competence and global awareness
  • Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments:
    • Connect with people and place
    • Engage critical issues of dissent and power imbalance
    • Participate in personal, social, and civic responsibility
  • Communicate with Clarity and Originality:
    • Argue ethical practices for engaging in community and global partnerships

Revised 12/03/2013

[1]Competency definitions from Key Competencies in Sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development Arnim Wiek • Lauren Withycombe • Charles L. Redman, Sustainability Science, published online 19 May 2011

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