Green Curriculum

A sample of MCC Instructors who have taken the Greening Your Curriculum workshop and their modified coursework.

  • Biology

    Biology 157 | Fundamentals of Biology | Rachel Lohmann

    Definition:  A pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations
    Assignment:  This will be assigned at the end of the ecology unit, when sustainability is discussed along with degrading environmental practices. This is a week-long investigation in which students need to record exactly how much and where their water usage is coming from and use it to compare themselves to the average American and third world countries by doing some research on the topic. They will then write their paper in accordance with the scientific method, and will address the following in their paper:

    • Question they are trying to answer
    • Hypothesis and prediction
    • Materials and Methods used to determine their water usage
    • Two tables showing amount of water used per day and breakdown of usage by type (drinking, showering, laundry, etc.)
    • Two bar graphs showing the data seen in the table
    • A discussion section addressing the questions listed above in the objective
  • Business Management

    Business 150 | Introduction to Business | Sherry Ridge

    We research and share what the automobile industry is doing to be more environmentally friendly. In terms of their product and how they manufacture them as well.

    Management 150 | Principles of Management | Sherry Ridge

    We discuss the triple bottom line and how managers can make sure that they are being as responsible for the financial bottom line as they are the environment.
    What has been the response from your students? Positive. Students usually have no knowledge of the triple bottom line before the class and have shared the prior to the assignments they thought being environmentally friendly was just about recycling.

  • English

    English 151 | Composition I | Cynthia VanSickle

    Assignment:  To complete this essay, you need to begin by finding an environmental issue or controversy that rouses your interest.  It might be something you’ve experienced personally or something that you’ve seen in the local news.  Your purpose in this paper isn’t necessarily to try to solve the problem but to argue for one side of the issue:  to fully consider the issue and take a stand.  Your thesis needs to make this position/stand clear to your reader. 
    At the same time, you need to persuade your readers to consider your position and perhaps even to agree with it.  In stating where you stand, do so in a way that explains why it matters.  Ask yourself “so what?”  Then, make that answer clear.

    List of Suggested Environmental Topics:  Hybrid or electric cars; fair trade coffee or chocolate; paper-free campuses; plastic bag bans; organic farming; raw milk; blood diamonds; rising sea levels; or melting polar ice caps. 

    English 152 | Composition II | Kristi Harreld

    Definition:  “To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations”. 

    Assignment:  The focus of the research needs to tie participatory budgeting as a process to one of the spheres of sustainability (social, environmental, or economic) with a local issue (may be defined as up to state-wide).  The structure of the essay may be problem-solution, cause-effect, or compare/contrast (or a hybrid); however, whichever topic and structure chosen, the essay must advance and support an argumentative thesis.  Some examples of topics:

    • Participatory budgeting is a way of exploring and assisting local agencies in addressing environmental issues like conservation.  In fact, two local government agencies in your area already have dedicated annual amounts to conservation issues in their budgets. 
    • A big box store has proposed building a retail space in a local area.  However, concerned citizens have objected to this plan; the retailer has agreed to provide $100,000 per year for ten years to the municipality for “green” space in exchange for building in the area, which the city council has accepted. 
    • After your passionate speech to the city council and mayor, your town has agreed to allocate a specific amount of its annual budget to equity by using PB.  However, since you are the person who advocated, the council has charged YOU with brainstorming and then presenting specific issues for which your town will apply this portion of the budget this year.  This paper will require you to research local equity issues, choose which are worthy of investment, and decide how to best incorporate PB principles in service of equity. 

    English 152 | Composition II | Laura McCluskey

    Assignment - What’s Your Carbon Footprint?

    Sustainability is reducing your carbon footprint to create an environmentally sound and healthy quality of life for all. The learning objectives for this assignment will be to:

    • discover their personal impact on the environment
    • reflect on what they are currently doing right
    • reflect on what they are doing wrong
    • what they can start to do to make a difference analyze, evaluate, and critically think about
  • MCC 101

    MCC101 | The College Experience | Anne Humphrey

    Definition: Maintenance of resources for future generations.

    Relationship to Sustainability: Students will become familiar with sustainability by doing critical thinking about the problems presented in East St. Louis.  The post-activity discussion will include a direct definition of sustainability and connection of the concept to the East St. Louis example.  Students can self-assess as to level of critical thinking employed. 

  • Music

    Music 208 | Applied Music | David Dcamp

    Definition:  Intentional plan for method of using resources that do not destroy or deplete the resources.    This could mean using the resource without it being completely used up, or being able to continue to use the resource for a long time.

    Assignment/Curriculum Modifications:

    Using mobile devices to reduce need for other devices and reduce the need for more sheets of paper.  This will build awareness of sustainability in music and introduce new ways to use tools that the student already owns to help them with their music.

    Whenever possible, use rechargeable batteries (recording device, mobile device and camera), using a reusable water bottle.  Students will be requested to use a reusable water bottle. 

    Search public domain music sights for 3 pieces to play this semester.  Use a tablet to open the PDF files and read the music from the tablet to eliminate unnecessary printing/paper. 

  • Nursing

    Nursing 222-002 | Concepts of Family Nursing | Cheryl Eno

    Definition:  Sustainability is the planned use of resources in ways that provide environmental, economic and equal availability in the present and the future.  

    Assignment:  Investigate the resources that would improve the health and well-being of growing families residing in the city or town where you live.  Please focus on information that would improve the health and development of pregnant women and their children.  Consider whether these resources would be available to all and identify roadblocks that would limit their use.

    (NUR 222 002 students were successful in including information about environmental hazards in their community presentations.  They included water quality in Crystal Lake, pesticide exposure in Harvard and a chemical processing plant in Cary.)