The Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives (OSI) collaborates with cities, government entities, and faculty to integrate partner-identified sustainability projects into existing St. Thomas courses across disciplines. SCP partnerships seek to catalyze systems-level change towards human and environmental well-being in the Twin Cities area and prepare students for the complexities of problem-solving in contemporary society. Projects, which include ecological, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability, engage students in real-world, applied research and innovative problem-solving while advancing city sustainability and quality of life goals.
For cities, SCP provides creative approaches to move city-identified sustainability goals forward. Cities often face limited resources to investigate sustainability and quality of life issues that are important to their community. SCP seeks to reduce those barriers by linking existing graduate and undergraduate courses at St. Thomas to investigate creative solutions and approaches to city-identified projects.
For faculty, SCP provides curricular and logistical support to integrate experiential and applied learning into existing courses to enrich teaching and student learning.
For students, SCP provides experiential learning opportunities to engage in real-world issues, develop creative problem solving skills, and to collaboratively advance the common good.
University-Community Partnership Model
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!