We need insight from every field of study to address the emerging and long-standing sustainability challenges facing our communities.
Through the University of St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP), students across disciplines collaborate with cities, government agencies, and non-profits to apply what they learn in class to sustainability projects important to the community. SCP's multi-year partnerships and collaborative projects seek to improve interconnected human and environmental well-being in the Twin Cities area. Students develop real-world, creative problem-solving skills, make connections in the Twin Cities community, and gain confidence to be listeners, leaders, and collaborators in sustainability in their future career paths.
Through the SCP Arts initiative, students across disciplines collaborate with local artists, writers, and communities to bring to life community-identified sustainability goals for people of all ages.
For communities: Communities often face limited resources to investigate sustainability and quality of life issues that are important to them. SCP seeks to expand capacity by collaborating with undergraduate and graduate courses at St. Thomas to explore creative solutions to community-identified projects. Projects include ecological, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability.
For faculty: SCP provides partnership and project development to integrate real-world applied learning projects, important to the community, into existing courses to enrich teaching and student learning.
For students: Students learn how to apply what they are learning in class to develop creative problem solving skills and solutions to real-world issues, and to collaboratively advance the common good. This experience prepares students to become listeners, leaders, and collaborators in sustainability in their future career paths.
SCP is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N). SCP's partner, the City of Elk River, received EPIC-N's community partner of the year award in 2017! SCP won the Outstanding Program of the Year award in 2020!