Since its launch in Fall 2011, the Babson-Olin-Wellesley Sustainability Certificate program has offered the opportunity to engage in cross-disciplinary learning across campus cultures through collaborative curricular experiences and project-based courses. Faculty and staff have worked together to create a community passionate about teaching and practicing sustainability.
In the past decade, the landscape has also changed. Wellesley has continued to grow its Environmental Studies department, Babson has introduced a Sustainability concentration, and increasing numbers of Olin students complete self-designed majors in sustainability. As the number of students, faculty, and staff who are actively engaged in sustainability work grows on all three campuses, the opportunities to get involved and to study the field have multiplied. At the same time, we have learned a great deal about what works best to teach, inspire, and connect across the three campuses from running the Certificate program.
Therefore, in partnership across BOW, we have made the difficult decision to conclude our Sustainability Certificate program. We increasingly find that our aspirations are outgrowing the structures we put in place ten years ago and we want to make space for new collaborations to emerge. We have a great deal of learning and success on which to build, and we look forward to seeing what new efforts might arise. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and grateful to everyone who has engaged with and contributed to the program.
For all those wondering what this means for students currently at various stages in the program, please read on for more detail about winding down the program. We aim to serve all students the best we can; if you have questions or concerns or would like to discuss your specific case, please contact the Director of the Certificate Program Alison Wood (email@example.com) or your campus program adviser (Jay Turner at Wellesley, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Lucy McAllister at Babson, email@example.com).
Students currently pursuing the Sustainability Certificate
If you have already taken the Introduction to Sustainability course, you are still eligible to complete the BOW Sustainability Certificate. If you would like to complete the certificate, fill out the Declaration Survey if you haven’t already. If you are able to take the Sustainability Synthesis course in fall 2020, you should do so. We are relaxing the prerequisites for the Synthesis course so that all certificate students who have taken Introduction to Sustainability are eligible to take Synthesis, even if you have not yet completed your elective courses. If you need the Synthesis course in order to complete the certificate and cannot take it in fall 2020, please notify your campus advisor or program director Alison Wood.
We recognize that there is great uncertainty about the fall 2020 semester because of the current pandemic. If your school is going forward with registration for fall 2020 courses, you should register for Sustainability Synthesis as you otherwise would. If one or more of the BOW schools announce that classes will not proceed as usual in the fall--including if classes are remote only--we will update this page with further information and we will reach out to students who have declared intent to pursue the certificate and students registered for the Synthesis course.
Please review the program requirements here.
Students seeking other or additional sustainability opportunities across BOW
Concluding the certificate program does not reflect a reduced interest in sustainability at the BOW schools; on the contrary, so much new sustainability programming has flourished, along with increased interest, that we believe new efforts can better serve our needs. There are many additional ways to study sustainability on all three campuses, as well as ways to get involved beyond the classroom:
- Babson has a sustainability concentration that students can opt into: https://www.babson.edu/academics/undergraduate-school/concentrations/environmental-sustainability/
- Olin offers the opportunity to create an Engineering with Sustainability concentration: students interested in pursuing this option can contact Alison Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information (including additional faculty to consult) and recommended courses
- Wellesley has an Environmental Studies department, with both a major and a minor offered in this subject: https://www.wellesley.edu/environmentalstudies/
- All three schools offer a number of sustainability-related courses, many of which can be found in the list of approved certificate electives: https://www.bow3colleges.org/files/bow-3colleges/files/approved_sustainability_electives_2020-03-04.pdf
- Remember that students can cross-register in courses offered by the other BOW schools, so you can continue to engage with multiple disciplines, pedagogies, institutional cultures, and perspectives as you pursue your study of sustainability
For ongoing certificate advising and approvals
Alison Wood will continue to serve as the program director until all current students who intend to complete the program have done so. Please feel free to reach out to her with certificate questions. In addition, the Babson and Wellesley faculty advisors will always be excellent resources for connecting to sustainability on campus as well as for lingering questions about the certificate program: