Environmental Science B.S. at Ithaca College
Program Design & Assessment
The B.S. in Environmental Science is one of two bachelor's degrees offered in the Department of Environmental Studies and Science at Ithaca College. It is an interdisciplinary major that is grounded in the fundamentals of science but requires an understanding of the social and economic aspects of environmental problems.
Strengths of this program
The program focuses on experiential learning at all course levels. The first required course is completely outdoors (regardless of weather) where students learn to observe the natural environment while creating a bond with the other students. This bond lasts until graduation.
Types of students servedLiberal arts students interested in solving environmental problems
Liberal arts students interested in careers in environmental science
The goals of this program are as follows:
- Demonstrate competence in integrative and interdisciplinary thinking.
- Demonstrate local place-based knowledge.
- Demonstrate understanding of multiple spatial and temporal scales and patterns.
- Demonstrate advanced literacy in the natural sciences.
- Demonstrate fundamental literacy in human dimensions.
- Demonstrate competence in leadership and teamwork.
- Demonstrate competence in connecting classroom concepts and principles to real-world practice.
- Demonstrate competence in design, execution, and communication of research.
- Demonstrate competence in design, execution, and communication of professional practice.
The learning goals were informed by the following resources:
These outcomes were based on an internal program review conducted by the department faculty. Resources that were used include learning outcomes from similar departments, consideration of career needs for students, and feedback from student evaluations.
How program goals are assessed
Currently assessment is based on a survey of senior students. However, we are in the process of creating a more thorough assessment plan.
The program has been growing and in Spring 2013 there will be 18 seniors graduating with the B.S. in Environmental Science.
Careers pursued by our alumni
Our graduating seniors have attended graduate programs in environmental science, law, and policy programs (e.g., Columbia, Tufts, UMass-Boston, Cornell) while others have successfully found work in government agencies (e.g., US Forest Service, US-EPA, NY DEC) and private consulting and environmental services companies.