As spring semester draws to a close, we wanted to highlight a couple of ongoing, exciting opportunities, as well as one brand new course for your consideration during Phase I registration!

The Sustainable Cities Minor

If you are contemplating a minor, take a close gander at the SLS-affiliated Sustainable Cities Minor! The minor in Sustainable Cities emphasizes sustainability, community engagement, and social justice. It provides students with a deep learning experience that integrates classroom learning and real-world, community-based project experience in creating sustainable communities, with a focus on the built urban environment. You can learn more about the minor, and all the details on how to integrate into your present course of study, by visiting SCARP’s information page. The course listing on that page will give you a sense of just how diverse the offerings are - from public policy, to computer science, to biology – there are courses across all six colleges that count toward this dynamic minor! You can also use SLS’s search function to scope out courses that count towards the minor, just by searching “Sustainable Cities Minor”’; some courses for fall are already listed, and several more will be listed in the coming weeks so don’t forget to check back again as you create your fall schedule. And if you’d like to discuss how the minor fits into your current trajectory and understand how to fulfill its requirements, you can contact SLS Program and Operations Manager, Kris Chatfield, for an advising appointment.

VIP: Building for Equity and Sustainability

A unique structure that allows long-term collaboration with a diverse group of peers, Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs) are a wonderful way to enrich your academic journey at GT.  The VIP on Building for Equity and Sustainability, led by Jenny Hirsch (Director, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain) and Juan Archila (Director of Facilities and Capital Planning, College of Sciences), is an opportunity to join a lively, interdisciplinary community focused on equity in the built environment and community engagement via the Kendeda Building and EcoCommons. Past blog posts by undergraduate and graduate students in the VIP can led rich insight into what kinds of projects and questions you might undertake in this course.  Katie Popp’s post describes how, as she came to the end of her civil engineering education at GT, the VIP offered her “the social piece” that allowed her, as she wrote, “to take my perspective to the next-level and challenge me to become a more holistic engineer.” Similarly, Jordan Tyndall’s post shares her appreciation of how the VIP centered questions she cared about but hadn’t been able to plunge into, like: “What is equity beyond accessibility? How are equity and sustainability linked?” As the VIP continues to evolve and deepens its relationships with community partners around the Kendeda building, this is a great time to join the team! The team is open to students in all majors and all years!

HTS 2803 HP: Organizing for Social Change

Finally, a new course, co-taught by SLS Service Learning and Partnership Specialists Rebecca Watts Hull and Ruthie Yow, will invite students to explore social change and how it happens in and through the institutions that most shape our lives. In the course, HTS 2803 HP: Organizing for Social Change, students will explore several frameworks and 20th-century traditions that guide change agents within organizations and communities in the U.S. They will draw on these frameworks and traditions, historical examples, and collaborate with Serve-Learn-Sustain community-based partner organizations to understand and practice strategies and skills used to advance social change. Students will apply the knowledge and skills they develop to “map” community assets and to engage in social change work themselves in the communities with which they identify. The course is a new addition to the Honors Program Service Pathway. It is open to all majors, and the instructors warmly welcome any interested student to register and join our social change journey!