BenU offers certification in environmental studies

By Kulsum Musani Staff Writer

Benedictine University is continuing its efforts to save the environment by offering a certificate in environmental studies for undergraduate students.

In 2008, Benedictine University initiated Years for the Environment, a program that promoted environmental awareness through action and conversation on campus. Even though the program has ended, students interested are able to combine the certificate with a major or a minor.

Certification is promoted in part because “students, faculty, and staff wanted to boost environmental awareness and sustainability on campus,” said Dr. Jean-Marie Kauth, a contributor of creating the Years for the Environment Program.

“People are looking for students with a background in the environment. This becomes more important as climate change becomes more severe,” enthused Kauth when asked about the benefits of the environmental studies certificate.

Acknowledgement of the environmental studies certificate appears on both the student’s official and unofficial transcript. The certificate is earned after completing a minimum of twelve credit hours at Benedictine University.

This means that a minimum of four classes and of designated coursework at two different colleges (college of Science, college of Business, etc) must be completed before a student can earn certification. The courses that are taken can be applied to fulfill requirements for a major or minor. A grade of a “C” or higher must be earned in order to apply the credit towards the certificate.

Classes towards certification are being offered at all levels. Several classes that are being offered next semester are:

  • ANTH 291: Topics in Anthropology: Cuba, Tourism, and Environmental Sustainability
  • BCHM C100: Impact of Science and Technology on Society
  • BIOL 363: Ecology
  • GBLS WI 102: Global Studies II
  • HUMN WI 250: Contemporary World
  • MGT 120: “Going Green” in the Business World (starts mid-semester)

Pre-med students pursuing a career in pediatrics can use the knowledge learned in these classes because “there are so many health effects because of environmental effects. For example, asthma can be caused due to exposure to pesticides,” continued Kauth. “With the certificate, students can become more aware of the effect the environment can have on us.”