RCE Greater Atlanta - 2021

Building Effective ESD in Higher Education through Multi-Institutional and Community Collaboration
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Building Effective ESD in Higher Education through Multi-Institutional and Community Collaboration
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Atlanta
Contributing organization(s) : 
Part One
February 2021 workshop Going Global: A Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Curriculum Design Workshop
Partners: Georgia State University (GSU), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), Kennesaw State University (KSU), University Global Coalition

Part Two
August-December 2021 Faculty Learning Community: Teaching with the SDGs
Partners: Georgia Tech, KSU, Tec de Monterrey

Part Three
Community Science Collaboratory, launched August 2021
Partners: Emory University, KSU, Spelman College, Georgia Tech, Morehouse College, GSU, Eco-Action, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, RCE Saskatchewan, RCE KwaZulu-Natal

Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Rebecca Watts Hull
Organizational Affiliation: 
Georgia Tech Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain
Format of project: 
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, October 8, 2021
Additional resources: 
Part One description:https://serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu/serve-learn-sustain-ctl-and-rce-greater-atlanta-partners-lead-initiative-support-curricular

Part Two description: https://serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu/connecting-local-and-global-bringing-sustainable-development-goals-sdgs-our-teaching

Community Science Collaboratory proposal (since fully funded) attached
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Greater Atlanta, Georgia, with Collaboratory partners RCE Saskatchewan and RCE KwaZulu-Natal
Address of focal point institution for project: 
The Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Institute of Technology
Clough Commons, Suite 205, 266 Fourth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30332-0940
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
While one initiative of this project includes partners with the RCE Saskatchewan and RCE KwaZulu-Natal, most initiatives are grounded in communities and institutions within the Greater Atlanta region. Metro Atlanta is a large and growing, diverse urban area in a state (Georgia) whose biggest industry is agriculture. The 10-county Metro Atlanta region is home to roughly 4.7 million people employed in diverse economic sectors including transportation, logistics, public health, higher education, technology, and film and video production. Atlanta also is known as the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movements and is home to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Carter Center.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The focus of this project is advancing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in collaboration with Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to empower students and advance the community sustainable development objectives. ESD requires transdisciplinary, inquiry-based, community-engaged approaches and yet most faculty have had little training in this kind of course design and teaching. This project addresses these challenges by providing faculty training, by nurturing communities of practice, and by building a regional network for cross-institutional, multi-CBO community science collaboration.
February, 2021
This project encompasses three initiatives that all advance ESD in Higher Education:
1) Going Global: An International Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Curriculum Design Workshop
2) Faculty Learning Community: Teaching with the SDGs
3) Community Science Collaboratory: Building and funding a regional network for community-university transdisciplinary, community-centered research that advances ESD.

The project addresses several related needs and assets: most higher education faculty in our region have little training or support in ESD; institutions within our RCE have complementary ESD resources, expertise, and community relationships; and our RCE higher education institutions and community-Based Organizations (CBOs) have significant, shared experience in community (citizen) science projects. By leveraging RCE relationships to share faculty workshops, teaching resources, and a learning community across institutions, we enhance the effectiveness of ESD and extend our reach at all institutions. Through the recently launched Collaboratory initiatives, we will further extend this collaboration to expand community-engaged teaching in ways that simultaneously advance the sustainable development goals of regional CBOs.
• Build a cohort of ESD leaders – capable of mentoring their peers—within the faculties of every college and university within our RCE.
• Expand and enhance the library of resources and examples supporting ESD in higher education by sharing and expanding across institutions.
• Increase the number of courses incorporating the SDGs that also include community-engaged learning by building a multi-institutional, multi-CBO sustainable, transparent Collaboratory supporting long-term community science projects in the region.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Going Global: An International Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Curriculum Design Workshop reached 50 faculty members from 14 colleges and universities across the U.S., Europe, and South America, all interested in teaching with the SDGs. The virtual workshop integrated ESD principles with best practice in course design and differentiated breakout room work for faculty working at the programmatic, course, unit, and lesson levels. The Faculty Learning Community: Teaching with the SDGs includes three co-facilitators and 14 participants from three universities and is supporting faculty who are re-designing courses to incorporate the SDGs as well as several participants who are engaged in SDG integration at the department or college level (across courses). The Community Science Collaboratory includes 25 participants from three RCEs, eight universities, and six CBOs. An initial, three-hour workshop included values clarification, a review of best practice (from literature and experience) in university/community collaboration, and preliminary work identifying design principles and characteristics of the Collaboratory. Participants are currently working on a draft design for the Collaboratory that will be vetted with additional partners at a second workshop in late fall, which will include community science leaders from RCE Saskatchewan and RCE KwaZulu-Natal.
Size of academic audience: 
Approximately 100 faculty members directly.
Feedback from the February 2021 workshop was overwhelmingly positive – 100% percent rated it as “excellent” or “very good.” Participants appreciates the resources and worksheets provided as well as teaching examples from courses in economics, sociology, geography, and public health that integrated SDGs. At the same time, all indicated they were interested in more collaboration, more examples, more resources—which led us to continue and expand this RCE project. The Faculty Learning Community was developed as a next step for participants who wanted further support with their SDG course integration. The Collaboratory was also developed as a result of the enthusiastic response to cross-university collaboration on ESD as a way for us to extend the benefits of curricular collaboration to community-based teaching and learning collaboration. We continue to receive positive feedback and a clear message that faculty support is critically important to growing ESD in higher education.
Lessons learned: 
The biggest challenge we have experienced with this project is identifying strong examples to share of courses that were re-designed to incorporate the SDGs. Identifying syllabi and lessons about the SDGs is relatively straightforward, but across-the-curriculum integration is still fairly recent and examples are difficult to find; faculty are often hesitant to share examples they consider to be "works-in-progress." As a result, we have made building a shared "library" of curricular examples a priority of this project.
Key messages: 
ESD integration across the curricular is essential to empowering students with the values, knowledge, and skills needed to become agents of change for the SDGs, and effective ESD requires significant faculty support. This project advances cross-institutional collaboration to expand and enhance faculty training and build shared networks with community partners that advance regional sustainable development goals.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This project grew out of two Action Groups of RCE Greater Atlanta: the Higher Education Learning Community and the Community of Practice. As stated above, the project also builds new partnerships with community science projects in the RCE KwaZulu-Natal and RCE Saskatchewan.
The Community Science Collaboratory is supported by a $15,000 grant from AGREC: The Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Curriculum Development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level